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Riss v Ostergaard earlier this summer Image Credit: Steve Hone

Cook Leads The Panthers

NEWS Friday 23rd September 2016, 2:24pm

by Graham Muncie

It’s the penultimate Premier League fixture of the season for the Monarchs as we welcome the Peterborough Panthers to Armadale this evening.

It could be said I’m being generous in calling it the Peterborough Panthers who are visiting being as they arrive with R/R and 4 guests in their line-up. Unfortunately it appears that a batch of illness and injury has struck the Peterborough septet this week and we wish all the affected a speedy recover from the mystery ailments that have hit them.

One man who will certainly be a miss to see is Anders Thomsen the young Dane who was recently introduced to the line-up has been in scintillating form on the continent and it was a nasty looking crash that he took in the final leg of the European Championships last Saturday which has resulted in a myriad of injuries which hopefully will be healed for the start of next season.

The others missing are Kenneth Bjerre (illness), Richard Hall (on and off troublesome knee), Zdenek Holub (Withholding his services) and Daniel Halsey (illness) and in their place will come 2 ex Monarchs in Jye Etheridge and Matthew Wethers and a couple of Buxton riders in Shelby Rutherford and David Wallinger.

Of course all eyes will be on one of Peterborough’s named riders who is making the trip and that is the one and only Craig Cook. There’s not much I can say that hasn’t been said already about the Cookie Monster (for a list of achievements with the Monarchs please see my previous Peterborough preview) and I can’t think of a rider that has been more beloved in the Armadale era than Craig (I’m sure Peter Carr may have a word to say about that). There have been few more scintillating sights around the Dale than Cookie in full flow in the last few years and his friendly battles with our top men tonight particularly Sam should be breathtaking.

For the Monarchs we race tonight on the back of a chastening experience at Ipswich last night. It has not been many times in recent years where we have been so disappointed with a result but if there’s something this team has shown its resilience and we will look to bounce back and put in a performance tonight in readiness for next Friday and the uphill battle that waits. It has been confirmed that we will do so without young Dan for the rest of the season and stepping in tonight will be Ryan Blacklock. Ryan acquitted himself well when guesting against Glasgow earlier in the season and will be looking to build on this experience at Premier League level.

So an interesting if unusual looking line-up to be faced tonight but there should be no lack of entertainment with Cookie back in town and looking to be ably backed up by the combative Ulrich Ostergaard and ever popular Matty Wethers as the Panthers come looking for revenge after our resounding victory at the East of England Showground earlier in the season.