Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Sam Masters||3||2*||3||3||1*||12||2|
|2. James Sarjeant||1||3||3||0||7||0|
|3. Josh Pickering||1||2||2*||2||7||1|
|4. Ricky Wells||0||1*||3||3||7||1|
|5. Cameron Heeps||3||3||2*||1||2||11||1|
|6. William Lawson||3||2*||3||1||9||1|
|7. Connor Coles||2*||1||1||0||4||1|
Team Manager: Garry May
|1. Rory Schlein R/R||0||0|
|2. Anders Rowe||0||0||1||0||0||1||0|
|3. Nick Morris||2||2*||F||2||3||3||12||1|
|4. Nico Covatti||3||3||2||1*||1||2||0||12||1|
|5. Chris Harris||2||1||1||1||2||7||0|
|6. Nathan Stoneman||FD||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|7. Luke Harris||R||R||0||0|
The Staggs Bar Monarchs gave perhaps their best performance of the season tonight to defeat Somerset Rebels by 57-32, scoring well throughout the side.
Sam Masters and Cameron Heeps led the scoring but reserve William Lawson was awarded the weekly Monarch of the Match prize, and no. 7 Connor Coles continued his recent progress with 4 points.
Coles survived a torrid first corner in heat 2. He said "I got hit twice and had some tough races. Nathan Stoneman hit me hard in heat 2 and even harder in my next one but I managed to stay on.
"I made some good starts, I always get on well when there are grippy starts. I was pleased to play my part in a good win. I want to get a double figure score by the end of the season and maybe get a slot for next year."
Somerset in contrast got literally nothing at all from their reserve berths, an unusual occurrence as there should be at least a minimum one point in heat 2.
In the runup to the match a close contest was expected, though that might have been revised a bit following Rory Schlein's withdrawal after a crash at Poole on Thursday night.
The two outstanding visiting riders were Nick Morris and Nico Covatti riding together at nos. 3 and 4. Morris was impressive throughout with only an unexpected fall in heat 7 when in second place spoiling his consistent scorechart. He won his last couple of heats including heat 15 in which he headed the previously unbeaten Masters.
Covatti started very strongly with two fast wins, but faded a bit later, though he was always worth watching. He had a couple of exciting tussles with home man Josh Pickering.
Somerset's other heat leader Chris Harris was mostly disappointing, taking 5 rides to amass 7. His best moment came in heat 13 when he managed to slip past Cameron Heeps who had been unbeaten, but the Rebels needed more from their most experienced man.
Every one of the Monarchs managed at least one paid win. Lawson, Sarjeant and Ricky Wells all took the chequered flag twice and it would have taken a very good side indeed to run the Monarchs close tonight.
The Monarchs' top men found time to support their partners in two of the five 5-point heats the home side recorded tonight. Sam Masters was happy to slot in behind James Sarjeant in heat 6, and Cameron Heeps did likewise with William Lawson in heat 11 after a very fast run off the second turn by Lawson.
Lawson didn't drop a point until heat 14 when he seemed to have more speed than Covatti but could not squeeze past.
Monarchs fans will wait to see whether their team can carry this form into their away matches at Berwick and Newcastle over the weekend. So far this season they have not achieved a lot away from Armadale, but tonight's display suggests they should not be ruled out.
Tonight's match was streamed live into Somerset's spacious clubhouse at the Oak Tree Arena and early reports are that this innovation was much appreciated.
Somerset might not be at the top of the table but they are likely Playoff qualifiers and do have probably the strongest top four in the Championship, so they are sure to be entertaining when they come to Armadale on Friday to face the Staggs Bar Monarchs in the Championship. It's the first visit by the Rebels since 2016.
The Rebels will be tracking Rory Schlein, Nick Morris, Chris Harris and Nico Covatti and it is very hard to top that quartet. Monarchs will be trying to do just that and also to stop the Rebels from gaining any points, in order to keep their own very slender playoff hopes alive.
Monarchs disappointingly lost 35-55 at Somerset on Wednesday and at the very least need to restore pride with a good performance. They enjoyed no luck at all at the Oak Tree Arena so hopefully that aspect will change – starting with the return of Cameron Heeps who will be back in action at Ipswich on Thursday night before travelling to Armadale.
Monarchs and Rebels of course contested the League Playoff Finals of 2013 and 2014, and the Knockout Cup Final of 2015.
Team manager Alex Harkess says "I'm sure the Somerset match on Friday will be enjoyable. There have been some very important meetings against that club in our stadium, and hopefully there will be again in the future. We welcome them.
"Friday's match could be a historic one because it will be live-streamed direct to Somerset stadium where we hope Rebels fans will be watching. This potentially is a new development for Speedway which could be highly beneficial. I have to congratulate the Campbell boys and everyone else involved, and let's hope it is a big success."
Friday 6th September: Staggs Bar Monarchs v Somerset (Championship), Armadale, 7:30pm
STAGGS BAR MONARCHS: Sam Masters, James Sarjeant, Josh Pickering, Ricky Wells (capt.), Cameron Heeps, Connor Coles, William Lawson.
SOMERSET CASES REBELS: Rory Schlein, Anders Rowe, Chris Harris, Nico Covatti, Nick Morris, Luke Harris, Nathan Stoneman.
Saturday 7th September: Berwick v Staggs Bar Monarchs (Championship), 6:30pm.
Sunday 8th September: Newcastle v Staggs Bar Monarchs (Championship), 6:30pm. Richard Lawson guests for Sam Masters who has to ride in a Polish Playoff match.
SPEEDWAY RIDERS BENEVOLENT FUND: Having been postponed last Friday, this week we will be trying again with annual collection for this worthy cause. Each track holds a collection every year and Monarchs' supporters have an extremely generous record.
Friday 6th September 2019, 12:00pm
With still a mathematical chance of qualification for the play offs available to us we welcome the team to Armadale tonight that we hope to replace in the top four, Somerset.