Speedway: Sheffield Tigers 45 Edinburgh Monarchs 47

Leigh Lanham leads Max Frike and Steve Worrall in Heat Three
Leigh Lanham leads Max Frike and Steve Worrall in Heat Three

Sheffield’s late rally wasn’t enough to halt title favourites Edinburgh in the final Owlerton action of the season last night.

The Monarchs gave a slick performance headlined by an outstanding display from young Australian Max Fricke to take three points from the meeting.

Tigers, tracking three guests and the rider-replacement facility due to their injury problems, led by two points after three races thanks to a 5-1 in Heat 2 from Ben Wilson and James Sarjeant.

And they would have been further ahead but for a mechanical failure for Wilson in the opening race when visiting No.1 Craig Cook appeared to be pegged at the back.

But the visitors turned the match with back-to-back 5-1s in Heats 4 and 5, and another stoppage for Wilson in Heat 7 enabled Fricke and Steve Worrall to race clear and extend the lead to ten points.

Leigh Lanham went for double in Heat 8 but was beaten by Justin Sedgmen, although Lanham did stop the early winning run of Sam Masters by heading up a Tigers 4-2.

Edinburgh regained a ten-point advantage with Fricke’s fourth win of the night in Heat 12, whilst the next race saw a fine effort from guest David Bellego to defeat Masters and Cook.

That 3-3 ensured Edinburgh’s win on the night but there was a fighting finish from Tigers with successive 5-1s.

First in Heat 14 Wilson completed another hard-working night with a win while a battle between Mason Campton and Worrall was resolved in the Sheffield guest’s favour when the Monarchs rider stopped on the run in.

Fricke’s hopes of a 15-point maximum were dashed by Lanham and Bellego in the final race of the season, the home duo also getting the better of Masters to end a tough campaign on a high note.

SHEFFIELD 45: Leigh Lanham 15, David Bellego 11+1, Ben Wilson 8+2, Mason Campton 4+2, Nico Covatti 4, James Sarjeant 3+2, Andre Compton r/r.

EDINBURGH 47: Max Fricke 12, Sam Masters 11, Craig Cook 8+1, Justin Sedgmen 8+1, Derek Sneddon 4+1, Steve Worrall 3+1, Aaron Fox 1.