What the Fork Monarchs have left themselves a mountain to climb after skidding to a 16-point defeat to arch rivals Glasgow Tigers at Ashfield in the first-leg of the Knockout Cup semi-final.

Monarchs were behind from the opening heat and, despite a mid-meeting fight back, heat advantages to Tigers in the last two races could be costly.

Kye Thomson (pictured), who earned two heat wins during the meeting, said the final 53-37 scoreline was not ideal and he added: “We tried to fight back, but some of the boys the bikes were going nowhere.”

Four heat advantages in the first six races meant Tigers enjoyed a 12-point and the Armadale outfit did stem the tide, sharing the next five races.

The most eventfull was Heat 8 where Drew Kemp challenged for the lead allowing Broc Nicol to attempt to dive under him to steal second. The move didn’t come off as the riders clashed, both coming down hard.

Thomson then won his next two races both and the hope in the Monarchs camp was that the deficit could be cut in the final few heats.

The home men kicked on again with a 5-1 in Heat 14 from Tom Brennan and Marcin Nowak over Josh Pickering.

The final heat would also see a home advantage as Craig Cook jetted from the tapes with Brennan in third.

Glasgow 53: Cook 11+1, Nicol 7+1, Jensen 3+1, Brennan 11, Wells 8, Nowak 7+3, Bailey 6+1

Edinburgh 37: Masters 11+1, Rowe 0, Thomson 9+1, Pickering 4+1, Worrall 6, Kemp 2, Edwards 5+1