A tricky moment for Bates and Clegg last year Image Credit: Ron MacNeill

Strange Lineup To Face Tigers

NEWS Wednesday 27th July 2016, 5:00pm

by Mike Hunter

The Border Roofing Monarchs rarely use guest riders as so many clubs do, but this week is the exception with four of the side away for Friday’s visit of the Sheffield Tigers.

Kevin Wolbert captains a Monarchs’ side which includes Stevie Worrall, Premier League champion Ulrich Ostergaard, Michael Palm Toft and a rider replacement facility. Simon Stead leads the visiting side who will probably see this as an unusual opportunity to grab an away win with Masters, Fisher and the Riss brothers all forced to ride elsewhere.

THE LINEUP: Monarchs have two riders still involved in the Speedway World Cup (Sam Masters of Australia and Ryan Fisher of USA) plus the Riss brothers Erik and Mark required to ride for Landshut in a German League fixture.

Some might say that while a sport’s World Cup is on, everyone should sit and watch but that isn’t the way in Speedway this year, and on we go.

Stevie Worrall of Newcastle comes in for Sam Masters at no. 1, and of course Stevie was part of the 2014 Monarchs which was arguably the best-ever Premier League side. Stevie has gone from strength to strength since then and is sure of a great reception.

Ulrich Ostergaard comes in for Ryan Fisher, and the big Dane has a good Armadale record. He is of course the reigning Premier League Riders Champion and currently rides for Peterborough. He had his first ever UK meeting at Armadale in 2002!

Scunthorpe’s Michael Palm Toft comes in for Erik Riss and he is the most recent visitor of the trio of guests, having scored 14 for Scunthorpe last Friday.

WORLD CUP: In the second World Cup qualifying meeting at Vastervik, Sweden, Sam Masters scored 5 for Australia, Ryan Fisher 2 for USA and Kevin Wolbert 2 for Germany. It would be fair to say that probably all three were hoping for a little better.

MATCH SPONSOR: Friday’s match will be sponsored by LR Stageworks who will be presenting “I Ran With the Gang”, the story of Bay City Roller Alan Longmuir, at the Edinburgh Festival. This is written and directed by Liam Rudden, award-winning playwright and Monarchs’ fan – and Alan Longmuir of the Rollers will be there on Friday!

Teams for the Premier League Match at Armadale on Friday 29th July (start time 7:30pm, gates open 6:30pm), are:

BORDER ROOFING MONARCHS: Stevie Worrall, rider replacement for Mark Riss, Michael Palm Toft, Ulrich Ostergaard, Kevin Wolbert (capt.), Max Clegg, Dan Bewley.

SHEFFIELD WINDOW CENTRE TIGERS: Simon Stead (capt.), Dimitri Berge, Josh Bates, rider replacement for Jason Garrity, Kyle Howarth, Arthur Sissis, Nathan Greaves.

TIGERS’ CHANCE: Sheffield are highly placed in the League and chasing a Playoff place, and they will be well aware that the Monarchs’ team situation gives them a better chance of success on Friday than they might otherwise have.

Their leader and by far most experienced rider is Simon Stead, who has successfully returned from last year’s bad injuries.

British Under-21 Champion Josh Bates made a famous guest appearance for Monarchs in 2013 and has made good progress in his career. Kyle Howarth is another young British rider well known at Armadale after appearing for Monarchs in 2011.

Jason Garrity has not yet recovered from recent injuries so he will be covered by rider replacement which allows all the Sheffield riders a ride.

Dimitri Berge will be a key rider. He is having a great season – but has never had a good meeting at Armadale. What will happen this time?

At reserve Aussie Arthur Sissis and Nathan Greaves are not particularly experienced so their tussles with Clegg and Bewley will be important.

LAST MEETING: The Border Roofing Monarchs eventually shook off the challenge of Scunthorpe Scorpios by 49-40 after taking 5-1 advantages in each of the last three heats. Kevin Wolbert top scored with 14.

NEXT MEETING: Visitors in a Premier League match on 5th August are the Rye House Rockets with star man Eddie Kennett.