The Parsons Peebles Monarchs put in a battling display but ultimately went down 53-37 to Sheffield tonight in a result that ends our interest in this KO Cup going down 96-84 on aggregate.
In all fairness the Tigers were on top throughout and a mixture of strong gating and aggressive riding had them in control from the off. As is becoming a worrying trend for the Monarchs the match started on the end of a 5-1 reverse and with only a slim 4 point lead from the home leg this had been wiped out already.
The Monarchs reserve pair who both had their moments on the night briefly brought the visitors back into the aggregate lead with a heat 2 4-2 but the home men raced to another 5-1 in heat 3 and they were never behind on aggregate from there on in.
Monarchs captain Sam Masters having this to say afterwards ‘it’s a tough place to come and the home guys are pretty dialled in, I stopped Josh’s (Grajczonek) max and that’s pretty tough to do. I had some good races, I’m spewing about heat 15 but at this track you really have to stay on top of the set up and I didn’t quite have the speed in the last one. It’s a shame that it’s not the cup second leg tomorrow as I think we would beat them but it is what it is and we now focus on the rest of the season and the league is the main goal.’
The match really got away from the Armadale men in a three heat spell in the middle of the match when the home men rattled off a 4-2 followed by a brace of 5-1’s inspired by inform ex-Monarch Robert Branford and while the Monarchs were making good gates perhaps a little bit of naivety could be found in the lines they chose as the Tigers routinely passed them with apparent ease.
Masters showed he is back to his best form with 3 heat wins but he lacked the consistent back-up required to keep the score tight and 5 heat wins for the Monarchs to the Tigers 10 tells the story.
That is not to take anything away from the hosts who were clearly up for the challenge and did not let up with some skilful and forceful overtaking manoeuvres throughout an entertaining night played out on a glorious evening in South Yorkshire.
So the Monarchs participation in the cup is now at an end and all attention turns back to the league with the very same Sheffield side due at Armadale tomorrow night.
Team Manager: Simon Stead
|1. Josh Grajczonek||3||3||3||2||3||14||0|
|2. Todd Kurtz||2*||1||2*||0||5||2|
|3. Lasse Bjerre||3||2||1*||3||2*||11||2|
|4. Josh Bates||2*||0||2||1||5||1|
|5. Kyle Howarth||3||2*||2||0||7||1|
|6. Rob Branford||2||3||3||0||3||11||0|
|7. Jack Parkinson-Blackburn||0||E||0||0||0|
Team Manager: John Campbell
|1. Sam Masters||1||3||3||3||1||11||0|
|2. Mark Riss||0||1||0||1||2||0|
|3. Erik Riss||1||1||1*||2||5||1|
|4. Josh Pickering||0||0||2||2||4||0|
|5. Ricky Wells||1*||2||3||1||0||7||1|
|6. Max Clegg||3||0||0||1*||4||1|
|7. Mitchell Davey||1||2||1||0||4||0|
The Parsons Peebles Monarchs may very well need to put in their finest performance of the season at Owlerton this evening (Thursday) as we face off against the Sheffield Tigers in KO Cup action.
The Monarchs head south with only a 4 point lead to defend and with the Tigers in fantastic form around their home shale so far we probably travel as underdogs.
How many times over the last few years have we seen a Monarchs team step up to the plate when the chips are down though and no one is travelling to Yorkshire expecting defeat.
As mentioned the Tigers have been largely impenetrable at home so far this season with 6 wins out of 6 and last week against Glasgow was the first time they had not breached the 50 point barrier at Championship level around the wide open Owlerton spaces so far this season but that close result for our neighbours along the m8 is one we have to take encouragement from that the hosts are not invincible.
One thing that is nice to see from this match is that both teams are as programmed and race with a full 1-7 of course this is the norm for the Monarchs line-up but cannot be said about teams that head to Armadale as we regularly see changes so it will be good to see the scheduled 14 riders do battle to see who comes out on top.
Sheffield’s strength so far this season has come at the top end of the team where 4 of the top 5 currently have averages in excess of 8 points. Revelation of the season has been ex-Monarch Kyle Howarth. Howarth has re-dedicated himself to the sport this season with an improved fitness regime and investment in his machinery and the 23 year old is seeing the rewards. Howarth forms a powerful spearhead with Josh Grajczonek who is now long established as one of the top men in the league. A strong middle order of Lasse Bjerre and Josh Bates provide consistent heat advantages also and we will need to nullify this pair to progress.
A solid Tigers outfit is completed by Todd Kurtz who is another who loves his home shale and one of the better reserve pairings in the league in further ex-Monarch Rob Branford and highly touted youngster Jack Parkinson-Blackburn.
So it is a strong looking home side who will be looking to justify their tags as pre-season favourites to lift honours.
That is not to say there is not Owlerton experience and expertise in the Monarchs line-up. Ricky Wells is of course a former Tiger from back in 2012 & 13, Sam Masters has enjoyed success there as both a PLRC winner and runner up when the event was held at the Yorkshire circuit. Mark Riss enjoyed a fantastic night guesting for the Tigers earlier in the season racing to a paid 15 score against a strong looking Ipswich Witches and his brother Erik was paid for double figures in his visit last season.
Of course this will be Josh Pickering’s debut at the circuit but on the back of his recent pickup in form and on a size of track he seems to enjoy it shouldn’t take our young Aussie long to get among the points. As for our reserves it is not particularly the kind of track Max usually excels but as a former Tigers mascot he does have years of experience there and although Mitch will definitely want to forgot the accident that threatened his career which took place at Owlerton he is another who would probably say he prefers the bigger faster circuits.
So a big task ahead but generally when the going gets tough that’s when the Monarchs get going and while it would take a big effort that is not to say that we cannot come through tonight with the result required and a semi final spot against Ipswich in hand.
Thursday 1st June 2017, 9:28pm
The Parsons Peebles Monarchs went down 53-37 at Sheffield this evening meaning an aggregate defeat of 96-84 and an exit from the KO Cup at the quarter final stage.
Tuesday 30th May 2017, 9:13pm
Four weeks ago we re-launched our Introduce a Friend scheme to allow our regular supporters to obtain an admission ticket to allow them to bring a friend, or perhaps even a lapsed supporter, to the next meeting for free.
Monday 29th May 2017, 8:19pm
The Monarchs Fans Trust have been a huge help to the Club, particularly with financial support, since being set up in early 2015. Now they are branching out in another direction but with the same objective as before to help secure the future of Edinburgh Monarchs.