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Erik Riss battles to his third win Image Credit: Ron MacNeill

Home loss on a tough night

REPORT Saturday 21st April 2018, 1:29am

by Mike Hunter

The Staggs Bar Monarchs went down 41-48 to Glasgow in their first home Championship Shield match tonight at Armadale. It was a night with plenty of talking points.

Disappointed home captain Erik Riss said “The track was difficult even for me and Ricky. The difference today was that Glasgow have experienced riders who know what to do with these conditions. We lost to a better team, yes, but it was a lot to do with experience. Me and Ricky tried to tell our guys what to do but they lacked the experience.

“A loss at home is a punch in the face but we are going to use it as motivation for Sunday.”

Everyone knew Glasgow were good, and had several Armadale specialists, so the result was perhaps not the biggest surprise. Our side with three men very inexperienced in Armadale terms, needed everyone performing at their best, and that didn’t turn out to be the case.

It was a rather chaotic night with too many falls and delays on a grippy track. A 2-hour match at Armadale is very much the exception although it is the norm at some other circuits. Both teams made errors and lost points, especially in the early stages.

The biggest successes on the home side were the sensational Erik Riss, plus Max Ruml who is clearly a gem of a prospect. Erik flew to victory in his first three rides before falling in heat 13 trying to overcome a slow start. In Max’s case, 6 points was an excellent return but he may have had more – a small mistake in heat 6 cost him what seemed a certain win over Chris Harris, and he was on a paid win in heat 10 before Claus Vissing came off and caused his partner to fall also. That worked in Glasgow’s favour as Starke grabbed second, ahead of Max, in the rerun.

We had done well enough to be sitting at 21-21 after 7 heats, the first four of which featured exclusions. Tigers took a heat 8 4-2 but it was heat 9 which cost us dear. Lively Mark Riss was leading the way from Harris but a fall by Joel Andersson and failure to clear the track quickly enough caused a stoppage just before Mark reached the end of lap two.

In the restart Mark was not away as well and spun off under the fence. So we finished up with one of these dismal two-man 0-5 results and everyone knew the writing was on the wall then.

Ricky Wells, Mark Riss and Josh Pickering, whilst all capable of better, at least picked up reasonable scores. It’s clearly early days to be over-critical but new boys Joel Andersson and Matt Williamson obviously need to be getting in amongst things round their home track fairly soon.

Performances on the Glasgow side were all what would probably have been expected of experienced riders, though the biggest hand has to go to Richie Worrall who was the main architect of victory for them with four race wins. He really does ride Armadale like a master.