NEWS Thursday 28th June 2018, 10:57am
Big crowds are expected at Armadale and Shielfield Park for this weekend's Knockout Cup quarter Final tie between the Staggs Bar Monarchs and the Berwick Bandits. Travelling fans will augment the home supports and the atmosphere should be electric.
Interest in this tie has been high since Monarchs knocked out the high-flying Glasgow Tigers, who would probably have been expected to prevail from this part of the draw. Both clubs fancy their chances of progressing to the semis and it certainly is not clear-cut who will qualify. Berwick ride high in the Championship table due to a perfect home record of five wins out of five, while Edinburgh are much further down the table but have won their two home matches. Neither side has excelled on their travels.
Ricky Wells, topping the Championship averages at the moment, looked forward to the ties and said "I think we can do it, we did all the hard work with Glasgow so I don't see why we can't do it again. We just have to pull our fingers out and get a good result at home, a 15 point lead at least, then at Berwick we need Erik and I to get 25-30 points between us and the rest of the boys to chip in with 15 or so."
Monarchs of course have new signing Victor Palovaara at no. 2 and a new reserve pairing of Max Ruml and Joel Andersson, a real chance for this season's newcomers to prove their worth.
Following the cup tie everyone is off to the Fours at Redcar on Sunday. Monarchs won the 2015 Fours Final at Redcar, and have also triumphed in this competition in 1981, 1993 and 2013. With Ricky Wells missing in Poland, it's fair to say we are not favourites.
THIS WEEK'S MEETING:
Friday 29th June: Staggs Bar Monarchs v Berwick Bandits (KO Cup quarter final) 7:30pm.
STAGGS BAR MONARCHS: Ricky Wells, Victor Palovaara, Josh Pickering, Mark Riss, Erik Riss (captain), Max Ruml, Joel Andersson.
KLS BANDITS: Aaron Summers, Kevin Doolan (captain), Jye Etheridge, david Howe, Nikolai Busk Jakobsen, Dany Gappmaier, Theo Pijper.
Saturday 30th June: Berwick Bandits v Staggs Bar Monarchs (KO Cup quarter final) 7pm
Sunday 1st July: Championship Fours at Redcar 2pm