PREVIEW Sunday 14th April 2019, 11:24am
After blowing off the cobwebs on Friday night it's into the real deal for the Staggs Bar Monarchs this Sunday as they head to Scunthorpe in the first round of the KO Cup.
The Monarchs have a decent record at the Eddie Wright Raceway but as always at the start of a new season predictions are always hard to gauge.
The Scorpions have had a tough start to the season with 3 fixtures so far all against teams tipped for a playoff push in Sheffield and Leicester. This led to an early team change with 17 year old Jed List being the unlucky one to make way and former Glasgow man Danny Ayres stepping in.
This will be Ayres debut although he did look to be well on the pace at Berwick the other week before being unlucky to get caught up in a second bend incident and sitting out the rest of the meeting.
The Scorpions have not been towards the top of the division the last few years but the feeling is this has been down to bad luck as much as anything with last year's team in particular losing Steve Worrall in the first match of the season to a broken leg this being closely followed by Stefan Nielsen, this meaning that promoter Rob Godfrey has went with riders he knows with most of the 2019 team have been involved before.
The team has strength in depth approach with any of their top 3 Josh Auty, Jake Allen and Jason Garrity all capable of leading the way on any given night. Backup to this top 3 comes in the form of the aforementioned Nielsen and now Ayres.
The reserve pairing like many in the league this year is built on youthfulness and the hope of improvement. Josh Bailey is the senior reserve having had 2 spells with the Scorpions already he will be looking to kick on while Ryan Kinsley is the new kid on the block but he looks impressive with a 7 point home debut including 2 heat wins against Leicester last week.
So a tough looking task awaits the Staggs Bar Monarchs but it is one they are sure to relish. Everyone in attendance on Friday will have been happy with the performances of Josh, Cameron and Luke and the Monarchs faithful are all aware of what Ricky, Justin, Joel and William are capable off. Our recent record at Scunthorpe is excellent with 4 victories in our last 5 visits, although that one defeat was on our last visit when we fell by 16 points.
As this is the cup all 7 will need to weigh in with tactical options limited to reserve switches only, as always with any 2 legged affair when the away leg comes first the name of the game may well be to keep it as tight as possible but as always with the Monarchs we will be heading south looking to come home with the spoils.
Can the Monarchs do it, keep an eye on the Monarchs website and social media for updates and for those in attendance..... see you there!