NEWS Wednesday 22nd June 2022, 11:01pm
Oxford have had 15 years out of the sport but have won their battle to return. The last time Monarchs and Cheetahs met on track was the 1997 Cup Final in the first year of speedway at Armadale! But Oxford are visitors to Armadale on Friday, and strong rivals to the Monarchs for a Playoff place later in the season. That's what makes this week's match so important for both clubs. At present Monarchs have a slight advantage in the table but an away win on Friday would swing that round.
Neither of Monarchs' injured riders Lasse Fredriksen or James Sarjeant is ready to return, though it is expected that they will both be back for the following match 7 days later. Guest for Sarjeant at reserve on Friday will be Lee Complin whose own team Newcastle ceased operations this week, a sad loss to the sport. Lee won heat 2 on Newcastle's recent visit to Armadale in the rain, before the match was abandoned, and he is a rider who can be counted on for 100% effort.
Oxford were missing three of their regular lineup in their home match on Wednesday, .and we have been informed that Leon Flint will now guest for Scott Nicholls at no. 1. Kyle Newman is still missing and have a strong rider replacement facility, and the Cheetahs will be bringing teenager Luke Kileen their recent recruit from Australia.
The loss of Nicholls is a blow but a lineup with Flint, Batchelor, Summers, Heeps and Ruml is still formidable. Former Monarchs' and Berwick star Aaron Summers has returned to action for the Cheetahs, a significant strengthening for them. He won four heats on his home debut for Cheetahs, a narrow win over Glasgow.
Monarchs' team boss Alex Harkess is fully aware of the importance of keeping a clean home record from now on. He said "It will be a tough match especially now that Aaron Summers is in their side, but it doesn't matter how tough they are we have to take them on and win at home against them. You can look at them and say they have people who have done very, very well at Armadale in the past, but surely they've not done any better than what our top two do each week. It's up to us to win, it's essential that we do if we are to be in the Playoffs."
Friday's Championship match will be Live Streamed. Details on www.edinburghmonarchs.co.uk
Friday 24th June: Edinburgh Monarchs v Oxford Cheetahs (Championship), Armadale, 7:30pm
WTF MONARCHS: Sam Masters (capt.), rider replacement for Lasse Fredriksen, Kye Thomson, Paco Castagna, Josh Pickering, Jacob Hook, Lee Complin (guest).
MONARCH OXFORD CHEETAHS: Leon Flint (Guest), Cameron Heeps, rider replacement for Kyle Newman, Aaron Summers, Troy Batchelor, Dillon Ruml, Luke Kileen.