Rockets humble Monarchs

Rye House Rockets 56 Edinburgh Monarchs 36THE Mearkat is back! Fit-again Robert Mear led the way for the Rockets against defending champions Edinburgh last night (Saturday).

Rye House Rockets 56 Edinburgh Monarchs 36

THE Mearkat is back!

Fit-again Robert Mear led the way for the Rockets against defending champions Edinburgh last night (Saturday).

The Premier League match produced plenty of fireworks at Rye House in line with its July 4 setting.

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And Hatfield speedway star Mear, sidelined with a serious hand injury since May 28, returned with a bang.

After a first race to feel his way back into the saddle, the Mearkat rapidly settled into the groove to reel off four full or assisted wins and finish with 16 paid points.

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Also deserving of a place in the spotlight was Luke Bowen, whose first home match in the main body of the team opened with four straight wins and only came unglued with a surprise last place in his final race.

The most dramatic of his successes came in a sensational heat three that initially looked likely to produce a Monarchs 5-1.

All that changed when the Bowen 747 delivered a simply stunning drive through the narrowest of gaps between both Michal Makovsky and Andrew Tully.

Tully then ground to a halt having lost a chain, and the Monarchs' misery was complete when Linus Sundstrom caught Makovsky on the very last bend to turn the 5-1 into a Rockets one.

With Andrew Silver and Tommy Allen combining for a maximum in the previous race and Silver and Sundstrom - again from the back - adding a third in heat five, Rye were quickly ahead 22-8.

Any lingering thoughts that Edinburgh could mount a comeback evaporated as their two tactical nominations were seen off in quick succession.

Mear won heat seven, with Tully only getting past Tommy Allen on the last lap to prevent another Rye 5-1.

Sundstrom and Mear promptly put matters right by leaving remaining tactical man Matthew Wethers on the wrong end of a maximum score in heat nine.

That took the progressive score to 38-18, with four of the remaining races shared and the teams exchanging maximums in the other two.

The only negative for the Rockets came via another mechanical nightmare for Chris Neath.

The Rye captain looked way down on power as he struggled to a paid five total, and will be glad of a near two week break after the trip to Newport to rectify the problems in his workshop.

The Monarchs, for their part, will feel disappointed in their margin of defeat as the final score hid some truly determined efforts, particularly from Matthew Wethers and the exciting Andrew Tully.

Michal Rajkowski also had his moments, but No 1 Ryan Fisher struggled to recover from a first race fall and only really came good with a heat win in his final race.

In the end, the Rockets achieved revenge for their narrow defeat at Armadale in June.

The extra good news for supporters - after the excitement served up in the process - is that they will get to see the same teams in action again when the two sides meet in the semi-finals of the Knock-Out Cup.

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