Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Ricky Wells||2*||2*||2*||2*||2||10||4|
|2. Victor Palovaara||3||3||3||3||1*||13||1|
|3. Josh Pickering||2*||0||2*||3||7||2|
|4. Richie Worrall||3||3||3||3||12||0|
|5. Erik Riss||3||3||3||3||12||0|
|6. William Lawson||2*||0||0||0||2||1|
|7. Joel Andersson||3||2*||2*||2*||9||3|
Team Manager: Tony Jackson
|1. Nicolai Klindt||1||2||1||1*||1||3||9||1|
|2. Dan Bewley R/R||0||0|
|3. Rasmus Jensen||0||1*||2||R||1||0||4||1|
|4. Mason Campton||1||1*||1||1||2||6||1|
|5. Ty Proctor||0||1||1||0||0||2||0|
|6. Kyle Bickley||0||0||0||0||0|
|7. Rene Bach||1||0||0||2||1*||4||1|
We head to Armadale expecting a close match against a highly-rated visiting team, and yet our septet demolish the opposition. It's a pattern which has developed recently and continued with our 65-25 victory over Workington tonight, even though the Comets are the most successful away side in the Championship with four victories in their eight previous fixtures.
Home Swede Victor Palovaara who recorded his highest score for the team of 13+1 said "It was a good night for the whole team. Workington are strong and they came here and beat us before – I wasn't here then but I was told! The track was grippy as we asked for and it shows how good we are at home. They are a very good team though and it will be tough tomorrow."
Comets' top scorer Nicolai Klindt said "Edinburgh deserved to beat us. They are a lot stronger in depth than earlier in the season even though it's only two new riders. The track was different too, quite grippy on the inside which they used but with less dirt on the outside than last time. We didn't deserve to score any more than we did but we will be different tomorrow."
Surely no-one expected tonight's match to turn out as it did. But starting with four 5-1s, the Staggs Bar Monarchs never left any room for doubt that they were going to dominate this match. In the end we took ten 5-1 advantages and it wasn't until the final heat that the Comets managed a race win through Nicolai Klindt.
Not only were the Comets starved of race wins, they only had four second places as well! But it would be more interesting to talk about the home riders who are so hungry for success. Going in to the final race we had five unbeaten riders, but Klindt burst the full scores of Ricky Wells (who gave strong chase and got close) and Victor Palovaara who had scorched to four victories earlier.
So the maxi-men were Erik Riss, Richie Worrall and Joel Andersson. Joel had expressed disappointment at missing out on full scores in recent fixtures but he made no mistake here. Richie has only lost one Armadale heat to the opposition since joining us (because he fell) and never looked like losing tonight – he always seems to have a very clear plan when he hits the first corner, even if he isn't in front. He will ride a line which takes him to the front by the third corner. His toughest heat was heat 5 in which he really had to force ahead of Klindt entering that third corner.
And Erik Riss (who missed a plane and might have missed the match had he not managed to re-route via Brussels) was equally determined round that first corner and produced the ride of the night to pass both Klindt and (on the last bend) Bach in heat 11.
Very frequently our riders were hitting the front from the tapes. It's hard to understand how dominant we are in that aspect of racing at the moment, or how poor the Comets were. Other than the captain's rides in heat 11, the two most interesting heats featured William Lawson. He started with a paid win, then passed Mason Campton in heat 11 and Rene Bach in heat 14. Both would be regarded as good scalps but they both got him back for the third places.
One Comet who would sure have done well in grippy conditions which he likes, and that is Dan Bewley. But don't go thinking the track was unreasonably difficult; other than Proctor coming off at the first bend in heat 1, there were no fallers and no-one seemed to be in any difficulty. We're just going very, very well at home.
Tomorrow's match at Workington of course is even more important as far as Playoff qualification goes, so we'll see how well we go down there. The Comets are unbeaten at home and they need points also. There's nothing like a bit of pressure.
Another week another huge match ahead for the Staggs Bar Monarchs as the Workington Comets head for Armadale in Championship action.
Workington have been the team of the year in many eyes with an unpredictable looking line-up at the start of the season, everything has clicked and if not for an unexplainable lack of fixtures run they would surely already have a playoff berth clinched.
This lack of fixtures means the Comets still have 5 home fixtures to run before the playoff cut off 2 weeks today not to mention the second leg of the KO cup quarter final and a championship shield semi final to run and it will be a busy couple of months for the Comets. This lack of home scoring sees the Comets currently sit 6th in the league despite having an unblemished home record and the 2nd best away record in the league. The negative to this from a Monarchs point of view is that all away points are still vital and the Cumbrians will head north on the hunt for the spoils.
The Comets team is built on strength in depth approach with a real powerhouse punch at reserve. A good chunk of the team have switched positions as the season has progressed and any one of the top 6 is capable of winning any heat they are in with the patience in Kyle Bickley being rewarded as he starts to trouble the scorers also. The Comets were dealt a huge blow last week when former Monarch Dan Bewley suffered horrendous injuries and everyone at Armadale and throughout British speedway no doubt wishes Dan a quick and full recovery. For tonight's match rider replacement is in operation and with Dan third in the averages all bar Nicolai Klindt are eligible for an extra ride.
The rest of the top 6 remarkably are separated by less than 1.5 points in the averages with Rene Bach no ones idea of a reserve despite his position there in the team this has been the cleverness of the Workington team building that all year they have had the strongest reserve in the league at least on paper. As previously mentioned all of the Comets are capable at Armadale and in fact all of their riders bar Bickley had at least 1 heat win to their names in the match back at the beginning of June.
It has to be said it was a different looking Monarchs team that the visitors faced that day and with the home form shown since the introductions of Victor then Richie and latterly Willie then the Monarchs should go into this match wary but with no real fear.
The Monarchs put visiting Glasgow to the sword with ease last week and another performance such as that will be required this evening. As per normal we will be lead from the front by Ricky, Erik and Richie who were all in sparkling form last week with Ricky top scoring and Erik and Richie both looking for maximums before falls put paid to that. Joel will be looking to carry on his recent stunning form and with Willie getting sharper by the match not to mention the continued solid output of Victor and Josh a barnstorming night looks in the offing.
So can the Monarch's send the Comets home pointless or will the visitors be victorious potentially putting the death knell on the Blue and Gold's playoff chances.
Only one place to be to find out and that's trackside.
See you there!
Wednesday 29th August 2018, 7:00pm
It's a very tight battle at the top of the Championship table as more than half the league are still chasing Playoff places, but in most people's eyes the Workington Comets have been the team of the season so far. They provide the opposition in a potential thriller at Armadale on Friday.