Team Manager: George English
|1. Ludvig Lindgren||2*||2*||1*||2||2||9||3|
|2. Stuart Robson||3||3||3||2||0||11||0|
|3. Mates Kus||3||2||0||2||7||0|
|4. Ashley Morris||1||1*||2||3||7||1|
|5. Tero Aarnio||3||3||0||1*||7||1|
|6. Carl Wilkinson||2||1||1||2*||6||1|
|7. Matthew Wethers||1*||2*||2*||1*||6||4|
Team Manager: John Campbell
|1. Ricky Wells||1||3||3||3||3||3||16||0|
|2. Joel Andersson||0||0||1||1||2*||4||1|
|3. Josh Pickering||0||2||3||3||0||1||9||0|
|4. Mark Riss||2||1||0||0||0||3||0|
|5. Erik Riss||FD||0||0|
|6. Coty Garcia||0||0||0||0||0|
|7. Max Ruml||3||1||0||1||5||0|
It was another defeat for the Staggs Bar Monarchs down at Newcastle tonight, after suffering the hefty blow of losing captain Erik Riss in his first ride in heat 4, but an eventual scoreline of 53-37 was not a bad performance considering they were 20 points down at heat 8.
John Campbell said "It was a battling performance against the odds after losing Erik. Ricky Wells was simply magnificent, only because he was slightly baulked in his first ride did he miss his maximum. Josh Pickering gave an exciting performance and by the end Joel Andersson was going quite well too."
When you are riding as something of a two-man team, and one of these two is ruled out, it is obviously going to be difficult. However there were definitely some positive signs with Max Ruml winning heat 2 and a fightback from heat 9 led by some brilliant riding from Ricky Wells, who won his last 5 heats, and typically exciting stuff from Josh Pickering who does seem to thrive on this track.
Ricky won heat 9 as a tac sub with Joel Andersson (Injury Rider replacement for Erik) in third. Then Josh Pickering pulled off a great pass on Robson to win heat 10 from the Diamonds' formidable opening pair, and Ricky and Joel went one better to take a 5-1 from heat 11.
Pickering was at it again in heat 12, passing Kus twice during the race for his second victory. Ricky wells made it five heat winners in a row by taking heat 13, and we finished with a flourish as Wells and Pickering both took points from the back in the final heat.
We had six of the last seven race winners, a great effort, but obviously a dozen last places is far too many.
After a poor showing at Berwick on Saturday night he Staggs Bar Monarchs will have little time to reflect as we head a little further down the A1 today to Brough Park to take on the Newcastle Diamonds in league action.
It would be fair to say that our Championship campaign has not really gotten off the ground so far with only 4 matches raced, this seeing us down towards the lower reaches of the table and the onus is now on the guys particularly in the lower reaches of the team to step up and get us back into playoff contention and points at Newcastle would be a great way to start this.
The Diamonds are new pushovers at home though particularly with the introduction of a rejuvenated looking Matej Kus meaning they are back to a 1-7 that has a solid look about it with all capable of a big score. There is vast experience in the Diamonds line-up also with the likes of Stuart Robson and Matty Wethers now well into their 30's and having had 15+ years of British speedway under their belts (sorry for bringing that up guys).
Ludvig Lindgren has the mantle of number 1 and while not perhaps the powerhouse needed away from Brough his home form has been impeccable of late and he will pose a big challenge to our top boys. Tero Aarnio is another who can be a bit hit and miss (particularly on certain tracks like Armadale) but anyone who watched his performance in the recent Speedway World of Nations (or whatever it was called) knows what he is capable and with Carl Wilkinson a solid performer at reserve there is no apparent weak link in the Diamonds side.
It will be up to the boys in Blue and Gold then to push on and it has to be said some soul searching may be required form some after recent performances. Ricky and Erik have led the way fantastically with both sitting in the top 8 of the current Championship averages with Ricky in particular sitting proudly atop of these but not enough heat wins and to many last places have been coming from the rest of the team. Coty and Max after bright starts have lost their way a little in recent meetings but the hope is this has been somewhat mechanical and both have made changes to sort this. Josh and Joel have shown glimpses particularly at home but need to start finding a little more consistent scoring and Mark has had some good nights mixed in with bad as he takes on the mantle of heatleader for the first time.
That is not to say there is better in them and in particular our top 4 have all had good meetings around the tricky North East circuit before, this will need to be repeated should we be to come away with anything on this visit and what a boost that would be to the team and supporters after a difficult couple of weeks.
Can the boys do it, keep an eye on the Monarchs website to find out.