Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Ricky Wells||2*||3||2||1*||8||2|
|2. Victor Palovaara||3||2*||FD||5||1|
|3. Josh Pickering||2*||2*||3||3||2||12||2|
|4. Richie Worrall||3||3||2*||3||0||11||1|
|5. Erik Riss||2*||3||3||2||10||1|
|6. William Lawson||3||3||1||1||1*||NS||0||2*||11||2|
|7. Joel Andersson||NS||0||0|
Team Manager: Will Pottinger
|1. Richard Lawson||1||1||2||3||3||10||0|
|2. Kyle Newman R/R||0||0|
|3. Nick Morris||1||2||3||1*||7||1|
|4. Ben Morley||R||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|5. Adam Ellis||R||1||3||1||0||1||6||0|
|6. Zach Wajtknecht||2||0||2*||1*||2||7||2|
|7. Alfie Bowtell||1*||1||0||0||1||3||1|
Lakeside Hammers were rated tough opposition for the Staggs Bar Monarchs at Armadale tonight, but in the end the margin of victory was pretty wide, a 57-33 home success. However on a tricky track both the Monarchs' Swedish riders suffered injuries and hobbled home at the end.
For recently-returned William Lawson it was a best-yet for the season score of 11+2, starting with two wins and adding a paid win in heat 14. He said "The track was quite difficult to begin with but I'm delighted with my performance. I managed seven rides and I feel fit enough. In these conditions riders make mistakes and you can pass. If you get in the corner right then it's OK."
We don't know yet whether Victor Palovaara (hand) and Joel Andersson (foot) will recover in time for Tuesday's important visit to Glasgow, though both riders expressed their determination to be there.
Joel spun off on the first corner of heat 2 and Alfie Bowtell could not avoid him. He withdrew from the meeting at that point. Victor crashed in heat 8 going into the first corner with his bike hitting the air fence after he had managed to get off. Victor was announced as a starter for heat 10 but missed the two minute allowance.
As in recent weeks Monarchs piled up an early advantage and led 32-10 by heat 7, so the injuries did not put tonight's result in danger. The track was undoubtedly tricky though and several riders had difficulties, not just the visitors. The home riders like grippy conditions but the difficult thing is getting the balance right to still allow good racing.
All of the home men did score well though no-one managed a maximum. William Lawson came from the back to win heat 2 against Wajtknecht (who impressed on his Armadale debut) and after that, his first race win, he took another in a rather shambolic heat 4 which should probably have been stopped after race leader Adam Ellis came off and baulked Erik Riss.
In the end William had seven rides and scored paid 13. Both Josh Pickering and Richie Worrall were unbeaten from their programmed rides but they were headed by Richard Lawson in heat 15. The visiting captain had also won heat 13, an impressive double these days at fortress Armadale.
The other Hammers' heat leaders Nick Morris and Adam Ellis both also won heats but looked uncomfortable at times.
It's still all to play for in the battle for the Playoff places and the immediate task for the Staggs Bar Monarchs is to repel the challenge of the Lakeside Hammers, one of the strongest-contending teams, when they visit Armadale on Friday.
It has been a traumatic year for the Hammers who have not raced in the same league as the Monarchs since 2003! For most of that time they were in the UK's top division, then briefly in the National League (third tier) but this year joined the Championship. Now they have been hit by the closure of their home venue (since 1984) and after next week it seems they will race their home matches at Rye House.
On-track they have been excellent this season led by Richard Lawson and Nick Morris, and with Adam Ellis making great strides. They are unbeaten at home in the league without even conceding a point to the opposition, and have had three away wins. They are also still in both the Championship Shield and the KO Cup.
Team manager Alex Harkess said "Ricky Wells said to me he thinks this could be our hardest match, basing that on the fact that they have three riders he believes will do very well round Armadale. I think these riders have done well, but not every time! It's up to us to dominate them and take the pressure off ourselves, and I'd like to think we will."
Also coming up in a few days is next Tuesday's visit to Glasgow, rained off recently, and if all that goes according to plan Monarchs' final Championship match will be next Friday against Berwick. Then… we will either have qualified for the Playoffs or we will not! Up ahead too will be the Knockout Cup.
THIS WEEK'S MEETINGS:
Friday 7th September: Staggs Bar Monarchs v Lakeside (Championship), 7:30pm
STAGGS BAR MONARCHS: Ricky Wells, Victor Palovaara, Josh Pickering, Richie Worrall, Erik Riss (captain), William Lawson, Joel Andersson.
LAKESIDE HAMMERS: Richard Lawson (captain), rider replacement for Kyle Newman, Nick Morris, Ben Morley, Adam Ellis, Zach Wajtnecht, Alfie Bowtell.
Friday 7th September 2018, 9:25pm
The Staggs Bar Monarchs continued their playoff push with a 57-33 victory over Lakeside at Armadale this evening. Top scorer for the Monarchs was Josh with 12+2 with Richard Lawson pacing the Lakeside scorers with 11. The victory potentially coming at a cost though with Swedish due Joel Andersson and Victor Palovaara withdrawing through injury.