Edinburgh Monarchs v Ipswich Witches - 15th May 2015 | Match Centre | Edinburgh Monarchs Speedway | Official Club Website
Edinburgh Monarchs
Ipswich Witches
Premier League
Friday 15th May 2015
Armadale Stadium

This week's scheduled fixture sees the former Elite League side, the Ipswich Witches travel up to Armadale from Suffolk with one of the most exciting and cosmopolitan line-ups in the Premier League, hoping to dent the Edinburgh Monarchs unbeaten home record.

Chris Louis certainly has the knack of building attractive teams although, as seems to be the norm with most sides at the moment, they will only fields a six-man side because their third top average rider, Cameron Heeps, suffered a compound broken wrist at Berwick last week.

Up front at No.1 for the Witches is a British rider now in his thirteenth consecutive Elite League season, 28-year-old Danny King from Maidstone in Kent. He'd have expected to be pitted against fellow Team GB rider, Craig Cook but of course it's Sam 'masterful' Masters.

At No.2, Monarchs will be hoping their young German long track star, Erik Riss, has no reaction to his recently broken collarbone. Similarly, 21-year-old Gino Manzares from Amaheim in Californian returns to the Ipswich side after having fractured his shoulder blade.

Monarchs' senior German rider at No.3, Kevin Wolbert is still striving to get back to his absolutely top form and he faces the 26-year-old Argentinian who rides on an Italian licence, Nico Covatti who rode three season with EL Birmingham and finished last year at Sheffield.

It's Justin Sedgmen who is still settling in to life at No.4 who has the rider replacement on the other side of the pits with all the Witches apart from Danny King being eligible to take the extra rides. I'm sure Ipswich would have preferred a fit Cameron Heeps all the same.

Craig Cook is another who has been struggling a bit with his fitness after his recent nasty fall. At No.5 he faces 25-year-old Rohan Tungate from Kurri Kurri, Australia, a one-time road racer who rode with Poole in 2013 and was Ipswich No.1 and Rider of the Year in 2014.

Max Clegg, at first reserve, is clearly improving in his first serious run in the Premier League but Ipswich are strong at reserve, first with 20-year-old Stefan Nielsen from Denmark who first starred with Mildenhall and has since ridden for a number of Premier League clubs.

At No.7, the improving Rob Branford will also have to be on his best form against the Ipswich captain, 31-year-old Ritchie Hawkins from Peterborough who started out in motocross before speedway where he has now settled in as Ipswich's Most Improved Rider 2014.

There really is no sign of respite anywhere for the Monarchs who will have to be at their very best to stay on top in this one. They have thrown away a few points at home recently and still won, but any slip-ups or sluggishness from the tapes could be more critical this week.

If you like your speedway close and exciting, this fixture has the making of one of the most attractive matches of the year. The addition of Danny King could be the cutting-edge ingredient Ipswich have lacked since their return to the Premier League.

All in all, this is definitely not a match to be missed. Be sure to take your usual place among friends on the terraces to cheer your side to victory. Tapes up at 7.30 sharp.

Likely line-ups:

EDINBURGH BORDER ROOFING MONARCHS: Sam Masters, Erik Riss, Kevin Wolbert, Justin Sedgmen, Craig Cook (capt.), Max Clegg, Rob Branford.

IPSWICH 'SACKERS' WITCHES: Danny King, Gino Manzares, Nico Covatti, R/R for Cameron Heeps, Rohan Tungate, Stefan Nielsen, Ritchie Hawkins (capt.).