Team Manager: Scott Courtney
|1. Kevin Doolan||1||3||2||0||6||0|
|2. David Howe||0||2*||2||1*||5||2|
|3. Dany Gappmaier||0||1||2||3||6||0|
|4. Jye Etheridge||3||3||1*||1||8||1|
|5. Aaron Summers||3||0||2*||1||6||1|
|6. Theo Pijper||2*||3||3||3||0||11||1|
|7. Nicolaj Busk Jakobsen||3||2*||1*||2*||1||9||3|
Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Ricky Wells||3||2||1||0||2*||3||11||1|
|2. Victor Palovaara||2*||0||3||1||6||1|
|3. Josh Pickering||1*||1*||0||1||3||2|
|4. Richie Worrall||2||2||3||2||2*||11||1|
|5. Erik Riss||1||0||3||3||7||0|
|6. Max Clegg||0||0||0||0||0|
|7. Joel Andersson||1||0||0||0||1||0|
The Staggs Bar Monarchs fell foul to a sharp gating Berwick outfit going down 51-39 at Shielfield on Saturday night.
As is often the case the majority of the heats were won from the start and in that regard the home men were the better of the teams and were well worth their victory.
The Monarchs showed their battling qualities to take maximum heat advantages in heats 13 and 15 to take the sting out of the score but in all fairness we were never in the hunt.
Monarchs number 1 Ricky Wells backing up the heat winner in each of heats 13 and 15 saying after the match ''I won heat one with plenty of speed but if you didn't gate that was it, I didn't make a single change all night had 3 5-1's yet when I was at the back I couldn't make an impression. Berwick are strong at home but I had hoped we could win here but on the night it wasn't to be.''
Many had said before the match the meeting would be won and lost at reserve and this proved to be the major difference between the sides on the night. Berwick's strength being proved by the fact that their pairing of Busk-Jakobsen and Pijper appeared in heat 15 while the Monarchs duo failed to beat an opponent throughout.
The Monarchs started well with a heat 1 5-1 but this was immediately reversed in heat 2. By heat 5 we were 6 down and in trouble. A tactical substitute ride in heat 7 faIled miserably as Ricky who had made the jump from gate 3 lifted across the corner and with Erik ineffective from the graveyard inside gate a Bandits maximum was the outcome.
There was hope the next few races might pull the Armadale men back into the meeting as the hosts held the ineffective inside gates. This was not to be though as the Monarchs were contained all 4 heats being shared and it looked like a mountain to climb.
The Bandits then made the gate advantages count taking maximum heat advantages in the next 2 races and the meeting was done.
Those late advantages gave a respectable look to the final score line but in all honesty it was a night where the Bandits continued their strong home form.
There are further away matches to come for the Monarchs with away points a must if the playoffs are to be achieved.
The Staggs Bar Monarchs make the short trip down the A1 to Berwick this Saturday looking to gain some vital away points as the playoff chase heats up.
Of course Friday night saw the washout of the home affair meaning both sides are still on the hunt for points with the playoff deadline now less than a month away.
The Bandits have built their playoff push on their form round the Shielfield circuit with only Workington having left victorious. The Bandits have shown their strength recently with a resounding 58-32 victory over Glasgow in their last home fixture.
The strength of the Bandits at home lies in the upturn in performances they receive from former Monarch Jye Etheridge and Austrian racer Dany Gappmaier. Both are known big track specialists and their powerful performances at home make up for a lack of an obvious number 1. This strength is matched at reserve where Nikolaj Busk-Jakobsen and Theo Pijper provide a punch this being witnessed by the 5-1 they took at Armadale in the called off match on Friday. Experienced campaigners Kevin Doolan, Aaron Summers and David Howe all have had their moments and Summers in particular appears to be in the best form of his season with double digit returns a regular occurrence in recent times.
For the Staggs Bar Monarchs Shielfield is a track where we have a mixed record at with some resounding victories matched by some disappointing defeats. This will be our 3rd visit to the Borders this year both ending in defeat so far but both of these came prior to our recent changes ad we will be hopeful that Richie will give the backing we have lacked at Shielfield so far. Ricky and Erik have been excellent in our two visits with combined scores of 25 and 24 and if we get this type of score again with the backup provided by Richie, Victor and Josh in the main body then it would give us a solid base to build from. Joel will be key man at reserve as he looks to nullify the strong Bandits pairing and anything we get form Max may well be seen as a bonus on a track he struggles on and against a compact Berwick team.
It has to be said that with time running out this match is probably more of a must win for our hosts as another home defeat coupled with their lack of away points as opposed to their playoff rivals would probably spell the end of their championship hopes. For the Monarchs well other matches lie ahead to try and gain away points but if anything could be gained it could go a long way to securing that vital top 4 spot.
Can the boys do it? Why not get yourself to Berwick tonight to cheer them on.
See you there!