PREVIEW Saturday 8th June 2019, 11:40am
After a period of inactivity the Staggs Bar Monarchs are back on track this weekend with a trip to much fancied Leicester in the SGB Championship.
This will be the Monarchs first visit to the midlands venue in a few years with the Lions decision to head for the Premiership in recent times but there is no lack of experience around the Paul Chapman and Sons Arena however with the Lions favourites for the league title this year then a big performance will be required should the Monarchs be to gain any points.
The task is made all the more difficult due to the injuries that have ravaged the Monarchs recently, of course Victor Palovaara has been re-introduced as an injury replacement for Justin while Luke Ruddick returns after concussion and could be key at the bottom end being as he rides for the Leicester Cubs National League outfit so has vast experience of the track.
The Major miss will be Josh Pickering with Paul Starke stepping in as a guest looking to boost his own Glasgow's title chances by putting a dent in the Lions.
Elsewhere we line up as normal, Ricky is a former Lion so should know the quickest way around and with Cameron's Premiership team spots the last couple of years there should be no surprises for him either. This will be a new experience for Joel who should be sharp having had a multitude of matches in Sweden while the Monarchs have been idle while Willie Lawson will hopefully have used the break to put improved machinery under him and look to kick on.
The task will not be easy in any way shape or form though with the Lions in dominant home form so far this season with only Sheffield able to muster as much as 40 points so far, the Lions will also be fielding a guest with Josh Bates a reserve in the GP qualifier at Glasgow with Sheffield's Kyle Howarth stepping in. Elsewhere the bulk of the scoring will be expected to come from top two Scott Nicholls and Richie Worrall. Ryan Douglas is in fine form and appears to have returned well from a dislocated shoulder. At the bottom end a switch in averages sees Ellis Perks into the main body of the team but this should not dent the power at reserve with Conner Mountain partnering Jack Thomas.
So a tough task lies ahead for the Staggs Bar Monarchs as we look to break our away duck for the season, while not many will have us in with much of a chance the backbone of recent Monarchs teams has been their never say die attitude let's see if that can carry us to something on Saturday night.