Josh Pickering racing Witches last season Image Credit: Ron MacNeill

Two big matches coming up

NEWS Wednesday 11th July 2018, 12:00pm

by Mike Hunter

League action resumes this week for the Stagg's Bar Monarchs and in spite of their success in the Cup (and to an extent because of it) they find themselves at the foot of the Championship table. So matches at Redcar (Thursday) and Armadale (Friday v Ipswich) are a valuable source of points as we try to climb the table.

Monarchs have raced just two home matches (both won) whereas many of the teams above have raced 5 or 6. They have completed half their away programme (5 matches) and gained just a solitary point, so that needs to improve.

On Friday Ipswich will be a considerable test with 2018 Scottish Open Champion Rory Schlein riding at no. 1. They are certainly not weakened by their guest duo of Armadale specialists Richie Worrall and Matthew Wethers, standing in for Danny King (injured) and newcomer Jonas Jeppesen (riding in Denmark).

Looking forward to Friday team manager Alex Harkess said "Ipswich are a team revolving round Rory Schlein at the moment. When he's going well he can bring other people in the team on. They've been unlucky with injuries but if like Scunthorpe on Sunday they choose the right guests that can be covered for.

"But Rory is the leader and the catalyst for them, so we have to try to nullify his effect as much as we can and as early as we can."

Friday at Armadale will also be a look back at the 1980s decade for Monarchs, part of the 70th birthday celebrations for the club. Special guests will be Les Collins, Doug Wyer, Bobby Beaton and Scott Lamb.

THIS WEEK'S MEETINGS:

Thursday 12th July: Redcar v Staggs Bar Monarchs (Championship), 7:30pm

Friday 13th July: Staggs Bar Monarchs v Ipswich (Championship), 7:30pm

STAGGS BAR MONARCHS: Ricky Wells, Victor Palovaara, Mark Riss, Josh Pickering, Erik Riss (captain), Max Ruml, Joel Andersson.

TRU PLANT WITCHES: Rory Schlein, rider replacement for Cameron Heeps, Nico Covatti, Matthew Wethers, Richie Worrall, Connor Mountain, Danyon Hume.