Having built up a 12-point lead after four races, the Parsons Peebles Monarchs didn’t add anything to their advantage and finished up beating Scunthorpe 52-40, thereby extending their lead at the top of the Championship.
Alex Harkess said “We won comfortably enough after making a strong start but we still have some riders who are short of their best. Whatever the conditions it doesn’t seem to matter to Erik Riss who is getting better every week.
“After a couple of weeks with a track which was too grippy, tonight it was a bit slick but we’ll get it right eventually!”
It would be wrong to conclude from the table-topping position that the Monarchs are at their best at the moment, because they are not! The home team did record the first six race winners but had only four more in the last nine races as the Scorpions fought back with spirit.
Top man on the home side tonight was Erik Riss who flew to victory in his first four races, making great gates. Sam Masters won three, and Ricky Wells two, but as in recent matches the backup was decidedly patchy.
The first two races were home 5-1s, assisted by Michael Palm Toft spluttering on the opening lap in heat 1. British Finalist Carl Wilkinson was well beaten in heat 2 by home reserves Josh Pickering and Mitchell Davey, so it looked as though the threat from Wilko was going to be nullified. In fact that wasn’t the case and he later took three race wins. Lewis Kerr and Michael Palm Toft were the other Scorpion winners.
With the score at 26-10 after heat 6 the match already looked all over, and yet Scunthorpe had other ideas. Lewis Kerr won heat 7, Wilkinson heat 8 and in all the visitors recorded four 4-2s and a 5-3 from heat 7 onwards.
Theo Pijper picked up points fairly comfortably on his first home match of the season, without looking at his most effective. Josh Pickering didn’t score again after winning heat 2, coming to grief when trying hard to pass the rather wobbly Ryan Douglas in heat 7. Josh could do with more racing but there isn’t much coming up for him.
Max Clegg gated poorly as usual but managed to grab paid 7, while Mitchell Davey was spirited in scoring paid 6.
Michael Palm Toft rode very well in the closing stages, passing Sam Masters in heat 13 when Monarchs were on a 5-1 and finishing up the winner in the last heat.
In this one Erik Riss was looking for his 15-point maximum, but after making a good start from the inside he swung extremely wide. Sam Masters was also out wide and this allowed the crafty Palm Toft to race up the inside. The result was that he and the two home men arrived at the third turn together. Erik attempted to go right round the fence outside the other two and it wasn’t a surprise when he became entangled in the air fence.
Palm Toft got the better of Masters in the rerun to help his team to the 40-point mark.
Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Sam Masters||3||3||3||1||2||12||0|
|2. Theo Pijper||2*||1||2||0||5||1|
|3. Erik Riss||3||3||3||3||X||12||0|
|4. Max Clegg||1||1||2*||2||6||1|
|5. Ricky Wells||3||2||2||3||10||0|
|6. Josh Pickering||3||0||0||0||3||0|
|7. Mitchell Davey||2*||1||1*||0||4||2|
Team Manager: Dave Peet
|1. Michael Palm Toft||1||2||1||2||3||9||0|
|2. Tero Aarnio||0||0||0||0||0|
|3. Lewis Kerr||2||3||2||4||1||12||0|
|4. Ryan Douglas||X||1||1*||1||3||1|
|5. Josh Auty||2||2||1||0||5||0|
|6. Carl Wilkinson||1||0||3||3||1*||3||11||1|
|7. Ryan MacDonald||0||0||0||0||0|
It’s take two this week as we welcome the Scunthorpe Henderson Insurance Scorpions back to Armadale in SGB Championship action.
The nature of the beast though means that this is a different looking side that will head north with only 4 of the riders that were on display back on the first night of our Championship campaign back at the start of April still in the Scorpions ranks.
This has been brought about from a myriad of injuries, bad luck and poor form and the Scorpions currently sit second bottom of the table and with half the season complete it is looking unlikely they will be in contention for the playoff places barring a massive uptick in performances.
Promoter Rob Godfrey had put together what he hoped would be a sold side with improvement in the middle order making up for a lack of top end heat leader prowess and with the makeup of the team always allowing for one strong reserve. This has not really been the case though as the middle order men have largely stagnated while bad luck as seen the Scorpions lose first Fritz Wallner then Stefan Nielsen from that reserve berth.
One man who cannot be accused of having stagnated is number 1 Michael Palm Toft. The all action Dane has put more than a point on his starting average to move up form a second string role and has performed admirably since moving to number 1. Now a long standing member of the Scorpions having first been introduced to British speedway back in 2011 Palm Toft will be looking to improve on his score of 6 from earlier in the season on a track he normally rides well.
A recent introduction but no stranger to these shore rides at number 2 in the form of Tero Aarnio. Aarnio has been a fan favourite in his spells on these shores with Berwick and Newcastle among others but this has never really translated into big pints on track. It would be fair to say he has an inconsistent record around Armadale and will be looking to improve on that tonight.
Number 3 for the Lincolnshire men is Lewis Kerr, I’m sure I write this every time I talk about Lewi but it really is a pleasure to see him fully recovered form that horrific crash at Peterborough the other year and he is building year on year and showing the skill we all know he has. A tremendous gater who has certainly had his moments at Armadale he will need to be watched out for tonight.
Joining Kerr in the middle order is Aussie Ryan Douglas. Douglas has had an inconsistent year so far missing matches due to injury and illness and it could be argued that he has been a disappointment for the Scorpions faithful. Starting the season at number 1 many hoped that going into his 5th season in the UK that he would be able to take that jump to bonafide heat leader and give the Scorpions some top end punch. That has not been the case though and in actual fact Douglas has seen his average drop by over 1.5 points to just over five and a half points.
Number 5 is the recently unretired Josh Auty. Auty it looked like could be lost to the sport after stepping down from Scunthorpe line-up but a quick change of heart sees him back in the team. A can’t miss prospect when he was a youngster it would appear that Auty may have found his level as a solid 7 point man in the second tier but he is another that on his day is more than capable of pulling a shock or two and his sensational style is always worth watching.
If I describe Josh Auty’s style as sensational then it is hard to come up for a word for senior reserve Carl Wilkinson’s. Now the elder statesmen of the Scorpions the local lad is still often worth the admission money alone with his outside swoops a thing of legend. A key man with the make-up of the Scorpions team his battles with Josh Pickering tonight could be something to behold to see which will ride wider than the other.
Ryan MacDonald guests at number 7 for the injured Josh Bailey. Although struggling for a National League slot MacDonald is picking up numerous guest bookings at Championship level due to the scarcity of 2 point reserves and this experience is doing him the world of good as he looks to progress in the sport.
Onto the home men and the home debut of recent signing Theo Pijper. Well it may be a stretch to call it a debut given Theo’s history with the club but none the less it is nice to see him back and he will be looking to put his name in the shop window with some strong performances before the return from injury of Mark.
Beyond that it is as you were for the Parsons Peebles Monarchs as we go looking for a further 3 points to stretch our lead at the top of the table back to 6.
While this may be seen by some as easier fixture than we have faced over the last couple of weeks the Scorpions can certainly not be taken for granted and with entertainers such as Palm Toft, Auty and Wilkinson in the side some cracking racing no doubt lies ahead. You all know there is only one place to witness it and that is trackside. See you there!
Friday 23rd June 2017, 10:04pm
The Parsons Peebles Monarchs raced to a 52 to 40 win over Scunthorpe at Armadale on Friday night.Sam Masters and Erik Riss scored 12 for the Monarchs and Lewis Kerr scored 12 for the visitors.
Wednesday 21st June 2017, 10:00am
The Scunthorpe Scorpions head to Armadale this Friday desperate for the points required to propel them up the SGB Championship table.