The Parsons Peebles Monarchs battled hard but a mid match collapse was to prove costly as they ended up empty handed going down 50-39 at Ipswich.
The Monarchs can point to no small measure of bad luck also as to the cause of the score line as a few times they saw precious points slip through their grasp.
Monarchs reserve Mitchell Davey saying after the match ‘The boys are disappointed that we didn’t leave with at least a point. In the early part of the meeting we were gating really well but Ipswich just seemed to find a bit extra out of the gate. The three 5-1’s in the middle of the meeting killed us and it gave them the momentum to go on and win.’
The Monarchs made a solid start to the match sharing the first 3 heats, this could have been better though as Josh Pickering came to grief on the final lap while on a 5-1 with partner Erik Riss in the third race. The visitors were to take the lead in the next race though when Ricky Wells made a lightning gate and with Davey slotting into third they took a 2 point advantage.
Heat advantages were then shared over the next few heats with an unusual 3-2 score to the Monarchs in heat 5 after former Monarch Justin Sedgmen came down after Mark Riss had already crashed out.
So heading into heat 8 the Monarchs were 3 points up and with the heat leaders all scoring well a potential shock looked on the cards. Unfortunately the wheels were to come off as the home men raced to maximum advantages in each of the next 3 heats. On a difficult track with passing at a premium the Monarchs watched as the home pairing jetted from the start time after time and the races were all but over by the second bend.
The Witches now held a 9 point lead and they were not to relinquish this as they provided 4 of the next 5 race winners meaning 7 of the last 8 races were all taken by a home man the only exception to this being Josh Pickering impressing on his debut taking heat 14 from tapes to flag.
Heat 13 is another that the Monarchs will point to as an opportunity lost as home captain Danny King hit the tapes in the first running, the Monarchs pairing of Sam Masters and Wells then jetted from the tapes and looked likely to take maximum points however King was to come a cropper at the back and as is so often the way in speedway his partner Rory Schlein headed home in the re-run.
A final heat 4-2 from King and Schlein made the score look a little comfortable in the end in a match the Monarchs were always in but alas it was not to be and the long drive home will seem all the longer with nothing to show for their efforts.
Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins
|1. Danny King||3||3||3||X||3||12||0|
|2. Cameron Heeps||0||1||3||2*||6||1|
|3. Justin Sedgmen||2||X||3||3||8||0|
|4. Kyle Newman||1*||2||2*||2||7||2|
|5. Rory Schlein||2||2||3||3||1||11||0|
|6. Connor Mountain||1*||0||2*||0||0||1*||4||3|
|7. Nathan Greaves||2||0||2||0|
Team Manager: John Campbell
|1. Sam Masters||2||3||2||2||2||11||0|
|2. Mark Riss||1*||X||1||2||1|
|3. Erik Riss||3||3||1||2||0||9||0|
|4. Josh Pickering||F||1||0||3||4||0|
|5. Ricky Wells||3||2||1||1*||7||1|
|6. Max Clegg||3||0||0||1*||1*||0||5||2|
|7. Mitchell Davey||0||1||0||1||0|
The Parsons Peebles Monarchs head to Suffolk for their longest trip south of the season as we take on the Ipswich Witches in SGB Championship action.
The Witches are one of the favourites for honours this season and with a powerhouse top 5 the Monarchs will need to be at their very best if they are to leave Foxhall with anything. A point proven by the fact that Ipswich are unbeaten around their home shale this season with only Glasgow leaving with as much as a point.
The strength of the Witches team is undoubtedly at the top end where the current British champion Danny King leads the way. King is nigh on unbeatable around his home shale with an average in excess of 10.60 so far this season.
King is by no way a one man band though and he is backed up by a pair of Monarch league winning legends in the form of Rory Schlein and Justin Sedgmen. Rory is enjoying his finest season in years with the drop in to Championship appearing to reinvigorate the ‘Roo Boy’ he has put almost 1.5 points on his starting average and this will only look to increase as he gets more familiar with the away circuits again. Justin on the other hand appears to be taking a little time to acclimatise back into the second tier after his year riding exclusively in the top tier and there have been some mumblings from the Ipswich fans about some of his performances. Of course no one will be taking Sedgy for granted though as we all saw time and time again what the Mildura man is capable off in his 2 league winning seasons with the Monarchs.
If any visiting team thought they were going to get a respite in the heats when the top 3 were absent then that is also not the case as Kyle Newman and Cameron Heeps complete the Witches top 5 in what many (including myself) rank as the strongest quintet in the league. Newman is a strong second string to have particularly with his previous experience riding at heat leader and in fact number 1 for Plymouth over the past few years. Trying to ride himself back into form after a nasty early season shoulder injury Newman will be one to watch as the season progresses. Heeps is another who is enjoying his finest season in the sport. A criminally underrated rider Heeps is very often the match winner for the Witches and riding in the important number 2 slot he will be a key man tonight.
With the strength at the top end something perhaps had to give further down the line for the Witches and they started the season with 2 2.00 point riders that they hoped could improve and so far this is working out nicely for them although they were dealt a huge blow when Danyon Hume went down with a badly broken arm. Hume was on the verge of a breakout season and his absence is being noticed. That is not to say that replacement Nathan Greaves has disappointed and Greaves has been in strong form also averaging over 6 points in his 4 matches so far. Greaves is joined at reserve by Connor Mountain who outside of Ellis Perks has perhaps been the best of the junior reserves to start the season. Mountain has consistently been among the points and the battles between the two home men and Max and Mitchell will go a long way to if the Monarchs can come home with at least a point in the bag.
Our boy’s head south looking to prove a point, we are still top of the league but the Witches are one of the outfits hot on our tails and with matches in hand, with this in mind it would be a huge boon for the Monarchs if we can come away with something.
We travel with our full 1-7 in place and it is a track we have some pedigree on in the past although recent results have been mixed. We were narrowly defeated 48-45 in the league last season in a match that many felt the referee had cost us more by allowing some generous starts for the home men but this was followed up by one of our worst performances of the season as we capitulated 58-32 in the end of season playoffs a result which put paid to our hopes of a hat trick of league titles.
One bright point we did take from the playoff defeat was the apparent liking Mark Riss took to the circuit in his debut there Mark was given the nod in heat 15 and showed his ability on what many rate as a difficult track to master. Sam and Max have also shown they know the way around and with Erik now reasonably experienced at most tracks we will be looking for him to back up our top men. With their fast starting ability points shouldn’t be too hard to come by for Ricky and Mitch also and as always we know that we will get 100% effort from Josh and he will improve as the meeting progresses.
So a tough battle awaits against a team that as mentioned have only failed to crack the 50 point barrier once at home so far this season and have recorded 60 twice but we will travel with no fear and if the Monarchs do what we know they are capable off then points could be in the offing.
Wednesday 7th June 2017, 2:23pm
The Redcar Bears return to Armadale this week with an improved line-up since their last visit and on the lookout for points in a SGB Championship tussle.
Monday 5th June 2017, 11:00pm
It's been a busy time for our riders this weekend as three of them rode in Germany bidding to secure a place in the next round of their respective Championships.