Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Craig Cook||2*||1*||3||3||9||2|
|2. Justin Sedgmen||3||2||3||1||9||0|
|3. Kevin Wolbert||3||2||2*||3||3||13||1|
|4. Erik Riss||1||0||3||3||7||0|
|5. Sam Masters||3||3||2||2*||2*||12||2|
|6. Max Clegg||2||0||0||1||3||0|
|7. Rob Branford||1*||2*||0||X||3||2|
Team Manager: Tony Jackson
|1. Kenneth Hansen||0||1||1||1||3||0|
|2. Ricky Wells||1||3||2||6||1||13||0|
|3. Rene Bach||2||2||2||2||0||8||0|
|4. Rusty Harrison||0||1*||0||E||1||1|
|5. Kyle Howarth||R||3||R||M||3||0|
|6. Nicky Barrett||0||0||1||1||0|
|7. Victor Palovaara||3||1||1*||1*||0||2||8||2|
Even though they haven’t done well at Armadale recently it was anticipated that Workington would run us close, especially with a strong number 7 guest in Palovaara. The match was close up to heat 8 but the Border Roofing Monarchs took an increasingly strong grip as the evening wore on.
Things started very well for Monarchs as Sedgmen gated in heat 1 with Cook joining him before the end of lap one, coming inside Wells.
Things might have been levelled in heat 2 but out reserves managed to pick off Nicki Barrett, though Palovaara was well clear for his second successive heat 2 win.
Wolbert celebrated his improved mechanical setup by racing away with heat 3, Partner Riss was at the back but riding steadily, and he took a point when Rusty came off.
Sam Masters dominated heat 4 with excellent backup from Rob Branford. Kyle Howarth was trying to get his machine under control but eventually dropped out, giving Palovaara the point.
Ricky Wells is always tough when he gets ahead and he led heat 5 all the way from Kevin Wolbert who was close throughout. Riss finished pointless but close to Hansen.
The start of heat 6 was a farce. Howarth leapt upwards and forwards, missing the tapes by a hairsbreadth, but the ref was inactive and allowed the heat to continue. Clear in front, even though he was riding across the corners, Kyle was quick enough to stay clear of Sedgmen and Cook.
Heat 7 was another comfortable Masters win with Clegg closing in on Bach and Harrison as the race finished.
Sedgmen needed a quick start from gate 4 to get in front of heat 8, but he did it. Nothing for Branford in this one.
Monarchs were leading 28-20 but up to this point there hadn’t been much to distinguish the match. However interest rose as the riders took the first turn in heat 9 and Erik Riss emerged ahead. Partner Wolbert slotted in close behind, and with no challenge coming the question was whether Erik could just ride steadily for four laps. It was never in doubt.
Rene Bach gated in heat 10 but this time Craig Cook got into second and set out to chase, no doubt furious at another missed gate. He stormed brilliantly past at the end of lap two.
It’s amazing how riders often go better when they are on a tactical ride. Who would have thought Wells could beat Sam Masters? Sam even made the gate but Ricky came round the outside of turn two and squeezed ahead up the back straight. A lap later Sam pulled off one of these unstoppable inside bursts of his, but amazingly Wells came back again with a cutback. Sam tried a last bend outside run and got very close but the visiting no. 2 won the race of the night.
That brought the score back to 39-30 and Comets were still in with a chance of a point.
They looked like going even closer when Wolbert completely messed up the start of heat 12. However Branford came off and under the fence on turn three and the heat had to be stopped.
Kevin got into second in the rerun and gradually wore down and passed Bach, an excellent ride by our German star.
Cook and Masters easily took 5 points from heat 13, in which Palovaara rode after Howarth was excluded on two minutes.
Excellent stuff from Riss again in heat 14, determined round the first turn and thereafter untroubled. Max Clegg was in amongst the Comets too battling for second until he lost it, though he eventually got a point when Rusty retired.
We had a new pair of Masters and Wolbert in the last heat and they gave us a side-by-side team riding demo for a closing 5-1.
Serious competitive action returns to the Armadale Stadium this Friday when Monarchs stage their first League Cup match of the 2015 season against the Workington Comets.
In an incredibly eventful Spring, the Comets sold Richard Lawson to Glasgow and Charles Wright to Somerset while simultaneously being forced to change three of their originally signed septet. There were even late doubts about their No.1, Kenneth Hansen, but a health scare proved to be nothing more than that.
The Danish rider had not intended to ride anywhere in 2015 but a serious family health situation also thankfully improved. This will be Hansen’s third Armadale match this year, the same as his opposite number, Craig Cook, Edinburgh’s captain and superb leading rider who will be keen to add to his ‘maximum’ tally.
American rider, Ricky Wells lines up at No.2, having done enough to justify being retained by the Comets from last year’s side. He has performed well at Armadale in the past but he faces Justin Sedgmen, a rider in blistering form which he has apparently carried over from his hugely successful first Monarchs season.
The returning Comets captain, Rene Bach lines up at No.3 and we’ve all seen in the past what a formidable rider he can be around Armadale. So it’s a big challenge for Monarchs’ Kevin Wolbert to match him because ‘The Kaiser’ looks to have some way to go before he regains complete mastery of his home track.
Next up at No.4 is Rusty Harrison, a spectacular one-time Monarch who always gives 100%. He was called in to replace Mason Campton who once again hit Australian visa problems. Rusty’s opposite number is young Erik Riss who is clearly determined to adapt his phenomenal long track skills to Premier League speedway.
Kyle Howarth is becoming something of a Workington veteran since he appears in their colours for the fourth successive year after a brief spell with Monarchs. But facing him at No.5 is the sensational Sam Masters whose uncompromising style and speed brings back memories of Frede Schott, the Monarchs legend of 2003.
A third Danish rider appears at first reserve for the Comets, Nicki Barrett who is signed on loan from Berwick. On the other side of the pits at No.6 for Monarchs is relative speedway newcomer Max Clegg, captain of Cradley Heathens, who already looks as though he will provide loads of excitement this year.
Comets’ final place was meant to go to Michael Palm-Toft, then to Matthew Wethers or maybe Chris Mills, but with final choice Nathan Greaves injured, in comes Glasgow’s Victor Palovaara. As for Monarchs No.7, Rob Branford, he could soon be pushing for a place in the top five on the basis of last week’s impressive showing.
Workington have already warmed up, winning away win at Redcar and equalling Newcastle over two legs, so they will arrive with high expectations, especially since the reserve change will strengthen them immeasurably perhaps by as much as Palovaara’s 10 points from 6 rides at Armadale last Friday.
Up to that point Monarchs would have been favourites to shade this close encounter but now they will have to all be at the very top of their form if Monarchs are not to begin their regular season with a home reverse. The team will need all your support so make sure you’re there in plenty of time for tapes up at 7.30.
EDINBURGH BORDER ROOFING MONARCHS: Craig Cook (capt.), Justin Sedgmen, Kevin Wolbert, Erik Riss, Sam Masters, Max Clegg, Rob Branford.
WORKINGTON THOMAS ARMSTRONG COMETS: Kenneth Hansen, Ricky Wells, Rene Bach (capt.), Rusty Harrison, Kyle Howarth, Nicki Barrett, Victor Palovaara (guest).
Friday 10th April 2015, 11:58pm
The Border Roofing Monarchs comfortably won their first home League Cup match 56-37 against Workington, though it was only over the last three heats that they stretched their advantage.
Friday 10th April 2015, 9:15pm
The Border Roofing Monarchs opened their defence of the League Cup with a 56 to 37 win over Workington. Kevin Wolbert top scored for the Monarchs with 13 and Ricky Wells got 13 for the Comets.
Friday 10th April 2015, 3:00pm
We have a glorious day at Armadale as we look forward to our first League Cup match of the season against Workington Comets.
Thursday 9th April 2015, 9:11pm
Rule changes brought in during the winter at the Promoters' AGM have allowed Workington to strengthen their team for the visit to Armadale on Friday night.
Wednesday 8th April 2015, 10:52am
The Border Roofing Monarchs race their first match in the qualifying stages of the League Cup when they face the highly-rated Workington Comets at Armadale on Friday.