The Parsons Peebles Monarchs performed poorly on their third visit to Owlerton this season, going down heavily by 58-34.
Our main targets for league points this weekend obviously are Friday and Saturday, but it would have been nice to put up a bit more of a show here. Sheffield must be sorely tempted to choose us in the Playoffs if we get there.
Team boss John Campbell could not offer any excuses. "Ricky Wells was excellent but I'd have to admit the rest of the team were very disappointing. Although Sam didn't have a great meeting he says he is fit enough and I'm confident that our riders know the importance of our next two matches."
We gated like snails, other than Ricky Wells, and on a night on which there wasn't much passing there was not much we could do about it. Ricky actually recorded the fastest time of the night in heat 3 when heading Lasse Bjerre. Ricky finished on a first class 15 points.
We all know that speedway has a problem with not enough overtaking these days, but that is highlighted when (for example) Georgie Wood is last by a mile in heat 2, then wins heat 4 comfortably with Howarth back in third. Or when Grajczonek wins his first two races very easily then comes a bad last in heat 10.
That was our first decent heat, though we did take a 5-3 from Ricky's TR race in heat 7. Heat 10 was even better with Ricky jetting away, rounding the unbeaten Graversen (who was probably starting to get tired), followed later in the heat by Mark also passing the Dane. Josh Grajczonek was at the back.
We should have finished with a 5-1, Ricky and Sam leading all the way to the last bend with Sam riding out at the fence. However Bjerre intruded by barging through on the final corner into second.
Sam Masters was back in action though he wasn't at his best, while Erik Riss was afflicted by terrible gating. Josh Pickering ran into machine trouble and switched to a Riss machine for heat one, stopped in his next and never got near the opposition in any of his rides. Precious little else to say except well done Tigers you are the best team.
At Armadale tomorrow night we will be much better when the Glasgow Tigers come visiting.
Team Manager: Simon Stead
|1. Josh Grajczonek||3||3||0||3||9||0|
|2. Todd Kurtz r/r||0||0|
|3. Lasse Bjerre||2||1||3||3||2||11||0|
|4. Lewis Kerr||1*||3||2*||2*||2*||R||10||4|
|5. Kyle Howarth||1||3||3||2*||9||1|
|6. Jan Graversen||2*||3||2*||2*||0||1||10||3|
|7. Georgie Wood||0||3||R||1||3||7||0|
Team Manager: John Campbell
|1. Sam Masters||1||2||2||1||1||7||0|
|2. Josh Pickering||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|3. Ricky Wells||3||4||3||2||3||15||0|
|4. Mark Riss||0||1*||2*||1||4||2|
|5. Erik Riss||2||1||1||0||4||0|
|6. Max Clegg||1*||0||0||1||1|
|7. Mitchell Davey||2||0||1||0||0||3||0|
The Parsons Peebles Monarch head to Yorkshire tonight for the third time this season to take on current league toppers Sheffield in SGB Championship action.
It has not been a happy hunting ground so far with two heavy defeats 53-37 in the cup back at the start of June and 55-35 in the league last month. Of course we are not the only team to have been on the wrong end of a heavy defeat at Owlerton this season as the Tigers are yet to taste defeat with only Glasgow leaving with so much as the consolation point so far.
That all counts for nothing tonight though and with both teams still having something to race for as we near the end of the league campaign it is set to be a cracker. The home men will be looking to cement their place at the top of the league and guarantee themselves first pick of opposition for the playoffs. As it stands Ipswich are currently tied atop the standings with the Yorkshiremen after their resounding victory at Ashfield last night and with those two teams due to do battle after our match tonight the home men will not want to go into that meeting on the back of a poor result.
For the Parsons Peebles Monarchs it is all about securing that playoff place. As it stands we currently sit 3rd on 64 points with Glasgow 4th on 63 and Redcar doing the chasing with 59 in 5th. This is the first of 3 remaining matches for the Monarchs before the cut off with a home tie against Glasgow Friday night and a trip to Workington on Saturday still to come. This means the Monarchs maximum total is 75 although anything thing from 71 points and above would guarantee us a play off place and that is the worst case scenario of Redcar picking up all 12 points which in turn would mean Glasgow’s maximum is 70 (confused yet)
With that in mind any points gained could be vital but it may be the case that Friday and Saturday night’s fixtures will take on more importance.
Good news for the Monarchs is that captain Sam Masters has declared himself fit once again after being forced to sit out last weekend’s away matches at Berwick and Scunthorpe. It being hoped another few days of rest and the wider open spaces of Owlerton may favour the shoulder rather than the heavy circuits at Berwick and Scunthorpe. Elsewhere the Monarchs line up with their full 1-7 with Josh Pickering continuing at number 2 and Mark Riss at 4.
For the hosts they are down 2 of their usual 1-7. Josh bates and Todd Kurtz missing out although the hope for Sheffield is both will be back in time for the playoffs. Lewis Kerr deputises for Bates with rider replacement in operation for Kurtz allowing Kerr and the Tigers reserves to take the extra rides.
So a bumper night of speedway is in store for all in attendance can the Monarchs upset the apple cart and give the Tigers something to think about before they make their selection of opponent for the playoff semi finals? We shall see!