Team Manager: Scott Courtney
|1. Aaron Summers||2||1||0||R||3||0|
|2. Kevin Doolan||1*||3||3||3||10||1|
|3. Jye Etheridge||3||E||2||2*||7||1|
|4. David Howe||1||1*||1*||3||6||2|
|5. Nicolaj Busk Jakobsen||0||2*||2||3||1||8||1|
|6. Matthew Wethers||1||3||1*||2*||7||2|
|7. Dany Gappmaier||3||2||2||2*||3||0||12||1|
Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Ricky Wells||3||3||3||2||3||14||0|
|2. Joel Andersson||0||0||1||1||0|
|3. Josh Pickering||0||0||2||0||2||0|
|4. Mark Riss||2||1||1*||1||5||1|
|5. Erik Riss||3||2||3||XD||1*||2*||11||2|
|6. Coty Garcia||2||0||R||1||3||0|
|7. Max Ruml||0||1||0||0||1||0|
The Staggs Bar Monarchs put up their worst performance of the season so far going down 53-37 against Berwick in the Championship Shield on Saturday night.
The majority of the visitors did not have an answer to a solid home outfit with only Ricky Wells and Erik Riss coming out of the meeting with any credit.
6 heat wins and 11 lasts tells the story of the match and the Monarchs will need to improve massively when they head back to Shielfield in a fortnight in the cup.
It has to be said that it was remarkable the match was on at all as heavy rain fell all around the stadium and a massive well done must go to the Bandits team of volunteers who were at the stadium as early as 7am to lay track covers.
The down side to the covers being down was that this led to slick and dusty conditions with gating at an absolute premium.
Monarchs Mark Riss who raced to 5 points saying afterwords 'It was a tough night. It's a tough place to come, if you don't make the start it is very hard to pass. I actually made a good start in my last race but the bike wasn't fast enough and the Bandits passed me it is what it is though.'
'Tonight was about learning with the cup match to come but I am disappointed with myself I have been to Berwick 3 times now and I need to learn quicker.'
Riss was not the only one to feel the heat on a night where routinely the Bandits jumped to the front. The Monarchs did make a reasonable start and were only 2 down after 5 races and with Ricky Wells and Erik Riss both unbeaten to this point there was hope that a challenge could be mounted.
As it was Wells and Riss were both excellent value particularly an under the weather Wells who was lightning from the gate all night romping to 14 points; the American ably backed up by the younger Riss brother with paid 13.
Unfortunately time and again in the heats that neither of the Monarchs top 2 appeared a Bandits heat advantage was the outcome particularly in the middle spell of the match where the Borders men padded their lead to 12.
A last throw of the dice tactical move was nullified in heat 11 when Erik Riss was disqualified for bringing down home man Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen meaning no advantage could be gained.
Further maximum heat advantages in heats 12 and 14 for the home men padded the score even further with only a last heat 5-1 of the Monarchs own adding any respectability to the score.
A night where several of the Monarchs team will need to look hard at their performances and know that better is required in the cup match to come.
Berwick KLS Bandits: Aaron Summers 3, Kevin Doolan 10+1, Jye Etheridge 7+1, David Howe 6+2, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 8+1, Matthew Wethers 7+2, Dany Gappmaier 12+1
Edinburgh Staggs Bar Monarchs: Ricky Wells 14, Joel Andersson 1, Josh Pickering 2, Mark Riss 5+1, Erik Riss 11+2, Coty Garcia 3, Max Ruml 1
After getting back to winning ways at home to Newcastle it's the short trip down the A1 to Shielfield tonight as we complete our Championship Shield fixtures for the year against the Berwick Bandits with a 7pm tapes up.
Of course neither the Monarchs nor Bandits have made any real impact in the group stages of the competition this year but that is not to say this fixture is totally meaningless as we look to use it as a scouting mission before we travel again in 2 weeks in the KO Cup.
Track time will be majorly beneficial to our new guys Joel and Max who have yet to race round the Borders circuit although both have at least witnessed matches there so will know what to expect a little.
As for the rest of the boys its business as usual, we will look as always for Ricky and Erik to lead the way with heat wins and Mark has shown a liking for the circuit also. Josh acquitted himself well in moving to the main body of the team against Newcastle and the hope is this will continue. After a dreadful night at Armadale the hope will e that returning to his former track will be the tonic Coty needs to get back among the points and if he can post a decent return then who knows what the Monarchs are capable off.
The Bandits are not easily beaten round their home patch though and hold a 100% home record in the league so far this season having seen off some of the highly tipped outfits with some aplomb. The Bandits are forced into one change with Theo Pijper racing in World Longtrack action. What do you do when one Monarchs legend league winner is missing from your side.... you bring in another with Matty Wethers stepping in for the Bandits.
Scott Courtney's men are also awaiting the fitness of Jye Etheridge who has missed the last few matches and as at time of writing hadn't declared either way on if he would race this evening.
The Bandits team have also been hard at work the last few nights with disappointing results t both Sheffield and Lakeside so they will be desperate to bounce back on home shale against the Monarchs.
So another intriguing contest looks in order and although there may not be much riding on it, sometimes when the pressure is off that's when the racing comes to the fore, I for one am looking forward to another jaunt to Bandit country where if nothing else the best burger in British Speedway awaits on the 1st bend courtesy of former rider Rob Grant's butchers van.
See you there!