PREVIEW Friday 31st August 2018, 3:45pm
Another week another huge match ahead for the Staggs Bar Monarchs as the Workington Comets head for Armadale in Championship action.
Workington have been the team of the year in many eyes with an unpredictable looking line-up at the start of the season, everything has clicked and if not for an unexplainable lack of fixtures run they would surely already have a playoff berth clinched.
This lack of fixtures means the Comets still have 5 home fixtures to run before the playoff cut off 2 weeks today not to mention the second leg of the KO cup quarter final and a championship shield semi final to run and it will be a busy couple of months for the Comets. This lack of home scoring sees the Comets currently sit 6th in the league despite having an unblemished home record and the 2nd best away record in the league. The negative to this from a Monarchs point of view is that all away points are still vital and the Cumbrians will head north on the hunt for the spoils.
The Comets team is built on strength in depth approach with a real powerhouse punch at reserve. A good chunk of the team have switched positions as the season has progressed and any one of the top 6 is capable of winning any heat they are in with the patience in Kyle Bickley being rewarded as he starts to trouble the scorers also. The Comets were dealt a huge blow last week when former Monarch Dan Bewley suffered horrendous injuries and everyone at Armadale and throughout British speedway no doubt wishes Dan a quick and full recovery. For tonight's match rider replacement is in operation and with Dan third in the averages all bar Nicolai Klindt are eligible for an extra ride.
The rest of the top 6 remarkably are separated by less than 1.5 points in the averages with Rene Bach no ones idea of a reserve despite his position there in the team this has been the cleverness of the Workington team building that all year they have had the strongest reserve in the league at least on paper. As previously mentioned all of the Comets are capable at Armadale and in fact all of their riders bar Bickley had at least 1 heat win to their names in the match back at the beginning of June.
It has to be said it was a different looking Monarchs team that the visitors faced that day and with the home form shown since the introductions of Victor then Richie and latterly Willie then the Monarchs should go into this match wary but with no real fear.
The Monarchs put visiting Glasgow to the sword with ease last week and another performance such as that will be required this evening. As per normal we will be lead from the front by Ricky, Erik and Richie who were all in sparkling form last week with Ricky top scoring and Erik and Richie both looking for maximums before falls put paid to that. Joel will be looking to carry on his recent stunning form and with Willie getting sharper by the match not to mention the continued solid output of Victor and Josh a barnstorming night looks in the offing.
So can the Monarch's send the Comets home pointless or will the visitors be victorious potentially putting the death knell on the Blue and Gold's playoff chances.
Only one place to be to find out and that's trackside.
See you there!