Team Manager: Dave Peet
|1. Rory Schlein||2*||3||3||3||1||12||1|
|2. Stefan Nielsen R/R||0||0|
|3. Aaron Summers||3||3||1*||0||3||10||1|
|4. Jake Allen||1||2||3||1||2||9||0|
|5. Josh Auty||3||2*||3||3||2*||3||16||2|
|6. David Wallinger||0||0||0||0|
|7. Gino Manzares||2||0||2*||0||1||0||1*||6||2|
Team Manager: John Campbell
|1. Ricky Wells||R||0||3||2||1||2||8||0|
|2. Victor Palovaara||1||3||1||0||5||0|
|3. Mark Riss||0||1*||2||3||1|
|4. Josh Pickering||2||2||1*||3||0||8||1|
|5. Erik Riss||2||1||2*||0||5||1|
|6. Max Ruml||1||0||1*||2||1|
|7. Joel Andersson||3||1*||FD||2||0||6||1|
It was another fruitless and frustrating evening on the road for the Staggs Bar Monarchs as they fell 53-37 to Scunthorpe at the Eddie Wright Raceway.
As has been the case often on the road this season it was a lack of heat winners that was to be the Monarchs undoing with only 4 heat wins all night.
Unusually it was at the top end where the Armadale men struggled with the so far brilliant Ricky Wells and Erik Riss only managing 13 points and 1 heat win between them.
The offshoot of this was the solid scoring of the rest of the septet with Josh Pickering in particular continuing to impress since moving into the main body of the team with a 8 point score.
The young Aussie saying after 'It wasn't a bad night for me personally but it's a frustrating one for the team. I'm happy enough with my performance even though I felt I should have won heat 10 and in heat 15 I just got pushed out but all in all it was ok. It's a frustrating one for the team as with no offense to Scunthorpe they weren't exceptional but we let them off. It's annoying that we are not all firing, Ricky and Erik have been amazing all season and we haven't backed them up then tonight the rest of us do ok and they are off it a little, that's speedway I guess though and we will go again at Redcar on Thursday.''
The Monarchs dug themselves an early hole they could not get out of with Scunthorpe choosing their guest riders wisely in Rory Schlein and Aaron Summers who both were paid for at least 11 points. This top end strength coupled with star of the show for the Scorpions Josh Auty who raced to a 6 ride paid maximum meant the home men built up an 8 point lead by heat 6. The Monarchs did hold the tie for a few heats keeping the deficit to the same margin with ten races gone. However with the Monarchs main men struggling the home men were able to pull away over the closing heats taking heat advantages in 3 of the remaining 5 races and so it was to be another away match with nothing to show for it for the Monarchs who despite having multiple matches in hand on most of the teams around them in the league know that they need to start turning these into points to climb the league into the playoff positions.
It's another away day for the Staggs Bar Monarchs on Sunday as they head south (as we do for pretty much all our away matches barring Glasgow) to take on a patched up Scunthorpe side.
The Scorpions were tipped by many (including me) to be playoff challengers this year with the most powerful and exciting looking side they had put together probably since their title win a handful of years ago. However a raft of injuries have curtailed this somewhat and the Scorpions are looking for a push now to get their league campaign back on track.
This is not being made an easier as the injuries continue to come and we will only face 3 of the 7 named Scorpions riders in this one. Of course Stevie Worrall has been a long term injury victim after breaking his leg early on and while you can argue the ins and outs of if a rule needs to be introduced to force teams to name a permanent replacement as it stands the Scorpions have pretty much the pick of guests for Worrall and Rory Schlein steps in in his place for this one.
Another of the Scorpions top men missing is Jason Garrity and he will be replaced by Aaron Summers so a former Monarchs double in the guest roles. At the bottom end Danny Phillips also misses out with Caledonian Riders Championship participant David Wallinger stepping in. The final absence is that of Stefan Nielsen at number 2 with r/r covering for the Dane, I do not mind admitting I am completely lost when it comes to averages etc these days as the Speedway GB website has 3 different pages for these so Nielsen is either 3rd or 4th in the Scunny averages which will affect who can take his rides accordingly.
The 'actual' riders that are Scunthorpe contracted riders who will take part and complete the team being Jake Allen, Josh Auty and Gino Manzares as exciting a trio as you are likely to see.
For the Staggs Bar Monarchs well we rather mundanely head into the match with all 7 of our riders in place. Victor Palovaara stays in at number 2 and hopefully on his own machinery will feel even more comfortable than last week (when he did a great job anyway) we will be hoping for more of the same from our reserve duo with Joel starting to look the part and Max buoyed after his victory in that CRC on Friday night. Ricky returns after missing the fours due to Polish commitments and Erik and Mark will be raring to go after a week off.
The highlight for many at this match may well be Josh though, his heat 8 ride at Scunthorpe last year was truly something to behold and if he pulls any other moves like that or the one seen at Armadale in heat 12 last week then the fans as always are in for a treat at what I rate as my favourite track for excitement in the league.
So a tough one to call as who knows what level of performance the home men will get form their guests will the pressure being of propel them to high scores or will they be happy to have a steady afternoon picking up whatever points are available that is always the risk with guests.
I would guess like any away match the Monarchs management will have set a minimum target of a point with anything else being seen as a good days work.
Can the boys do it? keep an eye on the Monarchs website for updates throughout.