|1. William Lawson||3||3||3||3||3||15||0|
|2. Thomas H Jonasson||E||2||3||1||6||1|
|3. Derek Sneddon||2||T||2||2||6||1|
|4. Ryan Fisher||1||2||3||2||8||3|
|5. Matthew Wethers||3||2||2||2||2||11||4|
|6. Andrew Tully||3||3||3||3||3||15||0|
|7. Aaron Summers||2||2||2||1||7||4|
|1. Andrew Moore||1||0||0||1||2||1|
|2. Carl Wilkinson||2||1||1||1||5||0|
|3. Magnus Karlsson||3||1||2||3||0||9||0|
|4. Scott Richardson||E||R||0||0||0|
|5. Richard Hall||R||1||1||0||1||1||4||0|
|6. Scott James||1||0||0||0||1||0|
|7. Byron Bekker||0||1||0||0||1||0|
Scunthorpe didn't look strong enough to give us problems, especially with reserve Bergstrom injured, but our side were outstanding in any case and won at a canter.
It was a particularly impressive night for our first three riders to record maximums in official matches this season - William Lawson and Andrew Tully flew to full maximums while Matthew Wethers was content to support his partner for much of the evening and record a paid 5-ride maximum.
We wouldn't want it like this every week but it was a pleasure to see the team going so well. Only Magnus Karlsson with 2 wins achieved anything in opposition, indeed other than an engine failure in heat 1 for Thomas Jonasson, none of the other Scorpions beat a Monarch.
That Jonasson stoppage plus Karlsson's win in heat 3 meant we were restricted to a 4-point lead after heat 3. This came as a result of a heat 2 5-1 in which Aaron Summers got into terrible trouble on the opening bends but came back to pick of the opposition reserves.
We then embarked on a series of 5-1s, six in all, to kill off the match. Derek Sneddon had a tapes exclusion in heat 5, in which Fisher had a passing duel with Wilkinson before securing second spot behind reserve replacement Tully.
Karlsson took a TR in heat 7 but was swallowed up round the first turn by Tully and Wethers with a brilliant double pass. Magnus actually fell on the final lap but remounted for the point.
Most of the hard work was done round the first corner by the home riders but there were two exceptions. Karlsson gated on Lawson in heat 10, but William coolly used his inside line cutback to eventually ease his way past. He is very hard to beat round Armadale these days.
In the final heat Richard Hall had his best ride, holding second for a couple of laps and blocking Matthew's inside line. The Wethers answer was to move out and pass him round the outside.
All very efficiently and skilfully done by everyone, but harder tasks lie ahead, especially with upcoming absences for under-21 events.
HERMISTON MONARCH OF THE MATCH: Andrew Tully
This week's visitors to Armadale are Scunthorpe Scorpions making their first ever visit to the track on Premier League business. The return match at Normanby Road is on Monday.
During the winter months, teams are sometimes assembled which look as though they will almost certainly be challenging for honours. Many thought that way about this Scunthorpe squad.
After all they had three riders dropping down from the Elite League all with a good deal of top level experience. They were Andrew Moore (from Swindon), Magnus Karlsson (from Wolverhampton) and Richard Hall (from Peterborough). Add to that trio former Newcastle heat leader, Carl Wilkinson, and the highly rated Swede, Viktor Bergstrom, and their top five stood comparison with nearly any other team in the league.
However, although still a team to be reckoned with, they have not produced the sort of results many expected of them. It's true that they won at Newcastle in their Premier Trophy match there but they have twice lost at home to Sheffield in the Knock Out Cup and Premier Trophy and were held to a draw at home by Redcar also in the Premier Trophy. It could, of course, be argued that the riders had little home advantage in these early matches as they were as unfamiliar with their track as their visitors. However, the Newcastle match apart, (when they had two former Diamonds' riders in their ranks, Carl Wilkinson and Byron Bekker who scored 15+3 of their points) their away form has been unconvincing. Until their narrow defeat at Glasgow last Sunday the highest score the Scorpions have managed (other than at Newcastle) had been 39 points at Stoke.
The Scorpions heat leaders have been fairly inconsistent so far and have not often had the necessary support from the lower order particularly in away matches to cause their hosts much concern. Viktor Bergstrom, signed on a 7 point assessed average, has now moved to reserve resulting in improved performances leading to greater confidence. However most away tracks will be new to him and Armadale is certainly one of them. Benji Compton has moved from reserve into the main body of the team but is finding decent scores hard to come by. Byron Bekker has made great strides for a first season rookie reserve but seems to have a good bit to go before he becomes a real force.
The main scoring power from the Scorpions comes from their top pairing of Moore and Wilkinson, both experienced campaigners. Contain this pair and Scunthorpe are likely to struggle. Magnus Karlsson is no stranger to Armadale having ridden for the Monarchs in their championship winning season in 2003 before joining Hull for their championship winning season in 2004. He had some impressive scores for Wolverhampton last year and will be a danger but his partner, Benji Compton, is surely unlikely to be a match for any of the Monarchs' riders. The same can be said of Byron Bekker whose only Premier League match at Armadale was in October 2005 riding for Newcastle when he scored 1 point from 4 rides. Viktor Bergstrom is an unknown quantity but against the strength of the Monarchs' current line-up it would be sensational if he were to cause much damage.
The visitors' captain, Richard Hall, last made an appearance at Armadale in September 2005 riding for Sheffield in a Young Shield qualifier scoring 2 points from his four rides but he is a much better rider than in those days. Nonetheless his form has been up and down since the season started. His best away score has been at Sheffield last March when he scored 10 points from 5 races, 6 of them from a Tactical Ride.
No match should ever be taken lightly but this is one which the Monarchs should be able to win comfortably. With the side back at full strength for a change, the all round power of the team should be too much for a side most of whom (Magnus Karlsson apart) have no real form round the Dale.
The line-ups will be:
Edinburgh: William Lawson, Thomas Jonasson, Derek Sneddon, Ryan Fisher, Matthew Wethers, Andrew Tully, Aaron Summers.
Scunthorpe: Andrew Moore, Carl Wilkinson, Magnus Karlsson, Benji Compton, Richard Hall (captain), Viktor Bergstrom, Byron Bekker.
May the better team win and may the last sentence of the preview not come back to bite me!
Friday 23rd May 2008, 0:31am
Three maximums and seven fine performances brought the Monarchs a record-breaking 68-22 home win over Scunthorpe at Armadale.
Tuesday 20th May 2008, 5:49pm
The Scotwaste Monarchs return to Premier League action to pick up the momentum on their tremendous start to the season with matches against Scunthorpe home and away.