CHAMPS LOOK TO CUP AND TROPHY THIS WEEKEND

NEWS Thursday 25th September 2008, 9:14am

by Mike Hunter

With the Premier League title for 2008 now theirs, the Scotwaste Monarchs turn their attention this weekend to the Knockout Cup semi-final as they take on Workington Comets at Armadale on Friday and down in Cumbria on Saturday.

The aggregate winners will go forward to meet Somerset in the final. Also this weekend Monarchs go to Birmingham on Sunday hopeful of securing another national honour, the Premier Trophy. In the Cup matches, Comets bring in Tomas Topinka as replacement for their injured no.1 Daniel Nermark.

TEAMS FOR THE KNOCKOUT CUP SEMI-FINAL AT ARMADALE ON FRIDAY 26th SEPTEMBER (start time 7.30, doors open 6.30) are:

EDINBURGH SCOTWASTE MONARCHS: William Lawson, Derek Sneddon (captain), Rider replacement for Thomas H Jonasson, Andrew Tully, Ryan Fisher, Matthew Wethers, Aaron Summers.

WORKINGTON THOMAS ARMSTRONG COMETS: Tomas Topinka (guest), Charles Wright, Kauko Nieminen, Joe Haines, Carl Stonehewer, Tomi Reima, John Branney.

THE PREMIER LEAGUE AND PLAYOFFS:

The PL Playoffs feature the top four teams in the Premier League after matches staged this Friday.

SOMERSET have 48 points from their completed 30 matches and kept the title race going by winning this week at the Isle of Wight (Tuesday). However they came up just 4 points short at Birmingham (Wednesday) and the race was over.

EDINBURGH have 50 points from 29 matches and the only remaining match is away v Glasgow (12/10). Monarchs are champions!

KING'S LYNN will definitely be in the Playoffs as will Rye House as long as their beat Stoke at home this Friday. Should that not happen, Workington will be the fourth side in the Playoffs.

The intention would be to race the matches next week but the lineup cannot be finalised before Friday.

Edinburgh will have first pick as Champions but will not decide until the four teams are known.

The winners of the PL Playoffs race against the losers of the Elite League relegation Playoff for a place in the Elite League next season.

This is the first time that such a system has been tried.

PREMIER TROPHY: Monarchs take a lead of 41 points to Perry Barr on Sunday (6pm start) for the second leg of the Premier Trophy final.

MEETING SPONSOR: This week's match sponsors are our old friends from Keyline Broxburn, such regular backers of meetings at Armadale.

CLASSY COMETS: Ignore the 59-30 defeat Monarchs handed out to Workington in front of the Sky cameras at Armadale on 11th August. Just about everything that could go wrong that night for the Comets, did so.

Guest star Tomas Topinka and captain Kauko Nieminen present a tremendous spearhead, and the other heat Leader Carl Stonehewer will be desperate to show that his poor display in August was not a reflection of his true form.

Youngsters Charles Wright and Joe Haines are excellent second strings, both with a bright future, and at reserve they have the useful pairing of Armadale debutant Tomi Reima from Finland and the under-rated John Branney.

Naturally Monarchs will be looking for the biggest lead they can get to carry to Derwent Park, where they lost by 14 on their last appearance.

LAST MEETING: Monarchs beat Glasgow Tigers 54-39 at Armadale last Friday. Tigers performed better than many recent visitors and it took Monarchs till the latter stages to really get on top. William Lawson (14) was top scorer.

NEXT MEETING: The match next Friday (3rd October) should be the semi-final of the PL Playoffs but as explained earlier the opposition will not be known until after Friday's matches.