Glasgow Tigers get season off to winning start with Scottish Cup success

New signing Jack Thomas got his Tigers career off to a flier (pic by Ian Adam)
New signing Jack Thomas got his Tigers career off to a flier (pic by Ian Adam)

Jack Thomas was a Scottish Cup match winner for Glasgow Tigers in a stunning debut display against Edinburgh Monarchs.

Tigers opened the new season with a 50-40 win over their rivals at the Peugeot Ashfield Stadium in their Scottish Cup first leg encounter.

Teenager Thomas was only signed to race for the Tigers on Tuesday - but the 18-year-old stormed to two race victories, including the heat 14 win that handed his side victory in the first leg.

It was a night to remember for the men in red and white as debutants Claus Vissing, Paul Starke and Lewis Kerr all bagged at least three race wins each - while the reshaped Ashfield track provided some terrific close racing.

Thomas, who had never raced the Glasgow circuit before the meeting, was struggling to put his feelings into words after being handed the man of the match award by fans.

He 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.

"I'm back on my favourite engine, the one I rode when I first started riding. It's just something else, I love it. I'm going to stick with set-ups and hopefully get quicker and quicker.

"I'm going to carry on and keep my cool, and see what I can come through with. I'm not going to pressure myself too much because that's when you make mistakes. I'm just going to keep going as I am and keep my feet on the floor."

It was a nervy start by the Tigers - who had to race without Chris Harris as he was forced to travel home due family reasons. Richie Worrall, then James Sarjeant, broke the tapes twice in the first heat.

But few could have predicted that Thomas would fly from the start line and take a comfortable heat two victory to set the tone for his night.

The visitors fought hard, and found themselves ahead after heat six, with Erik Riss in particular impressing.

The home team rallied late on, though, a 5-1 in heats 14 and 15 sealing the 50-40 win to seal a 10-point lead going into next Friday's second leg.

GLASGOW 50: Claus Vissing 13+1, Paul Starke 12+1, Lewis Kerr 9+1, Jack Thomas 7, Richie Worrall 6, James Sarjeant 3+1, Chris Harris r/r
EDINBURGH 40: Ricky Wells 11, Erik Riss 9+2, Matt Williamson 8+2, Mark Riss 7, Max Ruml 3+2, Josh Pickering 2, Joel Andersson 0