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Take Two With The Tigers

NEWS Wednesday 31st May 2017, 1:03pm

by Graham Muncie

The Sheffield Tigers come to Armadale this Friday in SGB Championship action looking to build on an excellent display at Armadale earlier in the season.

The visitors were tipped by many to take league honours this year and while they are currently sitting mid-table the weather has taken its toll on Sheffield’s season as they have ridden fewer meetings than anyone else in the division so they will be looking to make up ground starting this Friday.

Sheffield have been forced into two changes from their usual line-up this Friday with Josh Grajczonek missing due to Premiership commitments and Josh Bates absent due to riding for Great Britain under 21’s in their bid to reach the Under 21 World Team Cup final.

Deputising for the missing men are a current and a former Glasgow Tiger in the shape of Aaron Summers and Coty Garcia. These changes do not look to weaken the Yorkshiremen though as both are capable performers who have recorded strong performances at Armadale this year.

With Lasse Bjerre back in the fold after missing the earlier cup match the Tigers will be looking to build on that 4 point defeat and take victory.

The Tigers are not the only team to see changes this week.

Completing a hat-trick of missing Josh’s is the Monarchs Aussie newcomer Josh Pickering.

Pickering will be in Germany riding in the same meeting as Bates representing his nations under 21 team. While a guest option was available it was felt that with the form currently being shown by Mark Riss and the Monarchs reserves that rider replacement is the best option and it will be up to Riss, Max Clegg and Mitchell Davey to make sure that Josh is not sorely missed in his absence.

Monarchs co-promoter John Campbell explaining ‘We would have been entitled to a guest for Josh but his average has dropped to just over 4 so locating a suitable replacement is not easy. We’ll need to be on our toes tonight to repel the challenge of Sheffield who did so well just over a month ago.’

The change in averages also sees Sam Masters move back to number 1 with Ricky Wells swapping positions and moving to 5.

This week’s match sponsor is Douglas Mercer. A longstanding Monarchs supporter Douglas will enjoy the evening with a group of family and friends in the George Hunter Memorial Lounge.

Teams for the SGB Championship match at Armadale on Friday 2nd June (start time 7:30pm, gates open 6:30pm), are:

PARSONS PEEBLES MONARCHS: Sam Masters, Mark Riss, Erik Riss, Josh Pickering R/R, Ricky Wells, Max Clegg, Mitchell Davey.

SHEFFIELD WINDOW CENTRE TIGERS: Aaron Summers (guest), Todd Kurtz, Lasse Bjerre, Coty Garcia (guest), Kyle Howarth, Rob Branford, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn

TIGERS LOOKING TO GO ONE BETTER: While it is a different looking Tigers septet that will head north on Friday from the one that visited back in April they will be looking for victory. Aaron Summers is a formidable spearhead and with Kyle Howarth enjoying the best year of his career and having had his best ever Armadale meeting in the cup contest the battles at the top end will be key. Further down the Tigers line-up Rob Branford and Jack Parkinson-Blackburn are one of the best reserve pairings in the division and with Lasse Bjerre and Todd Kurtz more than capable of taking the chequered flag in any given race a tough task lies ahead.

LAST MEETING: The Parsons Peebles Monarchs ran out convincing victors 60-30 over an undermanned Peterborough Panthers side. Top scorer for the Monarchs was captain Sam Masters who romped to a full 15 point maximum being ably backed up by Ricky Wells, Max Clegg and Erik Riss who were all only headed home once by an opponent. Peterborough were well served by Bradley Wilson-Dean and Paul Starke with 11 and 9 respectively.

NEXT MEETING: The tough matches keep on coming as the Redcar Bears visit in league action. The Bears are in top form as show by their recent 16 point victory at Berwick and while they were defeated 52-40 at Armadale earlier in the season they have strengthened since the and will provide another stern test for the home men.