The 2010 Newcastle Diamonds Image Credit: Steve Brock


NEWS Tuesday 30th March 2010, 11:21pm

by Mike Hunter

  Edinburgh Monarchs

The Scotwaste Monarchs start their Premier Trophy campaign on Friday at Armadale with what promises to be the toughest match in the section ? a visit from Newcastle.

Who can forget the classic match last October between these sides in the Premier Playoffs which went to the second Golden Heat before Monarchs progressed. That was simple the latest in the series of regular thrillers between the Diamonds and Monarchs home and away during the Armadale era ? and both sides have retained the majority of the riders they had in that Playoff tie!

TEAMS FOR THE PREMIER TROPHY MATCH AT ARMADALE ON FRIDAY 2nd APRIL (start time 7.30, doors open 6.30) are:

SCOTWASTE MONARCHS: Ryan Fisher, Jozsef Tabaka, Kevin Wolbert, Matthew Wethers (Capt.), Andrew Tully, Max Dilger, Kalle Katajisto.

NEWCASTLE SAPPHIRE ENGINEERING DIAMONDS: Kenni Larsen, Derek Sneddon, Jason King (Capt.), Rene Bach, Mark Lemon, Dakota North, Adam McKinna.

DIAMONDS SHINING BRIGHT: Not to anyone's surprise, Newcastle have made a great start to the season. They won the Tyne Tweed Trophy against Berwick (though Bandits drew on Tyneside) and they won away at Redcar in a challenge match.

And in the latter match, Kenni Larsen scored a 15-point maximum. Along with fellow Dane Rene Bach and Aussie Mark Lemon they have a heat leader trio which will make the Monarchs men fight for race wins.

TROPHY JOY: Monarchs regained the Spring Trophy last weekend, coming back from six points down on aggregate to snatch victory from Glasgow over the final two races.

It was a typical fighting show, achieved without the absent Kevin Wolbert, and each of Ryan Fisher, Matthew Wethers and Kalle Katajisto scored double figures.

KEVIN WILL BE HERE: Last week we announced that Kevin Wolbert was fit to ride in the Spring Trophy matches, but he didn't! We apologise for any misunderstandings.

The German would have been in the home match had it been staged on the Friday, but when it was postponed for 24 hours he had to compete in Poland.

He also missed the Glasgow visit due to a German fixture. Rest assured that in future our information will return to its usual accuracy, and that in spite of a very heavy programme Kevin Wolbert will be in the vast majority of Monarchs' matches this season, starting on Friday.

PT SUCCESS: Monarchs were Premier Trophy winners in 2008, and runners-up in 2009. This year though, we all start level!

A KEY MATCH: Just about everyone has this match marked as the most important of the Monarchs' home matches in the northern qualifying section.

Without any disrespect to the other sides in the section, Newcastle are strong and they have an Armadale pedigree ? Derek Sneddon of course is the most successful Monarchs' captain, Mark Lemon was a guest many times in Monarchs' championship year of 2008, and Rene Bach was sensational on his first visit last October.

And Larsen? Well he hasn't had a great Armadale match yet, but apparently (according to Derek Sneddon) he hadn't had a great match at Redcar before last week ? and he scored a maximum!

And that still leaves their captain Jason King, top of Diamonds' averages in 2008, former dale Devil Adam McKinna and highly rated young Aussie Dakota North. It will be tough!

LAST MEETING: Monarchs seemed to be sailing to a comfortable win when they led Glasgow by 14 points after heat 13 last week. Two heats and two 1-5s later they had won by a mere 51-45, but thankfully they did their job at Ashfield on Sunday to win by 3 on aggregate.

NEXT MEETING: The new-look Berwick Bandits are at Armadale in the Premier Trophy on Friday 9th July.