Edinburgh Monarchs v Glasgow Tigers

PREVIEW Friday 15th May 2009, 12:00pm

by Gary Lough

It?s a huge weekend ahead for Scottish speedway as both the Scotwaste Monarchs and old foes Glasgow Tigers look to boost their chances of Premier Trophy qualification.

The Tigers have already beaten us in the season opening Spring Trophy, so no doubt we?ll be looking to restore some pride this time round. However, that will be far from easy as our friends from the West have been riding very well thus far, especially during the last 3 heats of home meetings where they?ve been supremely dominant. Indeed, I think I?m right in saying they?ve achieved a 5-1 success in each and every heat 13 and 15 at Ashfield! And they?re not bad in heat 14 either...

Looking ahead to Friday?s meeting first and both sides will be using the rider replacement facility so, as ever on these occasions, it should be a good night for track shop pen sales! For the home side, Aaron Summers is in the Czech Republic in World Under 21 action (good luck to him) and, for the visitors, young Dane Peter Juul Larsen is competing in the European Under 19 Championship (good luck to him also!).

Aaron?s rides can be covered by Andrew Tully and reserves Michal Rajkowski and Sean Stoddart, while Peter?s rides can be covered by all bar Shane Parker from the Glasgow team. Without meaning to sound disrespectful, it?s probably fair to say the Tigers will be strengthened by this, given the Scandinavian?s lack of points to date.

The other absentees on the night (I?m presuming Ryan Fisher will confirm he?s fit to race!) are both on the Glasgow side, namely Ross Brady and Lee Smart. Young Ross is still struggling with his wrist injury and Stoke?s Tom P Madsen has been called up as a guest. You may remember recently we were missing 2 riders from our top 5 (outwith the number 1) and it was stated we had the choice as to which rider was covered by the use of a guest. Well, just to complicate matters, with Peter Juul Larsen still sitting on an assessed average, it means the guest facility is only available for Brady! Whoever said speedway wasn?t easy to follow?

Lee Smart is in action in a National League fixture at Weymouth (arranged prior to his move North) so, despite the fact he?s the ?higher average? reserve, Tigers can only use a NL guest for him. Former Workington Aussie Scott James stands in. He hasn?t ridden Armadale for a number of years so it will be interesting to see how he gets on.

While I?m on the subject of Smart, it should be noted that he will also be absent from Sunday?s Ashfield clash as he is reserve at a World Under 21 qualifier. On this occasion, his team are entitled to use a PL guest, namely the hard trying John Branney, to cover his absence. Confused? Surely not!

Monarchs will (provisionally of course, depending on Friday?s events!) be unchanged on Sunday. However, it?s all change again for the Tiggers. As well as the aforementioned John Branney guest appearance, Peter Juul Larsen returns and the rider replacement facility switches to Ross Brady instead! This will make r/r more even with only one above (Andrew Tully and Josh Grajczonek respectively) and both reserves eligible for an extra outing. Let?s hope they?ve all got plenty spare bikes!

Both sides will surely be looking to win on home shale and collect the maximum 3 points. It certainly wouldn?t be a surprise if this were to happen. We?ve been very strong at sunny Armadale so far, sweeping aside all and sundry but a local derby is a local derby and, as they always say, form goes out the window!

No matter what happens, let?s all just hope the weather stays fair. Any more of that wet stuff like last week and I will not be a happy chappy!

As always, may the best team win...



Monarchs: Ryan Fisher, r/r for Aaron Summers, Thomas H Jonasson, Andrew Tully, Matthew Wethers, Michal Rajkowski, Sean Stoddart.

Tigers: Shane Parker, r/r for Peter Juul Larsen, Tom P Madsen, Josh Grajczonek, James Grieves, Mitchell Davey, Scott James.


Tigers: Shane Parker, r/r for Ross Brady, Peter Juul Larsen, Josh Grajczonek, James Grieves, Mitchell Davey, John Branney.

Monarchs: Ryan Fisher, r/r for Aaron Summers, Thomas H Jonasson, Andrew Tully, Matthew Wethers, Michal Rajkowski, Sean Stoddart.