Action from Redcar's early season visit Image Credit: Peter Hill

Redcar are the next big hurdle

NEWS Thursday 30th September 2021, 12:20pm

by Mike Hunter

Right at the start of the season the What the Fork Monarchs fought out a home-and-away double draw with Redcar Bears. So it seems appropriate that the teams meet up again towards the end with the goal of progressing to the semi-finals of the Championship Playoffs.

The Bears come to Armadale on Friday with the return on Sunday, aggregate victors progress to the semi-final stage at which point Championship table-toppers Poole choose which of the two quarter final winners they wish to race against. Second placed Glasgow will get the other one. Monarchs are of course already in the semi-final of the Knockout Cup.

Monarchs looked like fielding their own 1-7 until Drew Kemp was called up on Wednesday to ride in the third leg of the World Under-21 Final, which means he misses Friday but returns on Sunday. Drew scored 10 points on his last Armadale appearance which is four weeks ago now. As his replacement in the Rising Star position Monarchs have secured the services of Berwick's Leon Flint who on his last Armadale appearance scored 13 guesting for Plymouth. Jason Edwards comes in to replace the retired Nathan Greaves.

Redcar may be missing Michael Palm Toft, quite a blow, and if so will use rider replacement. Their star men will be former British Champ Charles Wright, recent signing Lewis Kerr and Aussie Jake Allen, and they have useful backup from Jordan Jenkins and James Sarjeant.

Monarchs' heat leader Richie Worrall is looking forward to the fixtures and says "What you will notice is when it is a really important match, playoffs, finals whatever it is different. When it is normal league racing although it is a team, it can be a bit more individual, but you see a total different team when the playoffs and finals come around. Everyone is there to help everyone as they know how important it is, you don't see 1 captain you see 5 or 6 captains it all ramps up."

As with all Armadale matches this season Friday's match will be Live Streamed, however the stream will be available only to those outwith a 25 mile radius of the track. Anyone within that limit but unable to attend should email info@edinburghmonarchs.co.uk

The second leg will be streamed from Redcar on Sunday evening, details on the Bears' website.

THIS WEEK'S MEETINGS:

Friday 1st October: What the Fork Monarchs v Redcar (Championship Playoff first leg), Armadale, 7:30pm

WHAT THE FORK MONARCHS: Sam Masters (capt.), Anders Rowe, Kye Thomson, Josh Pickering, Richie Worrall, Leon Flint, Jason Edwards

AGILIA BEARS: Charles Wright (capt.), James Sarjeant, Jake Allen, Michael Palm Toft or rider replacement, Lewis Kerr, Ryan Kinsley, Jordan Jenkins.

Sunday 3rd October: Redcar v What the Fork Monarchs (Championship Playoff second leg), Media Prime Arena, 6:30pm