GLASGOW established a ten-point Scottish Cup lead over Edinburgh with a 50-40 first leg win at Ashfield.
The Monarchs had cut the gap to just two points with a 5-1 in Heat 13 – but the Tigers responded with two successive maximums of their own to take a double-figure advantage.
Claus Vissing led the way for the hosts with 13+1, despite a third ride retirement, whilst fellow debutant Paul Starke added 12+1 – and last-minute signing Jack Thomas impressed at reserve with two wins on his way to a seven point score.
The Monarchs’ four race wins were split between Ricky Wells (11) and Erik Riss (9+2) whilst Matt Williamson added 8+2 at reserve.
Thomas said: "I'm chuffed to bits - I don't really know what to say! Coming home with seven points - I didn't really expect to be coming home with two, to be honest.
"With previous matches last year guesting in this league I struggled a lot, but this year I feel ready for it.
"It's massive to get the heat wins. Claus was a brilliant team-mate in heat 14, he just sat behind me and guided me to the line - that's what a team is about.”
Williamson said: “I’m over the moon with my personal performance tonight and this tie is far from over.
“If they can beat us by ten points then we can beat them by ten points at Armadale. Nothing is done till it’s done and it’s all to race for next Friday and I expect us to bounce back.”
NEW Lakeside No.1 Nick Morris won the Lee Richardson Spring Classic at Purfleet on Friday.
Morris defeated team-mates Adam Ellis, Richard Lawson and Kyle Newman in the Final as four Hammers riders reached the decisive race.
Lakeside boss Will Pottinger said: “There were a lot of encouraging signs. To have the top four in the Final was nice to see, and of course new No.1 Nick Morris took the win and looked impressive.
“All of the home riders were improving as the night progressed and showed plenty of positives, so we were happy.
“There was some good racing and a good opening night crowd, so it was a nice way to remember Lee Richardson, who was a great servant to British speedway and Lakeside.”
BELLE Vue celebrate their 90th Anniversary milestone with a major celebratory event at the National Speedway Stadium tonight (Saturday).
The cornerstone of the night is the prestigious Peter Craven Memorial, and 2017 World Champion Jason Doyle headlines the field, with British No.1 Craig Cook, six-time Danish Champion Niels-Kristian Iversen and World No.7 Matej Zagar also included in an impressive line-up.
Aces Director of Speedway Mark Lemon said: “We want to put on more than just a speedway meeting for this event. We want it to be a showcase of different speedway disciplines through the ages and we’ve got some very special classes of motorcycles that will be very much a part of the main programme.
“The Peter Craven Memorial is part of the fabric of Belle Vue, and we want to make sure we do justice to the meeting by bringing together a very strong and competitive field of riders.
“I wouldn’t want to pick a winner from among them. We’ve brought in quite a few of the big guns, who also happen to love this track, so I’m pretty confident in saying it’ll be one hell of a night.”
PETERBOROUGH have named Simon Lambert as their new captain for the 2018 season.
Lambert takes over from team-mate Ulrich Ostergaard in the skipper’s role, with the Panthers also confirming new No.1 Scott Nicholls is now a club asset.
Promoter Ged Rathbone said: “There’s no one specific reason for the change, but Simon is a bubbly character in the pits and has been with us for quite a while and knows how we work.
“From Ulrich’s point of view, it’s just a case of us wanting him to concentrate on his racing. He has been a good captain for us over the last three years.
“Scott is a big signing for us and to have him now on board as a full Panthers asset is great news for the club.”
GRAND PRIX superstar Martin Vaculik will make his Leicester debut in a sensational head-to-head with World Champion Jason Doyle at the Paul Chapman and Sons Arena on Monday.
Vaculik’s credentials will get the sternest possible early test against new Somerset No.1 Doyle, who spent two seasons with the Lions earlier in his career.
Vaculik said: “I’m very happy to be at Leicester. This is obviously a very tough start but this is why I want to race in the UK.
“I spoke to lots of people and there was a feeling that this track will help my racing style, it would be good for my career.
“We have a good team and I’m delighted team boss Simon Stead will be there too because we already have a good relationship.
“All the tracks in England are very different to Europe, this will be important for my racing and to gain extra experience.”
SATURDAY MARCH 24:
90TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION MEETING: Belle Vue 6pm
MALCOLM COLE MEMORIAL CUP: Eastbourne Forman IT Eagles v IT First Eagles OFF
SUNDAY MARCH 25:
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Peterborough v Lakeside 7pm
SIMON STEAD FAREWELL: Sheffield 4pm
MONDAY MARCH 26:
CHALLENGE: Leicester v Somerset 7.30
WEDNESDAY MARCH 28:
CHALLENGE: Birmingham v Coventry 7.30
Results Friday March 23, 2018
SCOTTISH CUP, 1st leg
Glasgow 50 (Claus Vissing 13+1)
Edinburgh 40 (Ricky Wells 11)
LEE RICHARDSON SPRING CLASSIC, Lakeside
1. Nick Morris (Swindon/Lakeside)
2. Adam Ellis (Swindon/Lakeside)
3. Richard Lawson (Somerset/Lakeside)
4. Kyle Newman (Leicester/Lakeside)