Team Manager: Gary Flint
|1. Aaron Summers||1*||2*||3||2||0||8||2|
|2. Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen R/R||0||0|
|3. Dany Gappmaier||3||3||3||0||2||3||14||0|
|4. Matthew Wethers||2*||1||3||3||9||1|
|5. Kevin Doolan||2||3||2*||2||1||2*||12||2|
|6. Coty Garcia||R||3||1*||FD||4||1|
|7. Leon Flint||1||2*||2*||1*||1*||7||4|
Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Ricky Wells||3||2||1*||3||2*||R||11||2|
|2. Justin Sedgmen||0||0||1||1||0|
|3. Josh Pickering||R||1||0||3||4||0|
|4. Joel Andersson||1||0||3||2||6||0|
|5. Cameron Heeps||1||1||2||3||1||8||0|
|6. William Lawson||2*||0||0||0||1*||3||2|
|7. Luke Ruddick||3||0||FD||3||0|
The Staggs Bar Monarchs bowed out of the Championship Shield after a 54-36 defeat to group topping Berwick Bandits at Shielfield Park on Saturday night.
The result which guarantees the Bandits a semi final place either as group winners or at worst as best runner up from the group stages was never really in doubt as the Bandits were continually sharper from the starts and on a track that was almost impossible to pass on this was key.
The one Monarch who did manage to make at least a few starts was Ricky Wells who said after 'The track was pretty sketchy early on although that was nobody's fault they had ripped it up then got a shower no one was expecting after that there was only one line and you knew the result by the backstraight of the the 1st lap. The teams performance wasn't really very good we were miles behind early on we fought back a little later on but it was too late'
The Monarchs did actually take the lead early on when Luke Ruddick made the jump in heat 2, partner William Lawson able to join him at the front after Coty Garcia's bike gave up the ghost entering the 2nd lap.
The lead was to be short lived though the Bandits gaining two maximum advantages in the next two races and the Monarchs could never get themselves back in the match.
Further advantages were to come in heats 5,6,7 and 8 for the home men each time with the race decided by the exit of the 2nd bend and at this stage the Borderers advantage was 18 points and it looked like a really heavy defeat could be in store for the Monarchs.
As it was the Monarchs sharpened up the rest of the way. Heat 9 saw Wells brought in as a tactical substitute but neither he nor partner Cameron Heeps could hit the front and Bandits guest Matty Wethers took the spoils. This race probably magnifying the importance of making the start as the previously untouchable Dany Gappmaier trailed in last half a straight behind the field after missing out.
The next heat did see some excitement as youngster Leon Flint who was excellent throughout rounded Lawson on bends 3 and 4 of the 2nd lap. The Bandits losing out on points when partner Aaron Summers suffered mechanical gremlins on the last lap allowing Joel Andersson to take victory.
The Monarchs then had another highlight in heat 13 as Wells and Heeps took maximum points but at this stage it was largely damage control as the Armadale men meekly excited the competition despite having a home match against Glasgow still to race.
Only a win will do for the Staggs Bar Monarchs as we head for Shielfield to take on the Bandits completing our away fixtures in this year's Championship Shield on Saturday evening.
As it stands the Monarchs currently have 6 points with 2 fixtures left so a maximum of 13 points is available, the Bandits top the table with 11 so a win for the home men would see them finish on 14 and heavy favourites to progress. A Monarchs win however would mean that it all would come down to our home clash against Glasgow.
A victory will be no mean feat seeing as the Bandits are in scintillating home form so far, comfortable victories over Newcastle and Glasgow alongside 6 of the 7 Bandits reaching at least the semi finals of their season open individual meeting shows the enormity of the task ahead.
The Bandits are still slightly undermanned with Jye Etheridge out with a broken collarbone and Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen on Danish Championship duty. Former Monarch Matty Wethers steps in for Jye with rider replacement for Jakobsen allowing all 7 Bandits the opportunity to take a ride.
The Monarchs will be at full strength with the feeling in the camp still being that more is to come from the current line-up, all of the Monarchs had their moments in the home victory over the Bandits although there are still a couple of which more could be expected and with a mixed bag of results at the Borders track in the past it will take all to be on their game tonight if we are to get the victory required.
Can the Blue and Gold pull off the result required to keep the Championship Shield hopes alive, if you can't be at Shielfield then keep an eye on the Monarchs website for live updates, for those in attendance be sure to cheer on the boys.
See you there!