Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Sam Masters||3||3||3||3||1||13||0|
|2. Josh Pickering||1||2*||3||0||6||1|
|3. Erik Riss||3||3||X||1||7||0|
|4. Max Clegg||0||0||2||0||2||0|
|5. Ricky Wells||3||2*||3||2*||3||13||2|
|6. Mark Riss||3||3||0||3||2||11||0|
|7. Mitchell Davey||2*||0||0||2||1|
Team Manager: Dave Peat
|1. Ryan Douglas r/r||0||0|
|2. Carl Wilkinson||2||1*||2||2||1||0||8||1|
|3. Lewis Kerr||1*||2||1||2||2||2||10||1|
|4. Michael Palm Toft||0||2||0||1*||3||6||1|
|5. Josh Auty||2||1||3||1*||X||7||1|
|6. Fritz Wallner||X||0||0|
|7. Josh Bailey||1||1*||0||1*||1||0||1||5||2|
It's that time of year again. It's the time when the Parsons Peebles Monarchs go in search of silverware as we launch our SGB Championship (let's see if I can go the whole season without calling it the Premier league) campaign against the Scunthorpe Henderson Insurance Scorpions.
The Scorpions have not been serious title challengers since they last tasted victory in the 2012 championship but this year there is a feeling they will be more competitive than they have been in recent years.
This feeling is borne of the fact that the Lincolnshire outfit were the only team able to field the same 1-7 to begin this year as they finished last year with. While last year's team wasn't overly successful the improvement towards the end of the season coupled with the lowering in the points limit has the Scunny faithful believing better times lie ahead.
The Scorpions have a mix of experience and youth in their ranks and have built their line-up with a strength in depth basis in the hope that one or two can continue their upward trajectory and make the team a force to be reckoned with. This coupled with what should always be at least one strong reserve to act as a trump card has been a recipe for success for many teams in the past.
The season has not perhaps started out in quite the way planned though as after an encouragingly close affair away to Glasgow where only the Tigers top end strength allowed them to pull away in the later stages a home defeat was to follow on Sunday against Peterborough and as we are all aware championships are not built on home defeats.
That is it to say the Scorpions can be taken lightly though and they have many a handy Armadale performer in their ranks
Starting at number 1 with Aussie Ryan Douglas. Douglas has steadily improved year on year and while average wise he is not one of the strongest number ones on his day he is a match for anyone. Now entering his 5th season on these shores the 23 year old Brisbane born racer now looks to take the next step and reach the upper echelons of the Championship standings. To do this Douglas will need to get over his hoodoo of tracks such as Armadale a track where he has never shown his true ability.
Joining Douglas in the opening pairing is the most experienced member of the Scunthorpe line-up Carl Wilkinson. Wilkinson is a firm favourite with the fans wherever he goes due to his all action style and never say die attitude. The Lincolnshire man has a mixed record at Armadale but on his day he is a handy performer and has recorded a double digit return to his name round our circuit. A repeat of that tomorrow and we are in for a tough night.
The engine room of the team starts with what many view as a bargain signing. Lewis Kerr is in the line-up on a sub 6 point average and now hopefully recovered from his horrific injuries this is the year that many believe Kerr will kick on and fulfil the promise he was showing before that fateful day at Peterborough. Kerr is the most proficient of the visitors around our circuit with a near 8 point average from his previous 5 visits.
Another all out racer slots in at number 4 in Michael Palm Toft. On his day Palm Toft can be devastatingly brilliant but perhaps lacks the consistency that should see him sitting on a higher average than his current sub 7 figure. Although perhaps renowned more for his ability on the bigger tracks he has shown a liking for the smaller circuits as well and once in front is a hard man to beat. He has a 14 point return at Armadale on his resume so again is not one that can be taken for granted.
Number 5 is Josh Auty, the now 26 year old Yorkshire man. Many will find it hard to believe that Auty is still so young as he appears to have been around for years having first broken through as a 15 year old. Perhaps his career has not taken him to the places his potential at that age would have had many believe it would and a lot of this can probably be attested to his gating ability which can sometimes let him down. In full flight he is a sight to behold and is another with a liking for our track and has plenty of experience around the Armadale shale.
Many believe that number 6 Fritz Wallner is the ace in the pack for the Scorpions. A relative unknown to these shores when he was snapped up last year Scunthorpe will look to benefit from having given Wallner enough matches to gain an attractive 4.00 average. The experienced Austrian impressed at Glasgow last Sunday and will look to be one of the top reserves in the Championship. It remains to be seen whether he can adapt quickly to our track but if he does our reserves will need to be on their toes come tomorrow night.
Last but not least is Josh Bailey. Josh has been one to benefit from the reserve rules in our league over the last few years and having stuck by him last year the Scorpions will now be looking for him to return the favour by kicking on and making a mockery of his starting 2.00 average. It remains to be seen if this will be the case but with the experience of riding with the likes of Chris Holder for Kings Lynn in the Premiership this year he has a very good chance.
So now for our Blue and Gold heroes the Parsons Peebles Monarchs. While this will be the first match for the team as whole this year many of our riders are well known to the fans with 4 returnees from last year in Sam, Erik, Max and Mark alongside returning Monarch Mitchell and popular visitor Ricky Wells this means the only real newcomer to the fold is Josh Pickering, and what an impact he made last week. Heat 1 of the Harrison’s Scottish Open up against a formidable line-up of Theo Pijper, Aaron Summers and Richard Lawson and Josh gets left at the tapes a clever switch back and he emerges from bend 2 in front. It appears a new hero will be born only for over eagerness to set in and a slide of on bend 1 of the final lap with the race in the bag. Josh’s attitude though is always to look forward and he acquitted himself well the rest of the night and we will wait to see what team action will bring for our newcomer.
All of our boys have been in action already this season of course in last week’s Open but Sam is now in to almost double figures of matches due to his Wolves and testimonial appearances. Erik impressed everyone in the best pairs meetings from Torun the other week in which Mark also got a run out. Ricky has accepted bookings up and down the country in various individual meetings and looks sharp and Max also has the benefit of doubling up with Sam at Wolverhampton. Only Mitchell and Josh have not had more than one meeting but Josh has been taking in practice sessions at Scunthorpe and Mitch will be at Stoke’s press and practice as I type this to sharpen up ahead of tomorrow night.
So a competitive and exciting season opener lies ahead as we go into the unknown of our 2017 campaign. One thing is for sure we have a team full of racers that will give 100% to the cause and we are in for a rip roaring year ahead.
Saturday 8th April 2017, 1:29am
Ricky Wells scored a paid maximum on his team debut as the Parsons Peebles Monarchs made a sound start to their Championship campaign with a 54-36 victory over Scunthorpe Scorpions.
Friday 7th April 2017, 10:02pm
The Parsons Peebles Monarchs started their Championship season with a convincing 54 to 36 win over Scunthorpe at Armadale.
Friday 7th April 2017, 2:45pm
Sometimes we awaiting rain breaking out on a Friday but this week we have no such worries and, instead, we are awaiting the sun breaking through. It's been a fine day, in fact a fine week at Armadale and we're looking forward to our meeting with Scunthorpe getting underway at 7.30pm.
Wednesday 5th April 2017, 6:30pm
The Parsons Peebles Monarchs begin the hunt for the Championship crown this Friday as we host the Scunthorpe Scorpions at Armadale with tapes due to fly at 7.30pm
Tuesday 4th April 2017, 8:00am
We had a great night on Friday with 22 races taking just over two hours to run and we are very proud of our track staff's ability to keep our meetings moving on. Sometimes we just need a bit of help to do that.
Sunday 2nd April 2017, 2:40pm
After a determined performance on Friday night that almost secured the Scottish Open title Erik Riss made his Premiership debut for Leicester on Saturday evening.
Wednesday 15th March 2017, 8:27pm
Following on from our Season Launch Live show at the Cairn Hotel on Thursday 23rd March events will move to Armadale Stadium the next day for our pre-season Press and Practice session.