Team Manager: Laurence Rogers
|1. Adam Ellis||3||3||3||3||12||0|
|2. James Shanes||1||R||3||1||5||0|
|3. Zach Wajtknecht||3||0||0||3||6||0|
|4. Ashley Morris||2*||3||1||2*||8||2|
|5. Ulrich Ostergaard||R||0||1*||1||2||1|
|6. Paco Castagna||3||3||2||3||11||0|
|7. Nathan Stoneman||0||2||2*||0||4||1|
Team Manager: John Campbell
|1. Ricky Wells||0||1*||3||0||4||1|
|2. Justin Sedgmen||2||2||1||0||5||0|
|3. Josh Pickering||1||2||3||0||2||8||0|
|4. Joel Anderson||0||1*||2||1||4||1|
|5. Cameron Heeps||3||2||2*||2||9||1|
|6. William Lawson||1*||1*||0||1*||3||3|
|7. Luke Ruddick||2||1||0||3||0|
The Staggs Bar Monarchs went down by 36-48 at Birmingham, a disappointing result without question, but even worse than that was a heavy tumble taken by Josh Pickering in heat 15. The race wasn't rerun as the Aussie received on-track treatment, the meeting being abandoned with the 10pm curfew approaching.
Team boss John Campbell said 'Josh had to go to hospital in the ambulance and was talking to the paramedic. We hope we will get good news on his condition.
'It was a poor performance by the team there's no doubt, even with Birmingham's changes I believe we should have got something out of the match. We needed a strong showing from no. 1 but Ricky Wells did something I can't remember seeing him do before which was change his bike mid-meeting. He won his third heat and thought he had things sorted, but then had another pointless ride.'
On a track which got dusty early on there were a few good races. Monarchs' first race winner was Cameron Heeps in heat 4, and he had to pull off a last lap outside overtake on surprise packet Nathan Stoneman to do it.
Heat 5 was another good one as Morris swept round the early leader Sedgmen to take the three points.
Josh Pickering was our second race winner on his tactical sub ride in heat 9, a comfortable 5-1 backed up by Heeps. Two heats later Ricky Wells won his only race which was also the only defeat for home reserve Paco Castagna.
With two heats to go, at 8 points down, we still had a chance of something but a 1-5 loss followed by Josh's pileup was a disappointing end to the night.
New home rider Adam Ellis scored a pretty easy 12-point maximum and now it's fingers crossed for our Aussie ace Josh that his injuries are not too serious.
JOSH PICKERING UPDATE: Josh was released from hospital in the early hours of Thursday morning. Josh sustained some shoulder ligament damage and a sore head in his crash but is otherwise alright. Josh will miss Friday's home match against Glasgow but it is great news that he is relatively unscathed.
The Staggs Bar Monarchs start their away league campaign this week with a trip down the M6 and a visit to the Birmingham Brummies.
The Brummies are a famous name in the sport but have had a bit of an up and down few years with regards their league placing having tasted action in all 3 divisions but under the ownership of former rider David Mason among others this year it was decided the time was right to step back up into the second tier for the first time since 2010.
Early results have not been to the managements liking with 7 defeats in 7 matches so far this in turn has led to a change in line-up with the top end being bolstered with the addition of Adam Ellis at no 1 a further change being necessitated meaning Nathan Stoneman coming in at reserve, Kyle Newman and Tobias Thomsen being the riders to make way from the initial septet.
The Brummies will hoping these changes give a better balance to the team as they look to kick start their season. The major benefit for the Brummies being that only 1 of those 7 defeats came in the league that being away at Sheffield so they still have time on their side to aim for the playoffs.
As mentioned earlier Ellis will now lead the way at number 1 with the domino effect meaning the rest of a solid top 5 should now be in more comfortable positions. The experienced Ulrich Ostergaard will now slot into second heat leader while the young trio of Ashley Morris, James Shanes and Zach Wajtknecht make up the engine room. As is often the case with younger riders and obviously with the results not going the Brummies way so far this trio have been inconsistent, however all have noted talent with Morris a former Monarch, Shanes so impressive at Armadale last year and Wajtknacht sure to benefit from a training session with 3 time world champ Jason Crump just this week.
The addition of Stoneman at reserve means added pressure on senior reserve Paco Castagna but so far the Italian has probably been the main shining light for the midland's men, their were more than a few who questioned the return to British speedway of Castagna but newly focussed and looking fitter than ever the former Sheffield and Ipswich racer is currently averaging over 6 so this should not concern him at all.
For the Staggs Bar Monarchs it will be a case of a trip into the unknown for a chunk of the team although there is Perry Barr experience in the ranks, Ricky, Justin, Willie all have had numerous meetings there while Luke has the most recent experience from the National League last year. Cameron is coming off a fantastic week with his match saving heat 13 ride against Leicester last Friday then being backed up with an 11 point score guesting for Sheffield and that impressive 15 point haul on BT Sport on Monday night. Josh and Joel will be making their Perry Barr debuts but again the nature of the circuit should not faze either.
So a match that could have a big bearing on the Monarchs league season despite it's earliness in the campaign, to make the playoffs come September away points will be required and what a great start it would be to get some on the board early.
Can the boys do it? For those not in attendance the Monarchs official website is the place to be for all updates and for those that are there make sure to make extra noise to cheer on the boys!