Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Ricky Wells||3||3||3||1*||3||13||1|
|2. Joel Andersson||1||2*||3||0||6||1|
|3. Mark Riss||3||0||3||2||8||0|
|4. Max Ruml||1||1||0||2||0|
|5. Erik Riss (C)||2||2||2||2||1||9||0|
|6. Matt Williamson||3||0||0||1||4||0|
|7. Josh Pickering||2*||1*||2*||1*||0||6||4|
Team Manager: Carl Johnson
|1. Scott Nicholls||2||3||3||1*||3||3||2||17||1|
|2. Carl Wilkinson||0||2*||1||1||0||4||1|
|3. Nike Lunna||2||3||1||2||3||0||11||0|
|4. Michael Palm-Toft||R||0||1*||3||4||1|
|5. Ulrich Ostergaard||0||0|
|6. Tom Bacon||0||1||F||0||1||0|
|7. Simon Lambert (C)||1||0||2||2*||5||1|
The Staggs Bar Monarchs defeated Peterborough 48-42 in tonight’s Championship encounter, which most people seem to agree was the most entertaining night’s racing for quite a while at Armadale.
Quite a bit of the credit for that, though not all of it, has to be given to Scott Nicholls who displayed all his small-track skills in a wonderful display of all-action speedway. It might have been 20 years since his last Armadale appearance but he had no difficulty using the track to his advantage.
Nicholls admitted he had an enjoyable night saying “It won’t be another twenty years till I come back! It took me a race or so just to settle myself in but it’s a technical little track and these are the tracks I like. I’m pleased with my performance and I’m pleased we managed to pull a point out of it which perhaps wasn’t expected.”
The highlight was probably heat 13 when he passed Monarchs’ high-quality duo of Ricky Wells and Erik Riss. Erik, below his own usual high standards, lost to Nicholls four times in spite of generally getting the better of him from the starts, and it was left to Mark Riss and Ricky Wells to lower the brilliant visitor’s colours.
Ricky was in great form again and should not be overshadowed by the excitement of Nicholls’ display, because our no. 1 did finish with a 2-1 advantage over Scott in their encounters.
Mark Riss rode well though he fell after leading Nicholls in one heat, coming down as Nicholls swept through. Perhaps the happiest man in the home camp though should be Joel Andersson, the Swede having easily his most convincing evening with paid 7 points, including a heat 8 win set up by a glorious first corner outside sweep.
Joel said “I feel I had a lot better starts to start with. I felt more confident on the bike. I’m really happy we managed to win today.”
Josh Pickering had his usual night of terrible gating and exciting attempts to make amends from the back, the highlight being heat 2 when he came from last to join Matt Williamson for an important 5-1 which set us on the road to victory.
Matt though didn’t capitalise on that and did little thereafter, while it was another disappointing night for Max Ruml who has at the moment lost his early season sparkle.
As well as Nicholls, Nike Lunna had an excellent night for Peterborough scoring 11, and Michael Palm Toft might have done better but seemed to have machine troubles early on. Simon Lambert finished with two much better rides than he normally manages at Armadale. Certainly no-one would begrudge the Panthers a point because they played their part in the entertainment on show.
The Staggs Bar Monarchs race their first Championship match of the season at Armadale this Friday against Peterborough – and that means that six times British Champion Scott Nicholls comes to Armadale for just the second time – twenty years after his first visit!
Scott was racing back then for England Under-21 in a 1998 Test Match against Scotland which is still rated one of the best matches ever seen at the stadium. He has had a World-class career which has included Grand Prix, and he is far from a spent force, still riding well in the UK Premiership for Rye House. His battles with the home heat leaders are likely to be well worth watching.
Monarchs welcome back their flying skipper Erik Riss who missed last Friday, and of course Ricky Wells will be looking to repeat his superb 5-ride maximum of last Friday. Lower down the order, the less experienced home men have another chance to impress as they increase their knowledge of their home circuit.
Panthers have two riders away on Danish League duty. They will use rider replacement for Ulrich Ostergaard and Newcastle's Carl Wilkinson comes in to guest for Emil Grondal.
Alex Harkess commented "We welcome Peterborough which is a club we have always been very friendly with. It's our first league match and it is very important to get off to the right start, I think that is crucial for us. As much as I'm disappointed that Erik didn't qualify for the European Challenge I'm delighted he will be riding for us, we know what he is capable of."
Our American Max Ruml didn't differentiate the Panthers from any other side when asked about the match. He said ""I'll do my best every race, we all hope to beat everybody. Each rider is just another number on the back. When the next match is over that will be the last one."
THIS WEEK'S MATCH:
Friday 4th May Staggs Bar Monarchs v Peterborough Panthers (Championship) 7:30pm
Teams for Friday:
STAGGS BAR MONARCHS: Ricky Wells, Joel Andersson, Mark Riss, Max Ruml, Erik Riss (capt.), Matt Williamson, Josh Pickering.
PETERBOROUGH T BALFE CONSTRUCTION PANTHERS: Scott Nicholls, Carl Wilkinson, Nike Lunna, Michael Palm Toft, Ulrich Ostergaard rider replacement, Tom Bacon, Simon Lambert (capt.).
As part of our 70th birthday celebrations we will be looking back on the 1960s during Friday's match.
Monarchs' riders of the era Doug Templeton, Bert Harkins and Gordon Mitchell will be attending the event and there will be special posters available showing Bert and Doug in action in 1965.
There will be a special 1960s DVD on sale (£10) which the Gold and Blue card members can get at reduced rates.
Monday 14th May 2018, 3:00pm
Eleven year Monarch and former captain Bert Harkins shares his thoughts on our recent Sixties night and the Anniversary celebrations.