NEWS Thursday 27th April 2017, 8:30pm
When Co-promoter John Campbell took the call from his counterpart down at Sheffield, Damien Bates just before midday on Thursday to confirm the postponement of the evening's KO Cup tie at Owlerton he wasn't entirely surprised.
Explained John, "Max Clegg, who stays just 30 miles north of Sheffield, had sent me a couple of texts earlier in the morning asking if it was off yet so I knew that there was rain in the area. Damien told me that it had just started to rain and the forecast was dreadful for later in the day. He didn't want us to have a wasted journey."
"I quickly passed on the news to all interested parties, including Director Mike Hunter who was already in Sheffield having seen his favorite singer, Al Stewart, in concert the previous night. Mike was soon on the phone to me asking how could the meeting be rained off as there was no rain. I explained that it was really based on a later poor weather forecast. We have since seen that this proved to be accurate."
As it turns out rain did arrive shortly after what would have been start time. Mike Hunter updated, "I'm still in Sheffield watching the Manchester football derby on tv and it's pouring down outside."
There were still some conspiracy theories floating around during the day. Continued John, "It's been suggested to me that Sheffield don't want to race us until Mark Riss is out of the reserve position. It was also suggested to me that the Tigers don't want to meet us until all their riders are on song. I've got a surprise for them if that's their idea as we have a team that is improving all of the time."
"Someone even suggested to me that one of the Sheffield riders will call off sick for Friday's match at Armadale and Jonas B Andersen, who was impressive last week, will come in as a guest. I know how that's come about. Jonas put on social media earlier in the week that he would be guesting at Armadale and when Sheffield originally gave me their team on Monday he was included as a guest for Lasse Bjerre. I asked Damien to check the rules and the Tigers came back with an amended team on Tuesday with Rider Replacement filling in for Bjerre."
For the moment no date has been agreed for the re-staging but looking at the calendar we are due there on 1st June for a Championship match so that might be a possibility.
Friday's match will now become the first leg of this quarter final tie and the Parsons Peebles Monarchs will be looking to build as big a lead as possible in an attempt to place the tie out of sight of the Tigers.
Campbell concluded, "There have been suggestions that the Tigers are running scared but all I will say is that we are currently undefeated and sitting top of the league at the moment so we must be better than some teams."