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On The Road Again

PREVIEW Sunday 21st May 2017, 12:17pm

by Graham Muncie

The Parsons Peebles Monarchs are on their travels once again as we head to Derwent Park looking to extend our lead at the top of the SGB Championship.

This will not be an easy task against a Workington side that is rounding into form and has strengthened since we saw them at Armadale a few weeks ago.

The Comets are unbeaten at home with an unexpected draw against Redcar the only blip on their record. The Cumbria men made up for this with their first away win of the season against the same side on Thursday and will now be looking to catapult themselves into the playoff positions with a win against the Monarchs.

Led from the front by the one and only Craig Cook who is having as good a season as he has ever had and celebrates his 30th birthday this weekend the Comets have a solid and exciting line-up. We all saw how good Thomas Jorgensen can be the other week when the Comets visited and the likeable Dane appears to have turned the corner after some early season machinery issues.

The middle order of Ty Proctor and James Sarjeant also looks to add strength. Proctor is having his finest season in years averaging 8 points so far and while still finding his feet after replacing Adam Roynon Sarjeant can never be counted out due to his gating skills and when in front is a tough rider to overcome.

Riders having their best years to date seem to be a theme throughout the Comets line-up as the same can be said for both Mason Campton and Matt Williamson also. Campton now looks to be over his visa issues and is turning into an accomplished performer and with the extra spice of coming up against good friend and former teammate Ricky Wells will be sure to bring the best out in the Kurri Kurri born racer. Williamson has been the revelation of the season at this level in my opinion an always stylish and well turned out rider this is now being converted into scoring power and an increase in average from his starting figure of 3.58 to his current figure of 7.09 is testament to this.

The Comets line-up is completed by Rob Shuttleworth, Shuttleworth was a potential target for the Monarchs last season before we decided on Dan Bewley and he will be looking to show us what we missed out on in this one as well.

As for the Parsons Peebles Monarchs well another Sunday another trip south and as always we will be setting out our stalls to gain at least a point and then take it from there. There is plenty of Workington experience in the ranks with Ricky of course a former Comets number 1, Sam has had many a good match there (although he will want to forget the machinery nightmares he had their last season) and Mitchell has already performed with some aplomb at Derwent Park this season recording a paid 5 score guesting for Scunthorpe earlier in the season.

We would also expect this to be a track for our Germans to excel at with its wide sweeping bends and it was good to see both out in the second half at Armadale on Friday testing particularly Erik who wasn’t happy with the power he was getting from his engines. It will be a trip into the unknown for Josh Pickering but he is up for the challenge and is another who it is hoped the wide open spaces will be a relief for after a tough few weeks on some of the tighter tracks in the league. That leaves Max Clegg who is in the form of his life and seems to have a completely different mindset these days. Max has sometimes beaten himself mentally before he even gets to tapes at some of these tracks but having talked to him on Friday I can tell that is not the case this time and he travels full of confidence.

So a tough one to predict as both sides look very evenly matched from top to bottom. There will be some fantastic tussles between the team’s respective top ends and with consistency throughout both line-ups this one truly does look very hard to predict. Would I be surprised if this team came back north with points in the bag? Well nothing surprises me with this Monarchs team and I for one can’t wait to see what the match holds.