PREVIEW Wednesday 17th July 2019, 1:31pm
It is the first look at the new look Staggs Bar Monarchs on Wednesday evening and the task could not be tougher as we head to current league leaders in SGB Championship action.
The big news of the week was of course the return to the Monarchs colours of Sam Masters and Sam will mark his re-introduction to the side with the number 1 race jacket on his back and an inflated average of 10.78 to live up to. We all knew what Sam is capable of though and with 13 matches left in the league including this one the time was right to make the change.
The signing of Masters meant that a second change was required and we also welcome to the fold young Matt Marson. Matt was brought to our attention by Cameron Heeps who he has ridden with in Western Australia. Currently plying his trade in the National League for Mildenhall Marson will slot in at reserve and with his relative inexperience there will be no pressure put on him for big points.
Elsewhere these signings also mean a re-jig in order with Ricky Wells moving to number 2 and William Lawson to number 4. This may have surprised a few but this gives the Monarchs probably the best opening combo in the league and the hope is this will get us off to strong starts in meetings as not only in heat 1 will Sam and Ricky combine but Ricky will have his 4 programmed rides in the first 2 thirds of the meeting.
The hope also will be that the promotion into the main body of the team will make little difference to William such is his temperament. Lawson showed improved form at the weekend against Newcastle and this needs to continue.
Josh and Cameron will continue to line up at 3 and 5 respectively with the 2 having been the highlights of the season so far with their continued progression and exciting style anyone in attendance at Newcastle on Sunday being witness to that, not least the race of the season from 15 metres.
The home men were tipped as league favourites before a wheel was turned and so far they have lived up to that billing sitting 5 points clear at the top of the table.
The Lions are not without issues of their own though with Richie Worrall lost for a long spell with a multiple ankle fracture and Josh Bates also out having had an operation on his neck after a crash at Peterborough on Monday. Richard Lawson steps in for Worrall while rider replacement will operate for Bates with all bar number 1 Scott Nicholls allowed an extra ride.
At reserve Joe Lawlor is a recent introduction to the team after Jack Thomas became another who felt he was not getting any enjoyment out of the sport.
The team is lead by the ageless Scott Nicholls who continues to exude class at this level whereas signing of the season might be Ryan Douglas who has returned from a year out with visa issues to post his best ever year in the sport.
Ellis Perks and Connor Mountain are both progressing in their careers as well and have been key man for the Lions.
So a new look Monarchs team with 2 riders making their debuts, 2 riders moving into different positions in the team and all with a visit to the league leaders who have not allowed anyone to leave with so much as a consolation point. Easy right!
As allows all we can ask for and we know what we will get is the best efforts from all involved and who knows maybe we can spring a surprise.
For those not in attendance live updates as always are available on the Monarchs website.