Speedway: Damp squib denies the Monarchs

Edinburgh Monarchs will have to make the long trip back to Rye House Rockets before the end of the season after their Premier League speedway fixture on Saturday was abandoned after just six races, the home team leading 20-16 at the time.

But the decision by referee Barbara Horley to call a halt to proceedings following a shower before the start of heat seven was not greeted with universal approval as today Monarchs director Mike Hunter revealed that the Capital speedway outfit were prepared to carry on riding. “Our riders would have carried on, but that’s not to say we felt it was an obvious case for doing so. There was a shower after heat six and it was then that the referee was called to the pits,but it went off pretty quickly, but obviously it made conditions that bit more difficult,” he said.

“The track was tricky to begin with at the start of the match but clearly the Rye House riders’ didn’t fancy carrying on and the referee was the sole person to abandon the meeting.”

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Hunter added: “Matthew (Wethers) won a race quite easily and Craig (Cook) also won a race, notably from the back,and Andrew (Tully) took the chequered flag twice, so our riders were coping better with the wet surface and would have continued, it certainly wasn’t good and we are certainly not saying that the track was perfect.”

Skipper Wethers said: “It wasn’t particularly nice but I’d have rather ridden on than gone back up the road.”

Teammate Craig Cook however felt the rain had made the Hoddesdon circuit unsafe to race on and felt the decision to abandon the contest was the correct call. Cook said: “The track was getting better but we then had a downpour just before heat 7 and Rye House rider Jason Bunyan came into the pits and said it was not safe to race while it was raining, when the rain came it probably was not safe because the Rye House lads were riding on parts of the track which were slick to start with.”

Cook is keeping his fingers crossed that this week’s KO Cup quarter-final ties against Glasgow Tigers will go ahead. “I hope so, they are huge matches for both clubs and their supporters and I genuinely believe we have the ability to beat the Tigers at home and away. Hopefully we can do enough at Armadale on Friday to make Sunday’s second leg at Ashfield a formality,” he said.