PREVIEW Saturday 11th May 2019, 1:00pm
Another huge match awaits the Staggs Bar Monarchs this Saturday as the Scunthorpe Scorpions head for the Dale in the KO Cup, an 8 point deficit having to be overcome for the Monarchs to make the semi finals.
This match taking on even more importance following the Monarchs elimination from the Championship Shield last weekend and the prospect of being out of both cup competitions by the middle of May is not one that is to be relished.
The Scorpions have had a mixed bag of results so far with the home victory over the Monarchs in the first leg part of 4 consecutive home victories so far. This has not been matched by away performances though with the Scorpions on the end of 3 defeats all by the 8 points or more the Monarchs will require.
The Lincolnshire men are built on strength in depth approach across the top 5 with Josh Auty, Jake Allen and Jason Garrity expected to lead the way. All 3 have had their good and bad moments at Armadale with double digit performances in their history. Back-up comes from Stefan Nielsen and Danny Ayres. Nielsen looking for an injury free run following a couple of years blighted by big crashes. Ayres the perennial entertainer although he is generally more happy on the bigger wider tracks than Armadale's tighter confines.
With a strong top 5 that did not leave a huge amount of points for the reserve berths with Josh Bailey and Ryan Kinsley filling the slots. Bailey having another crack at Championship level racing after a couple of previous spells. Kinsley was a little of an unknown for those that don't follow National League speedway but the Norwich born racer is showing the faith in him is not unfounded currently averaging just shy of 3 points a match. Most of these points have come at home though so it will be interesting to see how he fares this week.
For the Monarchs it is another week where we look for the team to click as a whole after last week's narrow victory over Berwick at home a better performance will be required. In that match it looked like the Monarchs had finally taken control with a 7 point lead going into heat 13 before the Bandits were allowed to fight back and this cannot be repeated this week if qualification is to be achieved.
Of course if we get a repeat of the level of racing on show last week then we will all be happy also, more is still required from most of the team with Ricky still not where he wants to be, Justin putting in the laps this week at a training school to try and get rid of the rustiness from a year out and William in particular looking for improvement in his machinery having used a Joel Andersson engine last weekend and noticing the difference in power.
Elsewhere Josh and Cameron will look to continue their strong starts to the season while Joel was not happy with his performance at home last week looking to get out of the gates sharper and make his life easier.
A huge match lies ahead with the Monarchs needing to make up the deficit; it will need a big difference with the Monarchs on it from the start. Can we do it? There is only one place to be to find out and that's trackside.
See you there!