Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Sam Masters||3||3||3||2*||3||14||1|
|2. James Sarjeant||1||2*||1*||2*||6||3|
|3. Josh Pickering||2*||1||2*||3||8||2|
|4. Ricky Wells||3||3||3||3||2*||14||1|
|5. Cameron Heeps||1||2||1||3||7||0|
|6. William Lawson||1*||1*||2||2*||6||3|
|7. Connor Coles||2||0||0||1||3||0|
Team Manager: Simon Stead
|1. Danny King||2||2||3||3||F||1||11||0|
|2. Josh MacDonald||0||0||0||0||0|
|3. Justin Sedgmen||1||R||0||0||1||0|
|4. Todd Kurtz||0||1||2||3||0|
|5. Matthew Wethers||2*||1||1||1||5||1|
|6. Zaine Kennedy||0||0||0||0||0|
|7. Broc Nicol||3||3||3||2*||1||FD||0||12||1|
The Staggs Bar Monarchs once again proved tonight how powerful they are around the Lothian Arena by easily beating playoff hopefuls Sheffield by 58-32. They are hopeful no more.
The conundrum for Monarchs' fans is why their team can't reproduce this kind of form on the road, but that is how it has been all season. For tonight they had far too much strength for the team from Yorkshire with Sam Masters and Ricky Wells leading the way with paid maximums from 5 rides.
Team manager Alex Harkess said "That is the kind of performance we expect at Armadale, a comfortable win in the end. It's a while since anyone pushed us at home but the bottom line is that we are not in the Playoffs because of our away form."
Monarchs could even afford a bit of an off-night from Cameron Heeps who conceded two 5-1s before coming good with a heat 13 victory.
For Sheffield, former British Champion Danny King did well as expected, taking two race wins, and their surprise packet was American Broc Nicol who was unbeaten in his first four rides. That was number 1 and number 7, but the five in between didn't enjoy much success. Former Monarch Justin Sedgmen was especially disappointing in what was probably his worst ever Armadale meeting.
Masters took all his points from the start and looked completely commanding. Ricky Wells was just as dominant though he did have to peg back a couple of opponents along the way, in particular a fine effort in heat 14 when he stalked Nicol for three laps before gliding through on the inside. The American was unsettled and went into the air fence, but he was unhurt.
James Sarjeant used the second bend to good effect with some strong bursts of speed and scored in every ride, while Josh Pickering was as lively as ever dropping his only point to King.
No-one had a more eventful night than William Lawson. After a poor start in heat 2 he burst past both Kennedy and Nicol, only to pull up when he thought he saw one of the red stop lights come on. It seems to have been a light on someone's camera, so it cost William a win.
His final ride was one of his best this season as he chased Broc Nicol and went flying round the outside to the front on lap three, earning the biggest cheer of the night.
Masters and Wells closed the show by heading Danny King home to underline their superiority. There is just one remaining league match now at Armadale, home to Newcastle, plus the Scottish Cup against high-flying Glasgow.
Sheffield Tigers visit Armadale this Friday in a Championship match postponed just over a month ago. Forecast is good and the Staggs Bar Monarchs should have their full septet available – Ricky Wells has missed Poole's matches this week but is intending to ride on Friday.
The Sheffield team await Kyle Howarth but have a guest replacement ready if required. Otherwise they have a solid side including Championship Individual runner-up Danny King and former Monarchs' favourite Justin Sedgmen who started the season at Armadale.
Theoretically Sheffield could still snatch the fourth play off place from Somerset and they will be looking to do that with wins at Edinburgh and Glasgow over the weekend.
The Yorkshire side has strong reserves in American Broc Nicol and first season Aussie Zaine Kennedy, who will be a test for William Lawson and Connor Coles on Friday.
Team manager Alex Harkess says "We welcome Sheffield along with our old friend Sedgy. We have no chance to make the Playoffs now, and perhaps they do, but I expect that we will as always see a home fixture as a must win match. We want to get up the table as many places as we can and complete our home record with just the one rather unlucky home defeat, in unusual circumstances."
Friday 13th September: Staggs Bar Monarchs v Sheffield (Championship), Armadale, 7:30pm
STAGGS BAR MONARCHS: Sam Masters, James Sarjeant, Josh Pickering, Ricky Wells (capt.), Cameron Heeps, Connor Coles, William Lawson.
SHEFFIELD WINDOW CENTRE TIGERS: Danny King, Josh MacDonald, Justin Sedgmen, Todd Kurtz, Matthew Wethers (Guest for Kyle Howarth), Zaine Kennedy, Broc Nicol.
Update: Sheffield have confirmed that Kyle Howarth will be replaced by Matthew Wethers.