Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Sam Masters||3||3||3||3||2||14||0|
|2. James Sarjeant||1||2*||3||1||2||9||1|
|3. Josh Pickering||2*||1*||3||2*||3||11||3|
|4. Ricky Wells||3||2||3||3||1*||12||1|
|5. Cameron Heeps||3||3||0|
|6. Connor Coles||1*||1||1*||2*||5||3|
|7. William Lawson||2||2*||1||1||0||6||1|
Team Manager: Laurence Rogers
|1. Adam Ellis||2||3||FD||3||1*||9||1|
|2. Tobias Thomsen||0||FD||2||0||FD||2||0|
|3. Tero Aarnio||1||2||2||2||7||0|
|4. Paco Castagna||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|5. Jason Garrity||FD||1||1||2||3||7||0|
|6. Arran Butcher||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|7. Nick Agertoft||3||1||4||0|
The Staggs Bar Monarchs recorded their second highest total of the season tonight in the 30-point Championship victory over Birmingham Brummies, but the downside was a heat 4 pileup which caused injury to key man Cameron Heeps.
Assuming broken ribs are confirmed Monarchs will have to think of the best way of replacing their Aussie for the run-in, in which they probably need to win all six of their remaining fixtures to reach the Playoffs. It just got harder.
The track came in for a lot of praise from the riders and senior reserve William Lawson said "It had just the right of dirt on it tonight, I quite enjoyed it. I feel I'm getting better, I just try to make improvements every week.
"I watched Connor Coles in his last couple of rides and he impressed me. He has found it difficult in the wet recently but it will have done him good tonight to get some good points."
The heat 4 incident occurred when race leader Jason Garrity spun off while leading, right in the path of Heeps who tried to swerve round him but clattered head first into the air fence. Birmingham reserve Nick Agertoft, who had won heat 2, sustained a foot injury when he joined the melee, and he didn't ride again either.
The only visitors to make much impression were Adam Ellis (2 race wins), Garrity (winner of heat 15) and Tero Aarnio who normally struggles badly at Armadale.
Pickings were fairly easy for the Monarchs' men though none scored a maximum. Sam Masters couldn't catch Garrity in heat 15, and the only points lost to the opposition by Ricky Wells and Josh Pickering came in heat 5 even though they were initially on a 5-1 in this race.
Returning Dane Tobias Thomson came down on the opening lap and appeared to make no attempt at all to clear the track, giving Ellis an opportunity in the rerun which he duly took.
Monarchs' backup riders also did well, James Sarjeant scoring in every ride and totalling 9, with 11 points coming from reserves Connor Coles and William Lawson.
Coles has been struggling in recent weeks, riding tentatively and getting into difficulties, but he responded to an instruction from Sam Masters to "attack the track!" and did much better in his final heats. He came very close to passing Adam Ellis in heat 11 and this might be a sign of better things to come for the popular no. 6.
But it was too one-sided to be a memorable meeting, and the loss of Heeps is definitely a cause for regret.
Another week another must win for the Staggs Bar Monarchs as we welcome the Birmingham Brummies to Armadale in SGB Championship action.
The Brummies made the leap back to the second tier for the first time in a good few years this year and in all honesty they have not had their troubles to seek as they currently sit 10th in the league on 14 points.
The feeling of misfortune around the camp will not have been lifted this week with the news that captain James Shanes has been lost for the season with horrific sounding injuries sustained in a grass track accident with everyone wishing a speedy recovery to the young Englishman.
On top of this recent reserve capture Jordan Jenkins became the latest in a long list of youngsters to step down from the Championship this year due to not feeling able to meet the demands. This has been an all too common occurrence this year and is something the authorities need to look at, although that is a discussion for another time.
This has led to further team changes from the Midlands outfit and stepping in to make his debut (or should that be re-debut) is Tobias Thomsen. Thomsen was a member of the Brummies team at season's start and while finding the competition a little too tough averaging 2.22 the Brummies management obviously feel there was glimpses of talent there and Thomsen has been given another chance to show what he can do.
At reserve Arran Butcher will step in for Jenkins this evening, Butcher is a Birmingham asset currently riding at reserve for Mildenhall in the National League and while maybe a bit soon for Championship level action the experience can only do the youngster good.
Elsewhere the Brummies team will line-up as expected and when you look through the team it does come as a surprise they find themselves where they are in the league. Adam Ellis has done a strong job at number 1 since his introduction earlier in the season and with back-up from Jason Garrity pending transport issues that caused Garrity to miss a trip to Ipswich last night and have caused him to miss Armadale matches in the past being all sorted then there is a strong and exciting spearhead in place.
Tero Aarnio is an experienced performer having appeared on the world stage in various World Cup / Speedway of Nation competitions. Aarnio is perhaps a more noted big track performer and has struggled at Armadale in the past although if he hits the front he will take some beating.
In the mix for signing of the season is Paco Castagna, Castagna looked lost to the sport on these shores after a long absence since he last raced in the UK however a newly determined and fitter Castagna has been a revelation this year adding around 2.5 points onto his starting average.
Nick Agertoft completes the team with the young Dane another who has been given his first chance with the Brummies, again there have been flashes of his potential alongside some struggles and it will be interesting to see how he gets on with the Dale on his debut there.
For the Staggs Bar Monarchs the job has not changed, winning all home matches is a must alongside away victories most notably with a huge match at Somerset coming next week.
Although there has not been any team action since the convincing win over Eastbourne last week the majority of the team has been in action with Sam, Ricky, Josh, Cameron and Connor all keeping themselves busy.
The win against Eastbourne was a very positive result with the top 4 all on fine form being well backed up by an improving by the week James Sarjeant and a more competitive Willie Lawson. This is the formula the Monarchs will need to continue should we be to make up the ground on Somerset and get ourselves into those end of season playoffs.
So another interesting night of action lies ahead with the excitement for the fans of seeing riders they have not seen before or don't get to see often not to mention the entertainment that is being served up on a weekly basis by our boys.
It's getting down to the business end of the season so time to get behind the team like never before, get yourself trackside to catch the action.
See you there!
Tuesday 20th August 2019, 10:30am
Since returning to the Staggs Bar Monarchs line up at Leicester on 17th July Sam Masters has had such a positive influence on the team not least because of his immense scoring in five matches to date.
Wednesday 21st August 2019, 5:04pm
The Birmingham Brummies are a historic British Speedway club dating back to 1946, but they have only come north to race the Monarchs on 11 occasions, and not since 2010.
Friday 23rd August 2019, 2:00pm
It's a few weeks since we last had a meeting that wasn't threatened by rain but that's what we've got this week with a continuing dry day but with a little bit of cloud forecast for the rest of the day.