We use that as a heading because it looked such an unlikely outcome for much of the evening. If we’ve ever had cause to use the phrase “We got out of jail” then it was tonight with a 48-40 result in favour of the Parsons Peebles Monarchs.
Ricky Wells emerged as the top home scorer one week after he damaged his ribs in a crash last Friday. He said “I had an ignition problem in my first ride, and I thought it was going to be one of these nights – I’ve had a few of them this year. But I was happy with the way I finished especially winning heat 15 which I haven’t done for a while. Pleased the team got the win and I hope Mark is OK.
“The track was difficult but we were looking at the weather forecasts and there was no rain forecast. So they watered as they had to do and then I think we had a shower for about an hour. They are not getting much luck.”
We had trailed 18-24 after heat 7 and still by 35-36 at heat 12, so how did Monarchs win? On another lively track we managed to score two 5-0 heat advantages, in heats 8 and 14, so that certainly had something to do with it. On the other hand we did have three important engine failures. And brilliant displays by Ricky Wells and Sam Masters were also crucial to the final tally.
The home heat leader trio in fact scored 30 points from only 11 completed rides, with Erik Riss the fastest man on show.
It really was some night. A few crashes, the most serious involving Mark Riss who has in the end been diagnosed with dislocated fingers, and also some mechanical problems with three riders stopping in the first four heats and then Sam in the last race.
Mitchell Davey (heat 2) and Ricky Wells (heat 4) both stopped in their first heats, and Justin Sedgmen for the Witches stopped in heat 3. Later Sam Masters stopped round the first turn of heat 15.
However Ricky came back with a brilliant 11 points from his next four heats and both Masters and Sedgmen had otherwise excellent evenings.
Monarchs had dropped behind when Wells stopped in heat 4, and things got worse. Rory Schlein beat Sam to the third turn in heat 6 and Sam came to grief trying to turn tight. This had disastrous consequences for Mark Riss who narrowly avoided Sam but clattered the home straight fence, with the result that he was ferried off to Hospital after a lengthy delay.
In the following heat Ricky Wells had to battle past Heeps for second spot behind Sedgmen and and that point the score was 18-24.
Kyle Newman fell while leading heat 8 though, and Nathan Greaves fell early in the rerun, gifting a 5-0 to Max Clegg (the Injury Rider Replacement) and Josh Pickering who were both finding conditions tricky.
Heat 9 looked like being shared with flying Erik Riss on his way to his third win, but Rory Schlein (who stared with two wins) came off while protecting his partner, another gift which put us a point ahead!
Masters brilliantly passed race leader Sedgmen by going wide into the dirt to share heat 10, and Ricky Wells did it from the gate against Danny King in heat 11. Still one point ahead. Sedgmen then became the first man to take a point from Erik Riss, with Connor Mountain taking third from Pickering, so with three races left the Witches were back in front!
Heat 13 was thus the biggest heat of the season so far. Monarchs rode a brilliant opening lap to get on a 5-1 but Danny King fell attempting a big outside move, so it had to be rerun. This time Rory Schlein got into second behind Wells but another superb wide pass by Masters set up the 5-1, and suddenly Monarchs were 3 ahead.
Still heat 14 was going to be vital, and Cameron Heeps led on the opening lap. Nathan Greaves fell at the back, and amazingly Heeps also fell on the fourth corner which meant both Witches were ruled out of the rerun and for the second time, Clegg and Pickering took 5 points to ensure a win on the night.
Ipswich now needed an advantage from the last race to get a point, but even though Sam Masters didn’t get past the opening bends, another brilliant Ricky Wells win left the unfortunate visitors pointless.
Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Sam Masters||3||X||3||2*||E||8||1|
|2. Mark Riss||0||0||0|
|3. Erik Riss||3||3||3||2||11||0|
|4. Max Clegg||1||0||3||1||3||8||0|
|5. Ricky Wells||E||2||3||3||3||11||0|
|6. Josh Pickering||3||2||2*||0||2*||9||2|
|7. Mitchell Davey||E||1||0||0||1||0|
Team Manager: Richie Hawkins
|1. Danny King||2||2||2||X||6||0|
|2. Kyle Newman||1*||1*||X||1*||3||3|
|3. Justin Sedgmen||E||3||3||3||1*||10||1|
|4. Cameron Heeps||2||1||1*||X||4||1|
|5. Rory Schlein||3||3||0||1||1||8||0|
|6. Connor Mountain||1*||1||1||3||1|
|7. Nathan Greaves||2||2*||F||2||X||6||1|
Another huge battle ahead for the Parsons Peebles Monarchs this Friday as we welcome the Ipswich TRU7.com Witches to Armadale in league action.
This is one that many fans are viewing as the toughest battle the Monarchs have faced so far this season with some thinking the home men are underdogs heading into the fixture a scenario that can’t have happened many times in our spell at the Dale.
The Witches were tipped as one of the main challengers at the start of the season and so far have lived up to their billing although they will be hoping for improvement away from their home Foxhall circuit that they have turned into a fortress.
The Witches have not had their troubles to seek so far with regards injuries with 2 permanent changes being forced on them alongside the temporary replacement of Kyle Newman early in the season. The line-up appears to be settling down now though and with as fearsome top 5 as there is in the league with plenty of Armadale experience and pedigree a tasty fixture lies ahead.
First up in that top 5 is reigning British champion (until Monday at least) Danny King. King is widely regarded as one off the top men in the Championship and is a big contributor everywhere the Witches go. He has been involved in some enthralling races around the Dale and with a paid 15 score among other double digit returns in his past he will be looking to set the stall out for the Witches and make a mark as early as heat 1 and his battles with our top men will be a sight to behold.
A strong looking opening pairing sees Kyle Newman slot in at number 2. Newman is perhaps the weakest of the visiting top 5 based on Armadale form but as a former number 1 and 5 at Plymouth most of his matches here have involved riding in more difficult heats than he will face from the number 2 slot. Newman has had an injury plagued start to the season and this has caused a slight dip in scoring power so far but he now appears to be turning the corner and having recently been dropped by Premiership outfit Poole he will be looking to impress.
Number 3 in the Suffolk men’s line-up is a rider who needs very little introduction in Justin Sedgmen. There is not much more that can be said about Sedgy a rider who in 2 years with the Monarchs picked up 2 league titles, 2 league cup titles, a KO cup title and a fours championship title not to mention a hell of a lot of friends at the club. We wished Justin all the best when he decided he wanted to take the step up to the top tier last year before Ipswich brought him back to the second tier to replace the injured Nico Covatti. Justin certainly showed he has not forgotten the quickest way around the Dale though as he came from the back to take the Harrison’s Scottish Open back on the opening night of the season and if we can keep him quiet tonight it will go a long way to securing all 3 points.
Joining Sedgy in the engine room of the visitors is young Aussie Cameron Heeps. Heeps is one who perhaps has not made the strides many expected from him and is now into his 7th year on these shores. This seems to be the year Heeps is taking that next step though and he currently has put 2.5 points on his season starting average. Many will also remember that Heeps was voted visiting rider of the year by the Monarchs fans back in 2014 after a sensational performance in the cup semi final, a repeat of that performance this week and the home men’s unbeaten record may well disappear.
Another Monarch’s legend helps complete the quintet in the form of the ‘Roo Boy’ Rory Schlein. It is hard to believe it has now been 13 years since we last saw Rory in a Monarchs race jersey but time has not lessened the level of goodwill the Monarchs faithful have towards Rory and he will go down in Monarchs folklore as one of the members of the 2003 team that brought our first ever league championship success. Rory has been a regular visitor over those years in the Scottish Open and once again showed his pedigree by making the final of this year’s event. The drop down to the second tier appears to have reinvigorated Rory also as he had added 1.5 points to his starting average and also currently sports a remarkable 9.5 point average in the Premiership for Wolves.
Of course with that level of power in the top 5 something has to give in team building and for Ipswich this year it was at reserve where they decided to start the season with a pair of 2 point reserves in the hope that they would hold their own and number 6 Connor Mountain has certainly done that so far. Mountain has done well to push his average up by almost 0.7 of a point and has been a solid contributor and it will be interesting to see how he fares on his first visit to Armadale at this level.
Completing the Witches is recent signing Nathan Greaves. Greaves was brought in to replace the unfortunate Danyon Hume who suffered a badly broken arm in what was a major blow to the Witches as Hume was having a breakthrough season more than doubling his starting average. Greaves has not let the side down though since being introduced and appears to be making the most of also having Premiership experience being as he is a member of the Wolverhampton outfit also. Greaves has never shown a real liking for Armadale in the past but again this was in his more formative years and he appears to be a different rider this year who will certainly cause our guys problems at the bottom end of the team.
So a strong and experienced looking Witches side make the long trek north hoping to lower our colours and also chase the top spot in the SGB Championship table and our Blue and Gold heroes will need to be at their very best to take the spoils.
The home men will line up with our full 1-7 despite injury fears over Max and particularly Ricky, both were feeling second hand after their crashes last Friday with Ricky admitting he would not have been fit to ride had our trip to Newcastle went ahead last Sunday however a few days rest has Ricky raring to go as he took his place for Rye House on Wednesday night.
One change to our riding order sees Josh drop to reserve. This is something that he should be relishing as with his recent return to form coupled with the ability to take extra rides meaning some bumper pay days should hopefully be ahead for the Aussie and with the form Max has shown over the last few weeks moving back into the main body should hold no fears.
The forecast is set fair, the opposition look strong and primed to challenge and our boys will be out their defending their league topping position with everything they have, what more could you ask for on a Friday night with only one place to see it and that’s trackside at Armadale. See you there!
Saturday 17th June 2017, 4:30pm
We now have the latest news on Mark Riss who was injured in a heat 6 crash at Armadale on Friday evening. Initially he was take to the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh but after the diagnosis of his hand injury he was then transferred to St John's Hospital in Livingston.
Friday 16th June 2017, 10:34pm
The Parsons Peebles Monarchs defeated Ipswich Witches by 48 to 40 at Armadale on Friday night. Erik Riss and RickyWells scored11 for the home team and Justin Sedgmen got 9 for the Witches.
Wednesday 14th June 2017, 5:31pm
The Ipswich Witches head to Armadale this Friday looking to put a massive dent in the Parsons Peebles Monarchs SGB Championship hopes.
Tuesday 13th June 2017, 9:13pm
Ricky Wells tumbled out of the meeting on Friday night after a heat 11 crash left him battered and bruised down his left side. However, he intends to ride on this week lining up for his Premiership team, Rye House, in their home match against Belle Vue on Wednesday.