The Parsons Peebles Monarchs took a giant step towards the end of season Playoffs by grabbing a dramatic victory that looked unlikely for much of the night, a 46-43 win over Glasgow Tigers.
Top scoring home rider Ricky Wells said “Good effort from the team, we never gave up, what more can you say. The track was a little bit different, it was pretty slick. Good to see Max scoring some points, and Sam never gave up. Nobody gave up tonight. I was about ready to pack up and leave after my second ride but I’m glad I stayed and scored some points.”
There were so many unpredictable race results and unexpected heroes that it made a highly entertaining event, with no-one ever sure what was going to happen next. Who would have thought that Glasgow’s guest reserve James Sarjeant would score 12 points, or that Max Clegg would be unbeaten in his final two races, or that after visibly struggling in his first three heats captain Sam Masters would come out and win a sensational heat 13 from the back?
But all these things and many others happened as Monarchs came from a point down to clinch a narrow victory.
Rumours that “the wheels had fallen off” or that Glasgow were “falling apart” due to injuries, proved entirely unfounded as the Tigers took the match to Monarchs right from the off.
Richie Worrall won heat one, Monarchs took the lead in heat 2 when Clegg passed Sarjeant (who earned a warning at the first attempt), and Lawson won heat 3 with Sarjeant in front of Mark Riss. So that was 9-9 and the pattern was set – Tigers heat leaders on form, and James Sarjeant riding far better than his average suggested.
Heat 4 was very significant. Erik Riss made the start but Mitchell Davey was also away superbly well, with Aaron Summers chasing him. Mitch held second for the first lap, but towards the end of the second Summers looked like coming round him, Into lap three Aaron went very fast into the pits turn – locked up and fell. With Ryan MacDonald already out of the race this was a 5-0 to Monarchs.
On a night of unpredictable results we then had Mark Riss winning heat 5 but Ricky Wells unable to make progress from the back, although he put pressure on Worrall and Morris. Morris wasn’t scoring as heavily as Sarjeant but he was taking good points for Tigers all night.
Summers won a shared heat 6 comfortably, and heat 7 was also shared, won by Erik Riss with Morris fighting back to take the point from Clegg.
Heat 8 looked a strong one for Tigers and their guests Sarjeant and Morris duly put a big gap between themselves and Josh Pickering in third. That was 24-23 now.
Heat 9 was a classic. Mark Riss gated, James Sarjeant went round him, Ricky Wells passed both going into lap two, Riss went inside Sarjeant, Sarjeant came back and just held on to second. Monarchs now three up.
Heat 10 looked very ominous. Lawson went clear with Masters in second, until Sam lost control and allowed Sarjeant through for a 5-1. Sam’s fitness is still in doubt and this appeared to show that he is still struggling with the shoulder. Monarchs now a point down as the riders went out for the SRBF collection.
As the match resumed, Worrall won heat 11 from a hard-chasing Riss, with Clegg doing well to beat Morris for the point. But where were Monarchs going to get the heat advantage they needed, especially with Masters struggling?
The answer was heat 12, in which Wells and Clegg unexpectedly romped home ahead of Sarjeant and Lawson to put Monarchs 3 ahead.
Equally surprising was a titanic heat 13 in which Sam Masters (on Mark Riss’s bike), made the start and forced Worrall wide on the first turn. Richie though came back between Masters and Riss to retake the lead, just as Summers came down in a curious fall at the back and cleared the track.
Masters wasn’t finished and stormed back again under Worrall, to be followed by Riss, only for Worrall to retake second place. A superb heat which put Monarchs 5 ahead.
However heat 14 looked a tough one, Mark Riss and Clegg against Aaron Summers on his r/r ride with Sarjeant. Mark was ridden out of it on the opening lap, but the mighty Clegg did the business again and led all the way!
That meant we needed a finisher in the final race for a win which had looked thoroughly unlikely after heat 10. Ricky sat comfortably in second behind Worrall, with Erik Riss just missing out on the tightest finish of the night for third.
A point for Glasgow then, and they owed a debt of gratitude to their guests as well as top men Worrall and Lawson. In the Championship table, Sheffield have 83 points, Ipswich 77, Edinburgh 67, Glasgow 64 and Redcar 59. Redcar have three away matches before Monday’s cutoff, Glasgow two home matches, and Edinburgh one away match. Work that lot out!
Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Sam Masters||2||2||1||3||8||0|
|2. Josh Pickering||1*||1*||1||0||3||2|
|3. Ricky Wells||2||0||3||3||2||10||0|
|4. Mark Riss||0||3||1||R||4||0|
|5. Erik Riss||3||3||2||1||0||9||0|
|6. Max Clegg||3||0||1*||2*||3||9||2|
|7. Mitchell Davey||1||2*||0||3||1|
Team Manager: Stewart Dickson
|1. Richie Worrall||3||2||3||2||3||13||0|
|2. Ashley Morris||0||1"||1*||2*||R||4||2|
|3. Richard Lawson||3||2||3||0||1||9||0|
|4. Dan Bewley r/r||0||0|
|5. Aaron Summers||F||3||0||0||2||5||0|
|6. James Sarjeant||2||1||3||2||2*||1||1*||12||2|
|7. Ryan MacDonald||0||R||R||0||0|
It’s derby time! The one fixture most fans look out for as soon as the fixture list is announced. The Parsons Peebles Monarchs versus the Glasgow Tigers at Armadale in SGB Championship action.
Adding to the drama this time is the fact that both teams are chasing the playoffs with neither secured yet as we enter the final weekend of the regular season before the cut off date and by which time the team’s destinies will be known.
The Tigers were many people’s pick to sweep the board this season and started the season like a train routinely demolishing teams at Ashfield and picking up at least a consolation point on their travels. However the form book has turned upside down for our friends from the west and that coupled with a desperate spate of injuries means they are teetering on losing out on a playoff spot an outcome that would have been unthinkable just a few weeks ago.
Tigers are often at their most dangerous when they are under threat though and Stewart Dickson will have his men well fired up for tonight’s fixture knowing that a positive result will all but seal that playoff place and allow them to reset and go again over the coming weeks.
This job will be made all the harder as mentioned above the Tigers will arrive at Armadale tonight with only 3 of their own 1-7 due to an almost unprecedented run of injuries over the last few weeks. The Tigers faithful have watched as first Nike Lunna was lost for the season due to back and arm injuries, then Dan Bewley was forced out with a groin injury. Things went from bad to worse when Tom Perry suffered arm and rib injuries and then to compound matters Jack Smith now faces a spell out after losing part of his finger in a crash at Swindon just this week. Not that there is ever a good time for a rider to be injured but the most galling thing for the Tigers is that all of these injuries took place while the riders were riding for other teams.
So it is a patched up Tigers side that head east this evening although the one constant and the strength of the team this season has been the heat leader trio all of whom are still in tact.
Starting at number 1 with Richie Worrall. Worrall was one of the main reasons for the Tigers strong start to the season as he was in lightning form and was probably the best rider in the league for the first 2 months. His form has levelled of a bit but the Monarchs fans will not need reminding of what he is capable off after his excellent 13 point performance for the Blue and Gold at Scunthorpe last Sunday that helped us to a crucial 8 point victory. Richie loves the Armadale track and will be looking to impress once again.
Glasgow’s run of bad luck with injuries appears to have even stretched to their guests as Mason Campton was due to go at number 2 before injury forced him to withdraw. Newcastle’s Ashley Morris steps in. Morris has enjoyed probably his best ever season in the sport and this can probably be put down to being part of a settled team at Newcastle. Morris has impressed on his two visits to the Dale this year including a paid 10 haul on his first visit in which he was unbeaten after his first 3 rides including a heat 1 win. If Morris can replicate that form this week then a tough encounter is on the cards.
Richard Lawson slots in at number 3, it has been a bit of an up and down season for ‘the son of God’ as he is known on the Ashfield terracing. His home form has been electric and he will be one of the favourites to lift the Championship Riders Individual trophy in a couple of weeks around his home shale however on away tracks he has sometimes been found wanting in the big heats and this is something that will need improved upon if the Tigers are to challenge for the league and cup double they so desperately want. Lawson used to struggle at Armadale but has certainly found the quickest way round in recent times with a high score of paid 15 to his name he can never be discounted.
Rider replacement operates at number 4 for Dan Bewley with Aaron Summers, Ashley Morris and the reserves able to stand in.
Number 5 and captain of the Tigers is Aaron ‘Spud’ Summers. Of course we all know how good Summers can be around Armadale and while we haven’t seen him for a couple of months early in the season it felt like he guested against us every week. Another who is almost part of the furniture at Ashfield now Summers is taking on a key role as he combines his captain’s duties with covering one of Dan’s rides. So 6 rides tonight is not out of the question for Spud and if he rides to his capabilities then a big score may well be in the offing.
Replacing the luckless Tom Perry at reserve for this fixture is Workington’s James Sarjeant. It has been a disastrous season for Sarjeant with the man himself admitting he has no idea what has went wrong. However he has shown signs of life recently not least round Armadale where he performed well in the Caledonian Riders Championship the other week backing this up with a 6 point score and a heat 14 win for Workington at Armadale last Friday. Sarjeant will be looking for more of this type of form as he looks to show promoters that he is still the rider that averaged close to 6 points a match from a second string positon just last year.
At time of writing it is not known who will fill in for Glasgow at number 7. Jack Smith suffering a nasty sounding injury at Swindon on Thursday night that resulted in the tip of one of his fingers needing to e cut off. We wish young Jack all the best in his recovery in what has been a season in which he has shown improvement as it has progressed.
So that’s the visitors what about our home heroes well we go into this match with our full 1-7 on show. Sam returning at Sheffield on Thursday night in what was an uninspired performance by the majority of the team for one reason or another. We will need to shake that off for the derby though as not only is any match against Glasgow full of importance but the fact that a playoff place is on the line doubles that intensity. A win for the Monarchs and while not mathematically certain it would give us one foot in the playoffs as it would require Redcar to take 9 points from 3 away fixtures at Glasgow, Newcastle and Sheffield this weekend and that would be with the Monarchs taking nothing from our trip to Workington.
So a derby under the lights with a playoff place on the line what more could you ask for how will it pan out there is only one way to know and that is to get yourself to Armadale tonight. See you there!
Friday 15th September 2017, 10:11pm
The Parsons Peebles Monarchs defeated Glasgow by 46 to 43 at Armadale on Friday night. Ricky Wells got 10. And Richie Worrall got 13 for the visitors.