Edinburgh Monarchs v Peterborough Panthers

PREVIEW Friday 27th June 2014, 12:00pm

by Gordon Fraser

Flyin' Ryan Fisher is back this Friday! Monarchs have been looking for a side to really give them a run for their money at Armadale and this Friday they should find one in the hugely talented Peterborough Panthers who are in the midst of a hectic Northern tour.

Craig Cook lines up opposite the hugely popular former Monarchs leading rider from Riverside, California, Ryan Fisher, who has ridden for Coventry, Plymouth and Peterborough with mixed success and is now on a lower average since tasting huge Premier League success with Edinburgh.

Justin Sedgmen had a quiet meeting last Friday so he will be fired up to get a big score this time out. His opposite number at 2 is Lewis Blackbird from Peterborough who has ridden in all three leagues since his debut with Sittingbourne in 2006 and is currently one of Eastbourne's reserves.

Max Fricke has been showing a steely, determined racing streak in recent meetings and this week he lines up against one of the hugely experienced Czech Republic brothers (once disrespectfully described as the Dryml sisters by Tai Woffinden), Ales Dryml who had been in the Elite League since 2000 until this year.

Derek Sneddon fared much better in the scoring stakes against Rye House and enjoys his last week at No.4 against a very experienced Danish rider, Ulrich Ostergaard who is another rider who has spent nearly all of his decade-long UK career in the Elite League, including with Peterborough before they dropped down.

Sam Masters was upset to drop three points last Friday, especially against an 8-1 highly manufactured by Edward Kennett. He'll have to be at his sharpest against Peterborough's No. 5, Lasse Bjerre from Denmark who rode with Leicester in the PL and still does with the Lions in the EL.

Aaron Fox allowed himself to be unsettled by some mad dives across his bows last week but will have learned from it. His opposite number at 6 is a rider who appeared briefly as a Glasgow Tiger last year, Joe Jacobs from Ipswich, who doubles up with Wolverhampton and down with Mildenhall.

Last but not least is Steve Worrall who rides for the last time at No.7 and will be sorely missed in that position. Facing him across the pits is 25-year-old Nicki Barrett from Denmark who joined the Panthers on loan from Berwick to replace the injured Oliver Greenwood.

Edinburgh learned last week that even a visiting team with only two riders scoring anywhere near double figures can cause a lot of problems. Peterborough have more than two who are capable of big scores and have a fair spread of scoring power across their top five.

Ryan Fisher will be as determined as ever, Dryml and Ostergaard have the ability to beat anybody and Lasse Bjerre could well be the icing on the cake. But this Monarchs side is as good as any we've ever seen and it would still be a major upset if they surrendered their unbeaten record to the Panthers.

There are some real star performers on both sides of the pits and there are fantastic heat leader match-ups: Cook v Fisher; Fricke v Dryml; and Masters v Bjerre. This match should certainly not be lacking in high octane entertainment so make sure you're there for tapes up at 7.30 sharp.

Likely line-ups:

EDINBURGH SCOTWASTE MONARCHS: Craig Cook, Justin Sedgmen, Max Fricke, Derek Sneddon (capt.), Sam Masters, Aaron Fox, Steve Worrall.

PETERBOROUGH ‘TC HARRISON’ PANTHERS: Ryan Fisher, Lewis Blackbird, Ales Dryml, Ulrich Ostergaard (capt.), Lasse Bjerre, Joe Jacobs, Nicki Barrett.