NEWS Tuesday 19th June 2007, 2:55pm

by Mike Hunter

The Scotwaste Monarchs face the Redcar Bears in two matches on Thursday and Friday with both teams having reasons to be optimistic.

Redcar won at Armadale in the Premier Trophy in March, and after suffering some injury problems in the interim they are back to virtually full strength. Edinburgh took a shock away win at Newport on Sunday and may welcome back Matthew Wethers who appears to have made a speedy recovery from his leg injury.

TEAMS FOR THE PREMIER LEAGUE MATCH AT ARMADALE ON FRIDAY 22nd JUNE (start time 7.30, doors open 6.30) are:

EDINBURGH SCOTWASTE MONARCHS: Theo Pijper, Derek Sneddon, Ronnie Correy (capt.), Andrew Tully, Henrik Moller, Jack Roberts, Matthew Wethers or Lee Complin

REDCAR BEARS: Gary Havelock (capt.), Arlo Bugeja, James Grieves, Chris Kerr, Matt Tresarrieu, Josh Auty, Benji Compton

AUTY BOOST FOR BEARS: One of the main reasons for Redcar's optimistic outlook on the remainder of the season is the inclusion in their side of Josh Auty.

The 16 year old is regarded as one of the country's most talented youngsters, but he has only ridden a handful of matches for the Bears so far due to his studies.

He has only ridden one away match so far this season but is now expected to ride regularly.

The reserve berths have been the weak point of the Bears' side, but that should be sorted now!

WETHERS REPORT: The remarkable Matthew Wethers injured his leg in a crash last Friday, but after treatment he came out in two subsequent races and won them both!

He won the weekly Hermiston Motor Co. Monarch of the Match award, but when he visited Hospital on Saturday morning he was told there was ligament damage and that he might face a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

However today (Tuesday) the Wethers camp report that he is well on the mend and could be fit to ride on Thursday at Redcar!

Should Matthew not make it, Lee Complin had already agreed to guest in his place on Thursday and Friday.

AWAY WIN: Monarchs recorded their first away league win of the season at Newport on Sunday, with considerable assistance from guest Lee Complin (18 pts) but also with good performances elsewhere in the team.

SPONSORS ON FRIDAY: Sponsors of Friday's meeting will be the Hampton Hotel of 14 Corstorphine Road, Edinburgh. They have sponsored several previous meetings at Armadale and are the club's recommended venue in Edinburgh.

BEARS LOOKING TO WIN AGAIN: Redcar won 46-44 at Armadale on 30th March, with a last heat 5-1 from Gary Havelock and James Grieves clinching their win. Grieves completed a 15-point maximum.

These two will spearhead their attack again on Thursday and Friday, along with Frenchman Matt Tresarrieu who also went well in March. Both Tresarrieu and Havelock had a lengthy spell on the sidelines but they are back and fit now.

The addition of the potent Auty in a reserve berth could make a big difference to Redcar's scoring, and of course American Chris Kerr has also shown up well several times at Armadale.

The Bears are one of the strongest sides around and can be expected to challenge for a Playoff spot at the end of the season.

THEO, DALE AT BERWICK: Berwick stage their 40th Anniversary reunion at Shielfield tomorrow, with many famous names from their past in attendance. In the actual meeting, Theo Pijper will be riding, and Monarchs' mascot Dale The Slider Lamb will be showing his style also.

LAST WEEK'S MEETING: The Scotwaste Monarchs beat Newport 59-33 at Armadale last Friday. Theo Pijper scored a full 15 point maximum.

THE NEXT MEETING: The Scotwaste Monarchs are not racing at Armadale on Friday 29th June as this is the date for the Premier Pairs at Somerset. So their next home match is on Friday 6th July, and this will be against the Newcastle Diamonds in the Premier League.