Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Ricky Wells||3||3||3||0||2||11||0|
|2. Justin Sedgmen||0||1||2||2*||5||1|
|3. Josh Pickering||2||2||3||3||10||0|
|4. Joel Andersson||1*||0||1||1||3||1|
|5. Cameron Heeps||3||3||2||2||1*||11||1|
|6. William Lawson||2||1||0||1||0||4||0|
|7. Luke Ruddick||FD||1||0||1||0|
Team Manager: Gary Flint
|1. Aaron Summers||2||3||1||3||3||12||0|
|2. Jye Etheridge R/R||0||0|
|3. Dany Gappmaier||0||0||0||0||0|
|4. Kevin Doolan||1*||3||0||1||3||8||1|
|5. Josh Bates||2||2||1||2||3||1||FD||11||0|
|6. Coty Garcia||3||1||2||3||0||2||2*||13||1|
|7. Leon Flint||FD||0||0||0||0|
It's the start of another huge weekend for the Staggs Bar Monarchs and their Championship Shield hopes starting with the visit of the table topping Berwick Bandits on Friday.
The Bandits are sitting pretty atop the Northern section after taking maximum points from a victory at Newcastle last month and as it stands none of the other teams have managed any away points yet so it could be that this will be enough to see the Bandits through.
Their cause could be helped greatly by taking anything from the Dale this week and while normally not the happiest of hunting grounds given the differences in circuits the Bandits do have Armadale pedigree in their team and of course did end the Monarchs playoff hopes last year with victory.
The majority of last year's team returns this year with the two 'new faces' to the Bandits line-up being well known around Shielfield also, although the team heading up the A1 will not be as familiar as usual due to the absences of Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen and Jye Etheridge. Busk Jakobsen misses out due to Danish championship commitments and will be replaced by Josh Bates while Etheridge is not quite ready to return from a broken collarbone suffered in a post race crash at Ashfield 3 weeks ago with rider replacement in operation all bar Aaron Summers being due a ride.
It could be argued as is so often the case that these replacements do not weaken the opposition at all albeit all teams would much prefer to travel with their own 7 riders in place. Bates has made a fantastic return to racing after missing last year due to a back injury averaging over 8 points this season also a noted Armadale performer with scores of paid 11 and paid 13 from his last 2 visits so while Busk Jakobsen has been in fine form also bates looks to be a shrew replacement particularly with the ability for additional rides.
The rest of the Bandits main body is made up of riders who have become part of the furniture in the borders none more so than Kevin Doolan and Aaraon Summers. Summers enjoying a strong start tot eh season at both Championship and Premiership levels after a late introduction to the Peterborough team in place of Craig Cook. Doolan is viewed by many as the best captain in the business and still a very handy performer on track, while the consistent high scores are not there like they used to be Doolan can still mix it with anyone on his day and you only need to look to his paid 16 score in the corresponding fixture last year to see what he is capable of at round our track.
Dany Gappmaier makes up the main body of the team and he is perhaps the one man who will not be relishing a visit to our track, a noted big track performer Gappmaier is yet to ride to his full potential around Armadale although he did have a heat win when guesting for the Monarchs last year. If this changes tonight though and Gappmaier is among the points then it would be a true boon for the Bandits point scoring opportunities.
At reserve there is a mixture of experience and youth, Coty Garcia is the senior reserve and of course a former Monarch having had a short spell with the blue and gold last season the highlight being the part he played in helping us to a two legged victory over Glasgow in the KO cup. Garcia has often been held back by his machinery in the past but having invested in engines and bikes used by Danny King before his injury last year this is no longer the case and it has to be said Garcia has probably been the most impressive reserve in the league so far this year. At the other end of the scale is Leon Flint who is making his debut at this level this year. Flint has been a standout at all levels so far and has made a solid start to his Championship season coming in on a 2 point averaging but currently averaging over double that Flint will not be an easy mark for the Monarchs either.
So a strong looking Bandits line-up heads to the Dale knowing that a point would put them in pole position to top the group as long as they can defend their home record when the Staggs Bar Monarchs visit tomorrow evening, For the Monarchs we simply must stop the Bandits from leaving with anything if we are to have any chance pf topping the group and getting the guaranteed semi final place that goes along with it. A lack of home matches has us joint bottom of the group but our destiny is still in our own hands.
Of course it has now been two weeks since the Monarchs took to the Armadale track after last week's rain off although we were in action at Ashfield last Sunday going down disappointingly meekly 53-37. As has been the case in all our away matches so far a lack of heat winners was the major problem with only 2 heat wins at Ashfield coming on the back of only 3 at Newcastle the weekend previously. This is something that will need to be addressed starting on Friday.
The Monarchs are at full strength going into the fixture and despite new averages being in place as of the 1st of May these do not lead to any changes in the racing order. A few of the riders have been in action this week in various guises. Ricky having had a couple of matches for Belle Vue, Cameron for Ipswich, Justin having been involved in the NO Limits training camp for young riders at Belle Vue and Joel having enjoyed his press and practice session with Indianerna before the start of the top league over there this week.
Elsewhere it has been a quiet week for Josh, Willie and Luke meaning they will be sure to be raring to go.
So nothing short of 3 points and a pointless visit for the Bandits is required in an exciting looking fixture ahead, only one place to see how it pans out and that is trackside.
See you there!
Monday 29th April 2019, 8:00pm
This Friday 3rd May at Armadale Speedway it is the annual Children's Evening featuring fantastic fun for all kids.
Wednesday 1st May 2019, 5:00pm
Friday's visitors to Armadale in the Championship Shield are Berwick Bandits, currently leading the 4-team section after wins home and away against Newcastle and a home win over Glasgow. The Staggs Bar Monarchs of course are looking for as many points from the weekend home and away matches as they can get to keep alive their own chances in the section.
Friday 3rd May 2019, 9:25pm
An enthralling encounter at Armadale tonight saw the Staggs Bar Monarchs run out 45-44 victors. Top scorer for the home men was Cameron Heeps with 11+1 while Coty Garcia led the way for the Bandits with 13+1
Saturday 4th May 2019, 0:58am
The Staggs Bar Monarchs took a win tonight by 45-44 over a Berwick side with only four scoring riders, after a night which had as much drama, great racing, twists and turns as anyone could possibly ask for.