Craig Cook, collector of trophies Image Credit: Ron MacNeill

Cookie leads our Champions

NEWS Wednesday 4th April 2018, 8:34pm

by Mike Hunter

This Friday’s meeting at Armadale, sees a team of riders who have won titles with us in the Armadale era line up to provide a very strong test for our 2018 team.

And who else could we have to lead the side but Craig Cook, British Champion and current Grand Prix rider.

This is how the Champions’ team is made up – the riders don’t need much introduction:

CRAIG COOK: Monarch 2011-2015, league winner with us in 2014-5. Now with Belle Vue Aces.

RORY SCHLEIN: A Monarch 2001-2004, league winner with us 2003. Now with Ipswich and Wolverhampton.

AARON SUMMERS: A Monarch 2007–2009 , league winner with us 2008. Currently with Berwick and Rye House.

MATTHEW WETHERS: Ten year Monarch 2003-2012, league winner with us 2003, 2008, 2010. Returns this season with Newcastle.

ASHLEY MORRIS: Monarch 2010-2011, league winner with us in 2010. This year with Newcastle and Wolverhampton.

MAX CLEGG: A Monarch 2015-2017, league winner in 2015. Riders this year for Rye House and also National League Stoke.

Once the number 7 is added this side will be over the Championship points limit, and between them they have 623 Armadale appearances compared with 129 for the current team! They also have 9 titles between them (current team 1). Champions’ captain is Craig Cook and the team manager is the legendary Trackman Alan Bridgett!

QUOTES OF THE WEEK:

Ricky Wells: “I know Craig Cook is in the Champions’ team this Friday, as long as I beat Cookie once or twice that’s all I’m worried about! I think there’s points to be taken at Berwick, we went there and won last year and we always run them close.”

John Campbell: “What a pleasure it was to speak to Craig Cook about doing this Friday’s meeting. He hasn’t forgotten us that’s for sure and I’m hoping that he goes on to have a great year in the Grand Prix.”

Alex Harkess: “We’ve only had the one match prior to this weekend but the Bandits haven’t had any yet, I don’t know whether that gives us much advantage or not. We will certainly be aiming for a good result down there as we always do.”

11 TO CHOOSE: There only are 11 of our championship winning riders still competing in the UK, including Erik Riss who is still in our team! Steve Worrall and Theo Pijper are in opposition at Scunthorpe on Friday for their current teams, while Sam Masters and Max Fricke have other commitments on Friday. In addition there are about half a dozen still riding overseas.

SHIELD BEGINS: This season’s early competition is the Championship Shield, 3 groups from which the winners and best-placed second qualify for the semi-finals. We start at Berwick on Saturday. With only four teams in the section, every result will be important. We won on our early league visit to Berwick last season and have an excellent recent record there, although of course it will be a first visit for both Joel Andersson and Max Ruml.

RESULTS THIS WEEK: The sport hasn’t quite ground to a halt with the terrible weather around Easter, and two of our riders were in action in the Cumbrian Open at Workington last Saturday. Ricky came fourth with 11 points but Max Ruml on his first visit failed to score.

Max wasn’t downhearted after the event. He said “It wasn’t a bad track, it’s just that the first time being there was a bit of an experience. I’m not too stressed. I had little things going on with the bike that I had to figure out. It stopped me looking for a setup, but now I have the little bugs worked out.

“I’ve been talking with Erik and Mark and they have given me some insight on what I should do there. I should be OK for our next visit there.

“I’d never ridden on a track that was that big and that skinny. I think that was the problem, it wasn’t a big wide track, it is big but there wasn’t a lot of room for anything.”

Ricky Wells rode in Poland on Tuesday, scoring 7 for Rawicz in an away challenge match at Pila. The Poles operate a squad system but Ricky surely did well enough to ensure he is in their side.

THIS WEEK’S MATCHES:

Friday 6th April Staggs Bar Monarchs v Monarchs Champions (70th Anniversary Challenge) 7:30pm

Teams for Friday:

STAGGS BAR MONARCHS: Ricky Wells, Max Ruml, Mark Riss, Joel Andersson, Erik Riss, Matt Williamson, Josh Pickering.

MONARCHS CHAMPIONS: Craig Cook, Ashley Morris, Aaron Summers, Matthew Wethers, Rory Schlein, Max Clegg, No 7 to be announced.

Saturday 7th April Berwick v Staggs Bar Monarchs (Championship Shield) 7pm