NEWS Saturday 30th March 2019, 9:49pm
Although it is still almost a fortnight till the tapes go up at Armadale for the 2019 season matches are starting to take place across the country with 2 of the Staggs Bar Monarchs in action on Saturday night.
Down at Shielfield Luke Ruddick took his place in the Bordernapolis finishing with 3 points from 5 rides in an enjoyable meeting.
Luke started with a last in heat 2 when after gating in 3rd he made a mistake entering bend 3 allowing home man Leon Flint to get past.
Heat 8 was the highlight of the night for our man after gating last he swept round Ty Proctor on the 3rd and 4th bend into 3rd the Aussie then pulling up a lap later so our man was on the board.
The rest of Luke's night was fairly uneventful as he maintained position from start to finish in his remaining 3 rides with a last in heat 11 and 3rds in heats 14 and 17.
The meeting itself was fairly eventful with plenty of passing and it all came down to the final bend of the final with Kevin Doolan producing a big swoop round Aaron Summers to take the trophy.
One very noticeable outcome from the night being that the Bandits will take some beating at home this year with 6 of their men making the semi finals, Flint being the one to miss out but this only by 1 point in an impressive debut.
Further south Justin Sedgmen was also in action as he took his place at Belle Vue in the Peter Craven Memorial.
The night started brightly for our man as he headed Richard Lawson, Steve Worrall and Broc Nicol in his first race but in a very competitive field this was to be as good as it got as another 2 points was all that could be added with third places ahead of Kyle Howarth and last years Staggs Bar Monarchs captain Erik Riss.
The meeting being won by former world champion Jason Doyle with Kenneth Bjerre 2nd and Max Fricke rounding out the podium.
So all in all both Monarchs will probably look at tonight as worthwhile exercises as they step up preparations for the season ahead.