The Parsons Peebles Monarchs returned to the top of the Championship table by beating Workington 52-40 at Armadale tonight. They achieved this in front of by far the biggest crowd of the season so far.
Alex Harkess said “I was happy we took the early lead because we were never strong enough without Mark Riss to kill the match off, but equally I felt we were always in control.. I wish Josh Pickering could gate but full marks to him for getting through the match with his hand injury”.
It was believed to be a match fraught with danger for the West Lothian side because they were missing star reserve Mark Riss, and Josh Pickering was riding with broken fingers in his left hand.
However Monarchs took the lead early on with heat advantages in the first three races, and never let the Comets get within striking distance thereafter, though it was only a 5-1 in heat 13 that finally secured the match points.
Workington had their team problems as well with Craig Cook missing due to his Grand Prix qualifying round tomorrow, and although Steve Worrall should have been a good guest, he had problems after an early crash in heat one.
This was an odd incident in which both Sam Masters and Steve Worrall came down on the way to the first turn, having tangled together. Home captain Masters had a painful hand but soldiered on and scored a paid maximum from four rides, while Steve Worrall suffered machine problems and was forced to switch machines. He never got going after that.
Josh Pickering reported “a throbbing hand” after the meeting but he gritted his teeth and picked up five points, overcoming some truly shocking starts. Reserve guest Dany Gappmaier started by winning heat 2, always a big help, but then ran a couple of lasts before finishing with a second place in heat 14.
The big scoring was at heat leader level. Masters was the only unbeaten rider but Ricky Wells after taking a defeat from the flying Jorgensen in heat 4, reeled off four wins.
Erik Riss started strongly with a win and a paid win but then ran into some bike problems which are currently dogging his performances.
After a poor run Max Clegg’s performances are under scrutiny, and he definitely showed improvement in scoring 6+2. He had a good win in heat 5 as Monarchs extended their advantage.
Mitchell Davey took points off his opposite number so all things considered, the team display was quite acceptable. Had Mark Riss been riding no doubt the Comets could have been finished off earlier – though the presence of Cook would have had the opposite effect!
The stylish and spectacular Jorgensen was the best visitor, winning a couple of heats, and both Mason Campton and Ty Proctor would have gone home happily from a track they sometimes struggle on. But the best support for Jorgensen came from reserve Matt Williamson, a smart lad who is making good progress.
The best race was heat 10 when Campton and Worrall teamed up ahead of Ricky Wells. Ricky pushed between them, forced Worrall wide and then shot past Campton as well. Heat 12 was a good 4-lap battle between Riss and Proctor, and there was an enjoyable heat 13 as Wells led leaving Masters to do a bit of passing and repassing before subduing Jorgensen.
It was a good warm up for the visit of Glasgow next week – but that one will be tougher!
Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Sam Masters||3||3||3||2*||11||1|
|2. Josh Pickering||1||1||2||1||5||0|
|3. Erik Riss||3||2*||2||2||0||9||1|
|4. Max Clegg||1||3||1*||1*||6||2|
|5. Ricky Wells||2||3||3||3||3||14||0|
|6. Dany Gappmaier||3||0||0||2||5||0|
|7. Mitchell Davey||1||1*||0||0||2||1|
Team Manager: Tony Jackson
|1. Stevie Worrall||2||0||1*||0||3||1|
|2. Mason Campton||X||1||3||2||1*||7||1|
|3. Ty Proctor||M||1*||2||3||6||1|
|4. Adam Roynon||R||2||0||F||2||0|
|5. Thomas Jorgensen||3||4||3||1||2||13||0|
|6. Matt Williamson||2||2||1||0||1||3||9||0|
|7. Rob Shuttleworth||F||0||0||0||0|
It’s back to Championship action at Armadale this Friday as we welcome the Workington Thomas Armstrong Comets to the Dale.
The Comets were not one of the highly regarded teams at seasons start with the Speedway Star correspondents tipping them not to challenge the playoff places but early results have been encouraging as they earned a replay in their Knockout Cup tie against Newcastle with both legs finishing 49-41. They also comfortably beat Sheffield at Derwent Park and we all saw how good a team they can be last Friday. Add to this the Comets almost caused the shock result of the season going down by the narrowest of margins 46-44 at Glasgow and we are in for a tough night.
Leading the Comets so far has been the talismanic figure of Craig Cook and if there is one thing we all know about Cookie it is just how much he drags his team mates along with him and the confidence he gives a team knowing they have someone capable of winning the big heats home and away.
Unfortunately for both the Comets and the fans in attendance on Friday we will not see Craig who will be en route to his GP qualifier. While this is a blow with the points the Comets had to play with they could pick just about any rider in the league and they have picked a good one with ex-Monarch Stevie Worrall stepping into the fold. We all know how good Stevie can be around Armadale and with his lightening quick gating he will take some beating this Friday.
Number 2 in the line-up is Aussie Mason Campton. Mason has been around these shores for a few seasons now and will be a regular visitor to Armadale this season seeing as he helps Ricky out in the pits when commitments allow. He is also another who has fallen foul to the visa restrictions over the last few years and is looking to make up for lost time. While he may not class Armadale as his favourite circuit he can look to his high score of 10+1 at the Dale to prove that on his night he can get his way around and with our weakened lower end he may well be looking to do some damage.
Another Aussie who has had a stop start few years due to visa issues is Ty Proctor. While not the same rider he was a few years back when he was one of the top dogs in the league Ty is still a very distinguished campaigner starting the season on a very attractive looking sub 7 average he will be a key man should the Comets challenge at the top end of the table this year.
Number 4 is local lad Adam Roynon. Remarkably now 28 Adam’s career has been blighted by injury after injury and these no doubt have impacted his scoring power. Now enjoying a relatively healthy run Adam has appeared to have forgotten the quickest way around our circuit but with 13 previous Armadale appearances including at least one paid double digit score in the past he is another who will be looking to improve on recent attempts.
Exciting Dane Thomas Jorgensen slots in at number 5. The crowd pleasing former Berwick man is a rider many Monarchs fans (myself included) would love to see pull on the Blue and Gold at some point. He has an all action style and his buoyancy and attitude make him a firm favourite. Another who is devastatingly fast when he makes the gate he perhaps needs to do this more consistently to make the next step in his career.
Number 6 and a revelation so far this season is Matt Williamson. Williamson has been on the scene for a couple of years now but this year he has really made a huge jump in his performances. Averaging close to 6 points a match from his below 4 starting figure is testament to this and with our scoring power towards the bottom end perhaps being nullified a little the Bury born man will be looking for another strong performance on a track he has performed well on in the past.
Last but not least in the Comets septet is Rob Shuttleworth. Shuttleworth will not have many found memories of Armadale as in his only appearance at the Dale so far he made it as far as the first bend in his first race before coming off and breaking his collarbone. Another given his chance due to the new reserve 2 point average, he is making the most of his opportunity and has been solid so far improving his average by more than half a point and the Comets will be happy with this so far.
For the Parsons Peebles Monarchs well we go in to this match a little battered and bruised and missing our key man this season. First to our walking wounded with both Sam and Josh riding on through the pain barrier for the cause this weekend. Sam injured his shoulder in the heat 5 incident at Ashfield last Saturday that also left Josh crocked and while he pulled out of a test match for Australia during the week this was more to rest up with a busy spell ahead. As mentioned Josh also came a cropper in the same incident and Ashfield and has been diagnosed with 2 broken fingers and some tendon damage in his hand. It is well known that speedway riders are a different breed though and Josh will give it a go this week describing himself as 85% fit. With the form shown so far it would be hard to argue that rider replacement would be better than 85% of Josh on track.
While the rest of the team will be as per normal we are forced into one change with Mark Riss missing due to SGP qualifying commitments we welcome Berwick’s Dany Gappmaier as a guest. While no one has come close to the scoring power shown by Mark from reserve this season Dany is the closest to this and we thank him for taking the booking.
So a battered bruised and undermanned line-up for the Monarchs this week but when the chips are down that’s normally when these boys pull something out of the bag and another top night of racing lies ahead as the boys look to maintain their early season pace setting form. Gates open at 6.30 for a 7.30 start, see you there!
Friday 5th May 2017, 9:52pm
The Parsons Peebles Monarchs defeated Workington by 52 to 40 at Armadale on Friday night to go back to the top of the Championship. Ricky Wells top scored with 14 and Thomas Jorgensen had 13 for the Comets.
Wednesday 3rd May 2017, 10:00am
The Parsons Peebles Monarchs return to league action this week as they welcome the Workington Comets to Armadale on Friday night.
Tuesday 2nd May 2017, 10:00am
Josh Pickering faces a battle to be fit for Friday night's clash with Workington after breaking two fingers on his left hand in the heat 5 crash with Sam Masters at Ashfield on Saturday.