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Comets defeat Monarchs in last match of 2015
Photo by Dave Payne
Sun 13 Sep 2015 by Comets Press Office
Workington Comets 49 Edinburgh Monarchs 41 (Premier League)
The Comets maintained their unbeaten home record for 2015 by defeating the reigning league champions, and top of the table for 2015, the Edinburgh Monarchs by a 49-41 scoreline in their final meeting of the season at Derwent Park on saturday night.

Tis victory means that the Comets are the only team in the Premier League to have won every home league fixture this season, which is quite an achievement.

But, while Ricky Wells, Rene Bach and Kenneth Hansen all scored solidly it was the 12+3 return from guest Hynek Stichauer that made the difference as he proved to be an excellent guest replacement for the injured in-form reserve Matthew Wethers.

For ex-Comet Craig Cook the night got off to a bad start when he was excluded for tape touching in heat 1 and given a 15-metre handicap by the Monarchs team manager John Campbell; although he fought his way up into third place by the chequered flag, with Ricky Wells (see photo above taken on the entry to the first turn in heat 1)taking the win followed by Edinburgh's Robert Branford.

A heat advntage for Edinburgh in heat 2 gave them the lead for what turned out to be the only time in the match as the Comets hit straight back with a maximum heat advantage in heat 3 through Rene and Kenneth.

Kyle hit the tapes in heat 4, exactly as Cook had done in heat 1, but failed to pick up any points from his 15-metre handicap as the Monarchs drew level at 12-12.

Cook recorded the first of his four race wins in the fifth heat, leading Rene and Kenneth home to win by a distance in the fastest time of the night to keep the scores level.

However, the Comets moved in front in heat 6, with Ricky and Hynek Stichauer combining for a maximum heat advantage and this lead was doubled in a dramatic heat 8, which was surely the race of the night.

For over three laps Justin Sedgmen held off Kenneth but, as they came out of turn two on the last lap, Kenneth got his wheels in line and drove under Sedgmen to take the lead. Then, as they approached the finish line Sedgmen appeared to shed a chain and that allowed Hynek Stichauer to snatch second place on the line and give the Comets an unexpected 5-1.

After a shared heat 9 Ricky gave chase to Kevin Wolbert in the tenth heat and went under him on turn four of the first lap to move into the lead. Then, in heat 12, Rene did exactly the same to Wolbert and took the lead at the end of lap three.

With three races to go the Comets needed six race points to claim victory and two of those points came in heat 13 when Ricky was able to move under Sam Masters as they entered the back straight on the opening lap to follow Cook home.

But, it was a great relief to everyone when the Comets clinched victory with a race to spare as guest Hynek Stichauer and Kenneth raced to a 5-1 in heat 14.

In the final heat, despite the Comets having pick of the gates, it was the Monarchs that hit the front although Rene hunted down second placed Masters and he was able to force his way under him on turn four of the second lap.

That move denied the Monarchs a match point as that is how they finished, with the Comets emerging as 49-41 victors, and having won all twelve of their home league fixtures, their league campaign was brought to a close.

This is only the third time in the club's history, going back to their first ever season in 1970, that they have won every home league fixture. The other two occasions were in 2004 and 2012.

Match points: Workington 3 Edinburgh 0

WORKINGTON 'Thomas Armstrong' COMETS 49
Ricky Wells 11, Rider Replacement for the injured Rusty Harrison, Rene Bach 11+1,
Kenneth Hansen 10+3, Kyle Howarth 5, Matt Williamson 0, Hynek Stichauer (guest) 12+3

EDINBURGH 'Border Roofing' MONARCHS 41
Craig Cook 13+1, Rider replacement for Erik Riss, Kevin Wolbert 6, Justin Sedgmen 5+2, Sam Masters 9, Ryan Blacklock (guest) 1, Robert Branford 7+1

Referee: Chris Gay

1: Wells, Branford, Cook (15m-tapes), Stichauer, 64.4 (3-3)
2: Branford, Stichauer, Blacklock, Williamson, 65.7 (5-7)
3: Bach, Hansen, Sedgmen, Wolbert, 65.2 (10-8)
4: Masters, Stichauer, Branford, Howarth (15m-tapes), 66.0 (12-12)
5: Cook, Bach, Hansen, Blacklock, 64.2 (15-15)
6: Wells, Stichauer, Masters, Blacklock, 65.5 (20-16)
7: Howarth, Wolbert, Sedgmen, Williamson, 66.6 (23-19)
8: Hansen, Stichauer, Sedgmen, Branford, 66.5 (28-20)
9: Masters, Hansen, Bach, Blacklock (f.rem), 67.4 (31-23)
10: Wells, Wolbert, Sedgmen, Williamson, 67.0 (34-26)
11: Cook, Howarth, Stichauer, Branford, 66.1 (37-29)
12: Bach, Wolbert, Branford, Williamson, 67.2 (40-32)
13: Cook, Wells, Masters, Howarth, 65.5 (42-36)
14: Stichauer, Hansen, Sedgmen, Branford, 67.2 (47-37)
15: Cook, Bach, Masters, Wells, 66.8 (49-41)
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Last Updated :  Mon 14 Sep 2015, 18:34 UK
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Dave Payne, Adrian Randall