Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Ricky Wells||1*||3||3||0||0||7||1|
|2. Justin Sedgmen||2||2*||3||1||8||1|
|3. Josh Pickering||3||1*||2||3||9||1|
|4. Joel Andersson||1||2||1*||2||6||1|
|5. Cameron Heeps||2||2||2||2||1||9||0|
|6. William Lawson||2*||0||0||0||2||1|
|7. Luke Ruddick||3||0||1||FD||4||0|
Team Manager: Stewart Dickson
|1. Scott Nicholls||3||3||3||3||1||2*||15||1|
|2. Connor Mountain||0||0||FD||0||0|
|3. Josh Bates||0||1||R||FD||1||0|
|4. Ryan Douglas||2||2||3||7||0|
|5. Richie Worrall||3||1||3||3||3||13||0|
|6. Danny Phillips||1||0||0||1||0|
|7. Ellis Perks||0||1||2||1||2||1||7||0|
So after last week's easier than expected victory over Scunthorpe the Staggs Bar Monarchs face on paper the toughest task of the season so far with the visit of the Leicester Lions in our first SGB Championship match of the season.
The Lions were the pre season favourites for honours with many and they are living up to this billing so far with 9 victories out of 10 at Championship level with 8 wins out of 8 since that sole defeat a 6 point loss at Scunthorpe at the start of April.
Since then the Lions have been in scintillating form with victories at Redcar, Sheffield and Eastbourne alongside an unblemished home record and with the level of Armadale experience and expertise in the line-up it all adds up to the biggest test of the year so far.
Leading the Lions is a heat leader trio the envy of most in the league and all with a noted love of our circuit in Scott Nicholls, Richie Worrall and Josh Bates. Nicholls made his re-appearance at the Dale last year his first in around 20 years and it was like he had never been away with a paid 18 score. Worrall needs no introduction after his dominant spell in the blue and gold last year while we were all reminded of Bates liking for our circuit just a couple of weeks ago with a 11 point score while guesting for Berwick in our narrow win over the Bandits.
The heat leader trio is well backed up by Ryan Douglas who has made a successful return to UK speedway after a year out, currently averaging around 8.5 for the year Douglas has never had the best of times at Armadale in the past though and it could be with the top of the Leicester team so strong that the Monarchs will need to look to take advantage of their added experience in the lower orders. Connor Mountain completes the top 5 having moved up from starting the season at reserve. Mountain has been about for a couple of years always showing promise but maybe never getting a fair run in a team to make it stick, this has turned around this year and with a 2019 average of 6.84 Mountain is really making good on that talent.
This improvement in Mountain means the Lions will always have at least one strong reserve with Ellis Perks the senior reserve as it stands. Perks another who was very unfortunate to miss out on a team slot last year after an excellent 2017 with Redcar. Perks is looking to make up for lost time and a spell at reserve will surely lead to a points and confidence boost. There is one change to Stewart Dickson's line-up that head north this evening with Jack Thomas out with a dislocated shoulder Newcastle's Danny Phillips steps in. We have already seen Phillips at Armadale this year with a 1 point score he will be looking to improve on.
So a very strong looking visitors but the Staggs Bar Monarchs will not go into the match worrying about who they are up against but more focusing on their own performances knowing if they perform to their ability then the result will take care of itself.
Last Friday's heavy defeat of the Scorpions will have been a much need confidence boost for a few and of course the added bonus of a nice pay packet on the back of it. Ricky recorded his first maximum of the season and that level of performance will be needed this week also. Justin was back closer to the rider we all remember from the past and he is putting in the laps wherever he can to get the sharpness back with another spell on track during the week helping out at the No Limits training days. Josh will come up against his partner from last year Richie Worrall and what a partnership that was recording 5-1 after 5-1 at Armadale his job tonight is to show Richie how far he has kicked on this year and keep that going. Joel will feel the benefit of the Swedish league having started and the sharpness that brings while Cameron continues to show strong form with another good performance for Ipswich in their comfortable victory over Poole this week.
At the bottom end it was great to see both Willie and Luke paid for double figures last week, Willie seeing the benefit of improved machinery showing that the talent is definitely still there. While for Luke after his big off at Berwick the previous week and the cost that came with that it was great to see him record his highest ever score at Championship level the same required this week.
So a truly mouth-watering tie in prospect and a real litmus test to the Monarchs championship aspirations this year a win over the Lions would be a real boon and show that Armadale once again will be a fortress this year and give us a good platform to build our playoff push on.
Can our men repel the challenge there's only one place to be to find out and that's trackside.
See you there!
Saturday 18th May 2019, 1:18am
The Staggs Bar Monarchs won their first Championship match tonight against Leicester, the team rated the toughest in the division, by just a single point, 45-44.
Friday 17th May 2019, 9:15pm
The Staggs Bar Monarchs became the first to lower the Leicester Lions colours in the Championship this season with a narrow 45-44 victory. Top scorer for the Monarchs was Josh PIckering with 9+1 while Scott Nicholls led the way for the visitors with 15+1
Wednesday 15th May 2019, 7:00pm
Ask anyone following Championship Speedway in 2019 who they expect to win the title and before long the name of Leicester Lions will crop up. They will be a big test for the Staggs Bar Monarchs on Friday in what is our opening Championship fixture of the season. It couldn't be tougher.