Derby win over Monarchs puts Glasgow Tigers back on title track
Glasgow Tigers got back to winning ways with a 53-39 success over Scottish rivals Edinburgh at the Peugeot Ashfield Stadium on Saturday night.
The Scottish derby proved once again to be a tasty affair as both sides produced some thrilling moves in their hunt for SGB Championship points.
The hosts had to overcome the early loss of reserve Jack Smith, who slammed into the safety fence on the second bend of heat two and received lengthy treatment before taking a trip to hospital.
Thankfully the youngster appears to have only suffered a dislocation of his elbow and not the break that was first feared.
However, the rest of the team stepped up in his absence and were kept honest by the Monarchs, who never managed to fully recover from an opening-heat 5-1.
Nike Lunna produced a man of the match performance for Glasgow, racing to paid 10 points and only losing to an opponent once - the highlight being an epic battle with Ricky Wells which lasted the full four laps of heat 10.
Tigers chief Stewart Dickson praised the manner of his riders' performance tonight as they put a slump in form behind them.
He said: "It's good to get back to winning ways. The top three looked excellent tonight, Nike Lunna got us paid 10, Dan Bewley - I think it's his starts that he need to sort out, because when he hits the front he's as fast as the top three - and Tom Perry, it wasn't for the want of trying, but he'll be one frustrated man tonight as he didn't do what he usually would.
"I'm pretty pleased and it's always good to beat your biggest rivals. There were some wayward predictions that we were going to win by 20-odd points, but I never saw that, I always thought 12 or 14 was what it was going to be.
"For me it was about the manner of the win. The track was pretty grippy and fast - there wasn't that much passing because it was quick but there were some excellent races.
"The most pleasing thing, though, is that Jack appears to have come through it relatively unscathed.
"I was going to say Nike is an unsung hero, but he's winning Mr Entertainer quite a bit, so that sounds like a contradiction.
"But 8+2 tonight - these scores are invaluable from a No 2. His average with bonus points this year is something like 7.05 - that's very impressive for a second string.
"He's going quietly about his business and he wins big races, and he tends to get a couple of 5-1s during the meeting. They're very important those heat advantages.
"We're almost taking it for granted that he gets eights or nines most meetings. I would say he's been backing up our top three very consistently this season."
The win took Glasgow into second, six points behind table-toppers Sheffield, but with two meetings in hand. Edinburgh are third, above Ipswich occupying the fourth playoff spot.
Tigers scorers: Richard Lawson 14, Aaron Summers 11+2, Richie Worrall 10, Nike Lunna 8+1, Dan Bewley 6+1, Tom Perry 4+1, Jack Smith 0.