NEWS Wednesday 6th September 2017, 10:00am
The Parsons Peebles Monarchs face a double challenge this week as they host both the Workington Comets and Ipswich Witches in an SGB Championship double header as the race for a playoff place nears its conclusion.
First up is the Workington Comets who despite a recent poor run of form can certainly not be discounted. The Comets are led by Monarchs legend Craig Cook and Cook has enjoyed the year of his career. The Cumbrian being crowned British Champion for the first time and it also looks like he will become a full time Grand Prix rider next season after an excellent performance in the GP Challenge in Russia last month.
Cook is well backed up by Ty Proctor and Thomas Jorgensen and with James Sarjeant at the bottom end a tough match lies ahead.
If the Comets match is a starter then the main course may well be the tussle with Ipswich. The Witches currently sit second in the league and are already guaranteed a playoff spot.
The Suffolk outfit have been hit with the injury bug recently with both Cameron Heeps and Justin Sedgmen currently sidelined.
That does not mean this will be an easy task for the Monarchs though as the Witches are brilliantly led by Danny King and Rory Schlein and with strength throughout the Witches will be keen to avenge the Monarchs shock win on their home track earlier in the season.
A massive boost for the Monarchs is the return of captain Sam Masters this coupled with the recent return of Mark Riss means the Monarchs will go into the double header with their named 1-7 for the first time since mid June and co-promoter Alex Harkess hopes this will be the deciding factor saying “Some of our riders are now returning from injury and maybe we will see what we have been looking for a full 7 man performance. This has been the aim all year but for one reason or another has not really happened. It’s in our hands hand though and we just have to go out and do it.”
With double the heats to fit in we have an earlier start time this week with tapes up at 7pm sharp for the first match against Workington we then expect around a 20 minute gap between the two matches as the track is prepared. Please also note that the supporter’s bus will leave Edinburgh half an hour earlier also.
Teams for the SGB Championship matches at Armadale on Friday 8th September (start time 7:00pm, gates open 6:15pm), are:
PARSONS PEEBLES MONARCHS: Sam Masters (Capt), Mark Riss, Ricky Wells, Josh Pickering, Erik Riss, Max Clegg, Mitchell Davey.
WORKINGTON THOMAS ARMSTRONG COMETS: Craig Cook (Capt), Mason Campton, Ty Proctor, Matt Williamson, Thomas Jorgensen, James Sarjeant, Ryan MacDonald (Guest)
IPSWICH TRU7.COM WITCHES: Danny King, Justin Sedgmen R/R, Thomas Jorgensen (Guest), Kyle Newman, Rory Schlein, Nathan Greaves, Connor Mountain
COMETS CANNOT BE TAKING LIGHTLY: While this has been a frustrating season for the Comets with the playoff positions having been out of reach for most of the season this is a team that will still be looking for pride as the season ends. Craig Cook can lay claim to being the top man in the league and is still the track record holder at Armadale and he is ably backed up by Thomas Jorgensen and Ty Proctor who have strong Armadale records. Mason Campton is enjoying his finest season on these shores and James Sarjeant will be out to prove this season has just been a blip and he had a strong showing in the Caledonian Riders Championship last week
WITCHES WILL BE TOUGH: The Monarchs recent victory at Foxhall was a surprise to many especially as the Witches had only dropped one point at home all season up to that point. The Witches will be looking to make amends and arrive with one of the most powerful teams in the league that is also full of Armadale experience. As previously mentioned Rory Schlein is a former league winning Monarch and was a finalist in this season's Scottish Open at Armadale. Fellow top 5 team members Danny King and guest Thomas Jorgensen have recorded double digit returns at the Dale previous and while his scoring may not show this Kyle Newman is a self confessed fan of the circuit. The reserves cannot be discounted either as both Nathan Greaves and Connor Mountain defeated there opposite numbers in the Witches earlier visit back in June.
LAST MEETING: The Caledonian Riders Championship was run successfully at the third time of asking, home man Max Clegg taking the trophy. Kieran Douglas claiming the junior rider’s championship.
NEXT MEETING: Its derby time as the Glasgow Tigers head east. The Monarchs will be hopeful of having clinched their playoff place by then but if not this could be a huge match not that any derby is ever anything but.