Sam dominates the Tigers in April Image Credit: Jamie Kenny

Monarchs seek a lead

NEWS Wednesday 1st June 2022, 10:30pm

by Mike Hunter

What The Fork Monarchs face the weekend Knockout Cup tie against Glasgow with team problems but are nevertheless determined to build a lead on Friday night at Armadale before going to Ashfield the next day to defend. They have been heartened by topping 40 at two tough venues, Plymouth and Poole, this week.

Injured riders Lasse Fredriksen and James Sarjeant will still be out of action but the signs are hopeful that their periods on the sidelines will not be as long as first feared. Oxford's American Dillon Ruml stands in for Sarjeant over both matches, and rider replacement applies for Fredriksen with Castagna, Hook and Ruml qualifying for extra rides.

Monarchs have removed Tigers from the Cup on their last two meetings, in 2018 and 2021, but on the other hand Glasgow came to Armadale at the end of April and won 51-39. It will take a big turnround from that to provide a defendable lead.

Monarchs' team boss Alex Harkess doesn't underestimate the task in hand. He said "On Friday we begin a very difficult cup tie with Glasgow. We beat them last year when it wasn't expected that we would, and we also recently pushed them to just a 2-point defeat at Ashfield.

"So it isn't something which is beyond us, to win this tie, but to even start with a home victory which is essential, we need every single rider to do their very best. If anyone is even a shade off then we will struggle."

As if their injuries were not handicap enough, Monarchs are forced to use guests for their much-admired top two of Sam Masters and Josh Pickering in the second leg due to a fixture clash with a Polish fixture which takes precedence in the international calendar. Richard Lawson and Justin Sedgmen stand in.

Friday's Knockout Cup match will be Live Streamed. Details on www.edinburghmonarchs.co.uk

FRIDAY'S MATCH:

Friday 3rd June: Edinburgh Monarchs v Glasgow Tigers (Championship KO Cup first leg), Armadale, 7:30pm

WTF MONARCHS: Sam Masters (capt.), rider replacement for Lasse Fredriksen, Kye Thomson, Paco Castagna, Josh Pickering, Jacob Hook, Dillon Ruml (guest).

ALLIED VEHICLES TIGERS: Craig Cook, Connor Bailey, Ulrich Ostergaard, Benjamin Basso, Tom Brennan, Danyon Hume, Broc Nicol

Saturday 4th June: Glasgow v Edinburgh (Championship KO Cup second leg), Ashfield, 7:00pm