The Staggs Bar Monarchs race Newcastle Diamonds in the Championship at Armadale on Friday evening, and will have to rely on rider replacement to cover for the absence of Cameron Heeps.
As we know Cameron doesn't have broken ribs as was first feared, but he hasn't recovered sufficiently to race this week. That is a major blow and while Newcastle are not riding high in the league, it is absolutely plain that they are well equipped to challenge Monarchs strongly on Friday.
Three former Monarchs for a start – Steve Worrall, Matthew Wethers, Max Clegg – plus others who are well capable of getting round the West Lothian track. One of them is Ulrich Ostergaard who recently has enjoyed a real upsurge in his form.
Connor Coles took a knock guesting at Newcastle last Sunday but he is ready to race. Heeps lies third in the team's averages which means Wells, Pickering, Sarjeant and the reserves can take his rides. Qualification for the Playoffs might be a long shot but the riders are still keen to give it their best shot, and Friday will be as big a challenge as any they face.
No. 1 Sam Masters whose arrival has given the side such a boost, recognises the threat. "You look at their team and you see a lot of guys that rode for Edinburgh like Stevie (Worrall), Max (Clegg) and Matty (Wethers) so we will need to be on sharp form and make sure we don't slip up."
Friday 30th August: Staggs Bar Monarchs v Newcastle (Championship), Armadale, 7:30pm
STAGGS BAR MONARCHS: Sam Masters, James Sarjeant, Josh Pickering, Ricky Wells (capt.), rider replacement for Cameron Heeps, Connor Coles, William Lawson.
NEWCASTLE BTS DIAMONDS: Steve Worrall (capt.), Ulrich Ostergaard, Lasse Bjerre, Matthew Wethers, Thomas Jorgensen, Max Clegg, Danny Phillips.
Sunday 1st September: Championship Individual at Sheffield, 5pm. Sam Masters represents the Staggs Bar Monarchs.