Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Ricky Wells||3||2*||2||2*||1||10||2|
|2. Joel Andersson||0||3||3||1*||7||1|
|3. Josh Pickering||1||2||3||1||7||0|
|4. Mark Riss||3||1*||1||FD||5||1|
|5. Erik Riss||3||3||2||3||3||14||0|
|6. Coty Garcia||0||0||0||0||0|
|7. Max Ruml||1||1||0||0||1||3||0|
Team Manager: George English
|1. Ludvig Lindgren||2||0||1||1||4||0|
|2. Stuart Robson||1*||3||1*||3||FD||8||2|
|3. Matej Kus||0||2||3||3||2||10||0|
|4. Ashley Morris||2||1*||0||3||6||1|
|5. Tero Aarnio||0||0||0||0||0|
|6. Carl Wilkinson||2*||1||0||2*||5||2|
|7. Matthew Wethers||3||2||2||2||2*||11||1|
The Staggs Bar Monarchs scraped home tonight in an exciting finish against Newcastle, going in to the last heat level and taking a 4-2 after Stuart Robson had been excluded.
Team manager Alex Harkess said "That was far too close for comfort and we didn't get the improvements in the team we were looking for after last week's defeat. Erik Riss in particular was superb and his riding secured the victory for us."
Monarchs were briefly six points ahead in mid-match but for much of the night it was very close, and absolutely level after heats 4, 5, 12 and 14! The final four heats finished 1-5, 5-1, 1-5, 4-2.
Monarchs' top two of Erik Riss and Ricky Wells gained the positive results in heat 13 and 15 but they admitted it wasn't easy. Captain Erik said "The track was easy to ride tonight but that made the job of myself, Ricky and Mark harder." In fact Erik did miss the start in both runnings of the vital heat 15 but superb first corners followed by powerful drives up the straight took him to the front both times.
At the first time of asking Stuart Robson came off and was excluded, and with Kus at the rear this could well have meant that he should start 15 metres back in the rerun. However this new rule wasn't invoked so Riss had to once again pull off a surging overtake on the first lap to ensure victory.
Erik Riss led the way with 14 and Ricky Wells was also in double figures. Erik's only dropped point came in heat 11 when he broke the tapes, coming off 15 metres in the rerun and pipping Lindgren for second on the line. Both Joel Andersson (two wins) and Josh Pickering (one win) scored 7 and both can be happy with these returns. Mark Riss fell in heat 14 while coming past Ashley Morris and finished on just 5, after winning his opening ride.
It was down at reserve that the home team struggled the most, with Coty Garcia not scoring on a machine that looked very slow, and Max Ruml still well short of his early season form. The American appears to be short of confidence.
For Newcastle, Stuart Robson and Matej Kus won two heats each but perhaps the most notable performance came from Matthew Wethers. He used all his vast knowledge of the track where he rode for ten seasons, and made picking up points against the Monarchs' tail look very easy indeed.
The Staggs Bar Monarchs start a busy spell of 3 matches in as many days as we welcome the Newcastle Diamonds on Friday evening in Championship action.
This has the makings of a crucial match with the home men looking to bounce back after the disappointment of the defeat to Workington last week. The only positive of that defeat was that it did not do any damage to our league standing and with a shortened programme of matches this week an impeccable home record is a must.
The Diamonds are one of the un-fancied teams in the division this year but they are capable of pulling a shock as witnessed at Berwick in the Tyne Tees Trophy and it could be argued that looking at the line-up put together by George English that Armadale is the best hope they have of away points.
There is an abundance of Armadale experience in the ranks with 2 ex-Monarchs Ashley Morris and Matty Wethers sure to be in the thick of it. Add to this the experience of Stuart Robson and Carl Wilkinson not to mention the noted Armadale performer Ludvig Lindgren and the Diamonds certainly won't be pushovers. Matej Kus and Tero Aarnio complete the Diamonds line-up and this may be where the Monarchs will look to take advantage as neither would rate the Dale in their top tracks although both have the pedigree and ability to do better than previous showings.
The Geordie men have failed to pick up so much as a point on their travels in the league so far this year although they did put in a spirited display in only falling by 10 at Scunthorpe in their last away fixture and they will be looking to build on that and head back down the A1 with something for their efforts this week.
For the Monarchs there is a change in the riding order with Max Ruml now achieving the necessary matches to gain an average a spell at reserve beckons and everyone must hope this is just what our American newcomer needs to rekindle his season. This means Josh Pickering moves into the main body of the team and he will take the number 3 slot with Max slotting in at 7. The rest of the team remains unchanged but will be more than aware that improvement is required after the defeat to the Comets. No one was happy with their performance overall last week and it is hoped a week to reflect and make any necessary changes will get the Monarchs back on track as they look to improve on the current 10th place position in the table, albeit this not being helped by having ridden the fewest matches with only 3 so far.
So another tough tussle lies, will the Diamonds sparkle or will the Monarchs reign supreme? There is only one way t find out and that is to get yourself along to Armadale to cheer on the boys.
See you there!
Friday 15th June 2018, 9:05pm
It came down to a last heat decider with the Staggs Bar Monarchs coming out on top 46-44 against Newcastle.
Wednesday 13th June 2018, 5:00pm
The Staggs Bar Monarchs race against old rivals the Newcastle Diamonds this Friday at Armadale with the return on Tyneside on Sunday evening. In between they complete their Championship Shield fixtures with an away match at Berwick on Saturday.