Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Ricky Wells||1*||3||3||2*||9||2|
|2. Victor Palovaara||2||2*||FD||1||5||1|
|3. Josh Pickering||0||2*||2*||3||7||2|
|4. Richie Worrall||3||3||3||3||2*||14||1|
|5. Erik Riss||3||3||3||3||3||15||0|
|6. William Lawson||1*||0||1||2||1|
|7. James Sarjeant||2||1||2||1||1||7||0|
Team Manager: Tony Jackson
|1. Nicolai Klindt||0||0||R||0||0||0|
|2. Rasmus Jensen||3||1||1||2||1||8||0|
|3. Kevin Doolan||1*||2||2||2||0||7||1|
|4. Rene Bach||2||1*||3||1|
|5. Ty Proctor||2||1||1||1||5||0|
|6. Kyle Bickley||R||0||R||0||0||0|
|7. Mason Campton||3||0||3||0||2||8||0|
The Staggs Bar Monarchs gave themselves an excellent chance of progressing to the Knockout Cup Final after a 59-31 victory in the first leg of the semi at Armadale tonight against Workington Comets. The second leg is at Workington on Saturday.
Alex Harkess said "I would not like to think we could lose the tie after a result like that. We got our last home match out of our system and rode as we would normally expect. James Sarjeant did well as a guest and after he had beaten Campton twice I gave him an extra ride in heat 14, but he couldn't quite manage a third time."
Anything is possible of course but there would have to be a major turnaround for the Comets even to go close. They started the match very well and were level after three heats, just two down after four and still in touch at 20-28 after 8 heats.
The home side rode well and gave it their all, and that certainly included guest number 7 James Sarjeant who showed what an excellent performer he can be. He never looked like touching the tapes and was competitive in every race. The heat leaders were completely on song with maximums for Erik Riss (full) and Richie Worrall (paid), and just one point dropped by Ricky Wells in heat 1 (in which he was accidentally baulked by his partner).
In spite of near perfect displays by the heat leaders, Josh Pickering still won the Monarch of the Match award! He started with a tape-touch leaving him pointless from heat 3, then was unbeaten thereafter and finished with a victory on the line after one of his famous chases in heat 12 against Doolan.
Comets' riders won the first two races and they had another victory from Mason Campton (his second) in heat 8. Home 5-1s in heats 5 and 6 put a different complexion on things even though heat 8 was a 4-2 to Workington. They did lose Rene Bach to illness which was most unlucky, but in truth the visitors had a disorganised air about them and they were unbalanced by a terrible performance from their no. 1. It was hard to understand some of their changes in the latter stages and it can only be assumed that there were some discussions behind the scenes.
Whether Comets were happy or not, there were some good races. Sarjeant and Campton had a couple of excellent battles, there was that Pickering special in heat 12 and heat 10 was also very interesting. Doolan passed Palovaara early on but Ricky Wells came from well back to stroll through on the inside line for the win.
But we will see what tomorrow brings. Jordan Stewart comes in at no. 7 for Monarchs.
After a two week break it's back to action for the Staggs Bar Monarchs as we go in search of a big lead to defend in the first leg of our KO Cup semi final against the Workington Comets.
It is back to back matches against the Comets this weekend with the visit to Derwent Park due on Saturday and going on previous encounters between the two this year then the tie is a difficult one to call. The Comets have visited Armadale twice so far this season and the results could not have been much different first back in the Championship Shield the Comets ran out 46-44 victors however in the league fixture at the end of last month it was the Monarchs who would go on to rout the visitors with a 65-25 win.
No one is expecting a repeat of the performance and score line from that night and the feeling in the Monarchs camp is that a 12-16 point margin of victory would be handy to take to Cumbria for the 2nd leg.
There are changes enforced for both teams due to injury. As most will be aware Dan Bewley's season was ended a few weeks ago with some horrific injuries coming from a crash against Lakeside. This weekend will be the last in which a guest is available for the former Monarch with Berwick's Kevin Doolan stepping in, Doolan being a part of the Berwick side that ended our playoff hopes 2 weeks ago and already having a 16 point score to his name at the Dale this season.
The rest of the Comets are as per usual with Ty Proctor having returned from an injury of his own last weekend. They will look to be led by one of their classy Dane's Nikolai Klindt who has shown excellent form at Armadale so far. While Proctor and fellow heat leader Rene Bach will look to show what they are made of after horror shows in the last matchup. Rasmus Jensen has had his moments at Armadale and with Mason Campton having the potential for extra rides at reserve there is no obvious weaknesses in the Comets line-up and that is no surprise given they are still in the hunt for a clean sweep of all competitions at Championship level.
For the home men it is a chance for redemption after the league ending defeat to Berwick and the disappointment that brings. A cup win would go some way to alleviating that disappointment and the team are all aware that they need to refocus to achieve this. Unfortunately the task will need to be completed minus Joel Andersson who is still nursing his broken foot. Glasgow's James Sarjeant steps in and on his day he is as good as any reserve in the league around Armadale so we will be hopeful of a score to match that of what we were getting from Joel. Elsewhere the team lines up as per usual with Victor Palovaara raring to go after a break to heal his recent injuries also. As per usual we will look for our heat leader trio of Ricky, Erik and Richie to lead the way with backup from the rest required also.
So an enticing looking tie lies ahead with the Monarchs after as big a lead as possible while the visitors will look to contain then spring into a potential lead of their own before the deciding second leg on Saturday evening.
After a two week break I for one am raring to go and the boys will appreciate all the support they get so get yourself trackside to cheer them on,
See you there!
Friday 28th September 2018, 9:20pm
The Staggs Bar Monarchs will travel to Workington tomorrow with a 28 point lead after a resounding 59-31 victory this evening. Erik Riss was top scorer with a 15 point maximum, Richie Worrall also unbeaten.
Wednesday 26th September 2018, 5:00pm
The Staggs Bar Monarchs take on the Workington Comets over two days, Friday at Armadale and Saturday at Derwent Park, the prize for the aggregate winners being a place in the 2018 Championship Knockout Cup Final.
Friday 21st September 2018, 9:10pm
We've waited a long time! Our quarter final tie in the Knock out Cup was decided at Berwick on 30th June and now, almost three months later, we can confirm that Workington will be our opponents in the Semi Final and we don't have to wait long for the semi final action.