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The Time Is Now

PREVIEW Thursday 21st September 2017, 12:25pm

by Graham Muncie

The Parsons Peebles Monarchs are on their travels once again as we make the long trip south to Ipswich in our most important match of the season so far in the SGB Championship Play Off Semi Final.

This will be the 1st of 2 matches in as many nights against the Witches to see who will progress to take on the Tigers of Sheffield or Glasgow for a chance to be crowned champions and lift the coveted SGB Championship trophy.

The Monarchs have a decent record at Foxhall the home of the Witches but know that a tough match lies ahead, the task being made all the harder by the withdrawal of Mark Riss after a heavy crash at Wolverhampton last night. Of course the rest of the team were triumphant on our last visit to Suffolk minus Mark and the same level of endeavour will be required tonight if we are to match that result or even come close to it.

The Witches have been in imperious form around their own circuit since that somewhat shock result back at the end of July hitting at least 50 in all their home matches and not allowing anyone to leave with as much as the consolation point since. This however all counts for nothing as both teams start at zero in a traditional 2 legged knockout affair with no double point tactical rides allowed either.

For the home men well they go into the meeting missing two of their normal 1-7, it has been known for a while that former Monarch Justin Sedgmen’s season was over courtesy of a shoulder injury but fellow middle order man Cameron Heeps had hoped to return this evening but again a shoulder injury put paid to that. Rider replacement operates for Heeps which allows all bar number 1 Danny King an extra ride and Workington’s Mason Campton guests in place of Sedgmen Campton being a tasty performer around Foxhall having recorded a paid 13 score on his last visit there.

With a top two of Danny King and Rory Schlein you know you are always going to be up against it in the big heats and the Monarchs will need big performances from Ricky and Erik if we are to nullify that threat.

Elsewhere with rider replacement in operation for Mark this will put a little added pressure onto Max and Mitch at the bottom end as they will need to take 10 rides minimum between them a strong performance from either or both of those pair could go a long way to helping the Monarchs achieve something although again this will be no easy task against the impressive Nathan Greaves and Connor Mountain pairing for the home men.

So a tense encounter looks likely with two reasonably even matched sides. The Monarchs will be hopeful of keeping the result to a maximum of a 10 point deficit if we are to have any chance of progressing at Armadale tomorrow evening but this is a match that could go either way and as always at this stage of the season there are sure to be some shocks in store.