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Josh leads Matty in the 2019 tie Image Credit: Jack Cupido

First hurdle in the Knockout Cup

NEWS Wednesday 2nd June 2021, 12:00pm

by Mike Hunter

This weekend the What the Fork Monarchs attempt to overcome Newcastle Diamonds in their home and away tie in the Championship Knockout Cup. It's a tie which has traditionally produced drama and excitement over the years.

Monarchs and Diamonds have met ten times in knockout ties, with Monarchs 6-4 ahead in victories, though it was Diamonds who were successful on the last occasion in 2019. The teams met in the final in 2010 (Newcastle won) and who can forget 2013 when Monarchs lost the home leg by a single point, and lost a key rider, but went to Tyneside two days later and won by two!

Club Chairman Alex Harkess says "The history shows that Knockout Cup matches with Newcastle are absolutely fascinating. We've lost a home one and won the away one before now, we've had last heat deciders, last time we raced we had a big home win then a big away defeat and got knocked out. It's an attractive fixture with nobody knowing what could happen."

Key Monarchs' heat leader Richie Worrall added: "More meetings means more money obviously but I just want to see the team do well and I'm expecting wins at the weekend against Newcastle home and away. I love it at Brough Park and I know Josh does as well it's a very similar to track in that it is technical so I am looking forward to these 2 fixtures I really am."

Former Monarchs and Armadale specialists Matthew Wethers and Max Clegg line up for Newcastle. Kyle Howarth comes in for the Diamonds on Friday in place of Ben Barker, injured in practise.

As with all Armadale fixtures, Friday's match will be Live Streamed, details on the Monarchs club website.

THIS WEEK'S MEETINGS:

Friday 4th June: Edinburgh What the Fork Monarchs v Newcastle GEC Diamonds (Championship Knockout Cup), Armadale, 7:30pm

WHAT THE FORK MONARCHS: Sam Masters (capt.), Nathan Greaves, Kye Thomson, Josh Pickering, Richie Worrall, Joe Lawlor, William Lawson.

GEC DIAMONDS: Kyle Howarth (Guest), Adam Roynon, Connor Mountain, Max Clegg, Matthew Wethers (capt.), James Wright, Joe Alcock

Monarchs will utilise Richie Worrall's brother Steve as a guest for Sam Masters in the second leg on Sunday as Masters' Polish fixture has priority

Sunday 6th June: Newcastle v What the Fork Monarchs (Knockout Cup), 4pm.