Edinburgh Monarchs Academy
Team Manager: Scott Wilson
|1. Kyle Bickley||R||2||2||0||4||0|
|2. Mickie Simpson||1||1*||FD||0||2||1|
|3. Adam Roynon||2||2||2||2||1||9||0|
|4. Alex Spooner||1*||1*||FD||2||2|
|5. Jacob Hook||3||2||F||1||0||6||0|
|6. Dayle Wood||3||2||1||1*||1||8||1|
|7. Bailey Fellows||1||FD||0||0||1||0|
Team Manager: Peter Schroeck
|1. Jordan Jenkins||3||3||3||2*||2*||13||2|
|2. Jacob Clouting||2*||F||F||2*||4||2|
|3. Henry Atkins||3||3||3||3||3||15||0|
|4. Jody Scott||0||1||1||2*||4||1|
|5. Ryan Kinsley||2||3||3||3||11||0|
|6. Mark Parker||0||1*||1||2||1|
|7. Kelsey Dugard||2||0||3||0||3||8||0|
Tonight's National League match was expected to be close, but as it turned out it wasn't, because after a fairly well contested first six heats which left the Stellar Monarchs Academy two points in arrears, Oxford won all but one of the remaining races and finished with four 5-1s in the last five heats.
The only home rider who enhanced his reputation was Dayle Wood who has struggled for points so far this season, but got well stuck in tonight and provided quite a bit of entertainment. He told the Monarchs' Friday Focus internet show "It was unfortunate for the boys, not the result we wanted, but a big improvement for me, getting out of the starts. I had made some changes to my bike, still a few mistakes cost me a few points but that's racing."
Dayle won heat 2, missed out on another win in heat 8 when he fell when well clear on the last lap, and scored in all of his five races.
The Monarchs Academy had no answer to the blitz and could only take two race wins, these coming through Dale Wood in heat 2 and Jacob Hook in heat 4 – the only time one of the three visiting heat leaders was beaten. This was a good ride by Hook to pass Ryan Kinsley.
Jordan Jenkins and Henry Atkins were never seriously challenged, although Jenkins was behind at least a couple of times. Atkins was particularly impressive in winning all his five races easily.
The Academy had until this week three riders who were racing in the Championship, the same number as the Chargers, but the home trio were completely outclassed to be frank. Adam Roynon made a couple of starts but proved to be vulnerable off the second bend, and Kyle Bickley never got into the match at all.
Having been dropped from the Monarchs' side, Bickley and Hook might have gone out to show the promotion they had done the wrong thing, but if that was their intention they did not achieve it on this showing. Hook was probably the best of the home heat leaders, even though Roynon scored more, and he was involved in a good tussle with Jenkins and Kinsley in heat 13 before being pegged back. Jacob lost points in heat 11 when he spun off at the first corner after Jenkins clamped him down going in to the bend.
The Academy lost Alex Spooner who took a heavy fall in heat 9 and withdrew from the meeting, and there were quite a few fallers during the evening, as well as some fast times by recent NDL standards.
Oxford were as impressive as their total of 57 suggests. As well as the heat leaders, Jacob Clouting had two paid wins (including heat 1) and lost further points through falls. Jody Scott improved all night and finished with a paid win, and Kelsey Dugard scored well at reserve. Even the complete newcomer Mark Parker bagged a couple of points and rode steadily.
Heavy home defeats seem to be currently in fashion at Armadale and supporters will be hoping for better displays. The new Monarch Bastian Borke spoke to the crowd tonight in an interview and also had a practise session at the end of the night, so that might be the first step towards improving things.
There are two speedway meetings at Armadale this weekend starting with the Stellar Monarchs Academy against the highly-rated Oxford Chargers in the National Development League on Friday (7:30pm). Then at 1:30 on Saturday afternoon the latest round of the British Youth Championship (with 44 races) will be staged.
The Monarchs Academy will be at full strength with heat leaders Bickley, Hook and Roynon leading the way – they have ruled the roost at home so far this season. Adam Roynon indeed hasn't been beaten at Armadale this season. But Oxford number 1 Jordan Jenkins is probably the top man in the whole league and will take some beating, and he is backed by another Championship rider in Henry Atkins plus some other talented young riders.
Academy team manager Scott Wilson is aware of the threat. "Oxford will present our toughest test of the season at Armadale so far. They bring a strong heat leader trio of Championship riders (and Premiership in Jordan Jenkins case) so our heat leaders will have to be at their best. The match could be won and lost in the second string and reserve berths, our lads in these positions haven't all clicked at the same time so far – we will need them to."
The Saturday afternoon event will feature 39 riders and 44 races (including the finals of the five categories – 500cc, 250cc, 125cc, Support, and Women's). In the Women's event one very interesting entrant is Celina Liebmann, probably the most impressive female rider for a very long time who has ridden with success in SGP2 (ie the World Under-21 final) last year.
The other three entrants including British no. 1 Katie Gordon will be keen to make things tough for Celina. This will be the fourth time the British Youth Championship has staged a round at Armadale and so far, 16 riders from these events have progressed to the three tiers of British League Speedway.
Both of this week's meetings will be Live Streamed for those who cannot attend, details on www.edinburghmonarchs.co.uk.
THIS WEEKEND'S EVENTS:
Friday 2nd June: Edinburgh Monarchs Academy v Oxford Chargers (National Development League), Armadale, 7:30pm
STELLAR MONARCHS ACADEMY: Kyle Bickley (captain), Mickie Simpson, Adam Roynon, Alex Spooner, Jacob Hook, Dayle Wood, Kyran Lyden.
WSRA CHARGERS: Jordan Jenkins (captain), Jacob Clouting, Henry Atkins, Jody Scott, Ryan Kinsley, Mark Parker (guest), Kelsey Dugard.
Saturday 3rd June: British Youth Championship fifth leg, Armadale, 1:30pm