Image Credit: Phil Hilton

Can We Put A Spell On The Witches?

PREVIEW Thursday 27th July 2017, 1:30pm

by Graham Muncie

After the annual break that coincides with the Cardiff GP (made all the longer by the postponement of the pairs on Friday night) it’s back to action for the Parsons Peebles Monarchs as we make the long trek to Ipswich on Thursday night.

Of course the Witches are one of the sides who have overtaken us in the league standings recently and the basis of their strong season has been built on their record around Foxhall. 12 wins out of 12 so far in the league with only Glasgow leaving with so much as a point for their efforts this season. This shows the size of the task ahead for the Monarchs tomorrow especially as the Witches have been more dominant than ever in recent weeks with an average score of 56 points per match since we last visited back at the beginning of June.

On that night the Monarchs battled manfully before going down 50-39 and leaving empty handed. Many in the Monarchs camp were disappointed in that result as we acquitted ourselves well for most of the match only for a mid match slump to cost us and the chance of points with it.

The Witches have been injury hit in recent weeks with both Justin Sedgmen and Kyle Newman taking heavy tumbles that required them to pull out of matches. Ironically neither of these were while riding for the Witches and both happened in televised matches in the Premiership.

Both now appear to be back to fitness and with that the

Witches are expected to line up at full strength. We all know what a powerhouse top 5 the Witches have. Danny King is almost unbeatable around Foxhall and with Rory Schein at 5 they have one of the most potent heat leader pairings around. That is not to say any of the rest of the team is weak in comparison. Cameron Heeps, Sedgmen and Newman make up a rock solid engine room of the team and at the bottom end Connor Mountain has had a fantastic season while Nathan Greaves gets stronger and stronger as the season progresses.

So a mammoth effort will be required should the Monarchs wish to head home with anything from tomorrow’s match. There were sprinklings of hope in our defeat there last month as 5 of our boys raced to at least one heat victory. Sam was his usual self with a double digit score. Erik showed his liking for the circuit winning both his first two races and Josh Pickering impressed everyone with a 4 point score that could have been more but for him sliding off on the last lap of a heat 3 5-1. Ricky and Max also recorded heat wins and with the experience of Theo and Mitchell in the ranks we will go there believing that we can come away with at least a point as is always our aim at any track we visit but the boys are aware of the task that lies ahead.

Despite some rain all over the country in the last couple of days the forecast looks to be on our side tomorrow and an enthralling match awaits. Work commitments actually work in my favour this time as I am in the area so for any Monarchs fans attending the match. See you there!

Ipswich Tru7 Witches: Danny King, Kyle Newman, Cameron Heeps, Justin Sedgmen, Rory Schlein, Nathan Greaves, Connor Mountain

Parsons Peebles Monarchs: Sam Masters, Theo Pijper, Ricky Wells, Max Clegg, Erik Riss, Josh Pickering, Mitchell Davey