So something a little different for the preview this week in that there is no visiting team to Armadale but a National League Individual match in the form of the Caledonian Riders Championship in association with Linlithgow Tyres and Exhausts.
An exciting match is in store with 12 riders taking to the shale, some very familiar, some not so much but all keen to impress and with the added bonus of slashed admission prices across the board what more could you want.
With a mix of experience levels it is also great to see 3 young Scots in the field all looking to prove they have what it takes at National League level.
The first of these is Ryan MacDonald who will be representing the Ashfield Giants. Glasgow born MacDonald has been a victim of circumstance so far in National League circles having shown how keen he is by agreeing to sign for Lakeside at the start of the season despite the arduous travel. He was then somewhat unfairly replaced after very few chances to show what he is capable off. MacDonald has however been the recipient of a few guest booking of late here at Armadale and also in and around the SGB Championship and has never disgraced himself on any of these occasions he is certainly one who will be hoping a strong performance catches the eye of a few promoters.
The second Scot in the line-up comes at number 2 in the form of Dale Lamb. Most at Armadale will remember Lamb as the mascot of a few years ago getting a spin out before and often after meetings to get some laps in. Lamb is another that has found opportunities hard to come by with only limited meetings in the National League, Northern Junior League and Challenge matches to allow him to race competitively but still young enough that the sport has not passed him by who knows this meeting could be the one that kick-starts his career.
A familiar surname if not first name is at number 3 in the form of Kean Dicken. Kean is the son of former Monarch Lee Dicken and was due to line up for the Birmingham Brummies in this year’s National League however a pre season fire at his workshop meant that all his equipment was rendered unusable and the 15 year old had to step down. Kean is slowly getting back on his feet and will be looking to law down a marker of his undoubted potential in this match.
The final Scot in the line-up is Kev Whelan. Kev is a familiar face around the northern tracks always out in second halves looking to improve. Chances beyond that have been a little sparse although he did ride twice for the Monarchs last season in the then Premier League scoring a couple of points in the bargain. Whelan will be looking forward to matching wits with some of the more well known names in the line-up and cannot be discounted from taking a few of their scalps.
Buxton Hitmen’s Shelby Rutherford is number 5 in the field. The Australian born racer was first seen on these shores back in 2009 with Newport but appeared lost to British speedway that was until last season when he reappeared at Buxton. A solid contributor for the Hitmen at second string Rutherford will go into this meeting looking for the confidence boost that winning a heat or two would give him. He is not a complete unknown to Armadale so may well be a surprise packet.
A very interesting name comes in at number 6 in the form of Rutherford’s Buxton teammate Tom Woolley. Woolley has impressed many with the progression he has made this season and this has been rewarded with a number of guest bookings at Championship level. Woolley will be making his second Armadale appearance having appeared in the challenge match against the Belle Vue Colts last season. The Derbyshire born racer was paid for 5 points on that night and will be looking to add to that on Friday.
Another name that will pop out to many comes in at number 7 where Kyle Bickley appears. Bickley has a list of honours at youth level in both speedway and longtrack and still only 15 the Cumbrian is another showing the virtue of the Northside training track. Bickley is currently averaging not far shy of 8.5 in the National League in his debut season showing his undoubted potential but with the large spaces of Belle Vue as a home track it will be interesting to see how he copes with the tighter confines of Armadale.
Moving down the field we start to see some riders with a lot of Championship experience alongside their National League exploits and one of them at number 8 is Rob Shuttleworth. Shuttleworth was a rider that the Monarchs took a look at before the start of last season to fill our number 7 berth before deciding on Dan Bewley (more on him later) and now enjoying his first full season at Championship level Shuttleworth has been a steady contributor adding half a point to his starting average. Another Cumbrian Shuttleworth is also among the leading lights in the National League so far this season with a very impressive 9.50 average
The first of two current Monarchs in the field is Mitchell Davey there is not much I need to say about Davey but the likeable Aussie is more than holding his own in with the Blue and Gold so far this season with an average of 3.76 fair reward for his efforts. Davey also tops the averages at Stoke in the NL with a figure in excess of 9.3 and he will be regarded as one of the favourites to take the trophy and certainly make the podium on Friday.
Completing the pair of Monarchs in the field is Max Clegg. Clegg will no doubt be favourite for many going into the meeting and he has certainly shown his liking for big individual meetings in the past having clinched both the British under 19 and National League Riders Championship trophies in the matter of days last season. Clegg is another in strong form with his scoring power having not been diminished with a recent move back into the main body of the Monarchs team.
Number 11 in the field is current Kent and Newcastle rider Ben Hopwood. Hopwood is a popular figure around Armadale after some battling guest performances towards the end of last season for the Monarchs. He had to wait his chance this year before Newcastle gave him a team place and he is rewarding them so far with a tie turning 7+1 in their KO cup clash against Workington at Brough Park last Sunday. Hopwood no doubt will see himself as a serious contender for the crown this evening and there are few who would argue.
Last but certainly not least is the last of a hat trick of Belle Vue Colts in the line-up and another former Monarch it’s Dan Bewley. We all watched in awe at the progress Dan made last season and it could be said that Monarchs title chances ended the night his season did at Newcastle. Having moved on from Armadale just along the road to Glasgow Bewley is continuing his progression at remarkable pace. Riding in all 3 leagues Bewley has put a considerable amount on his average in all and he is surely one to watch in the next flight of top British youngsters. Will that be good enough to take victory on the night though only time will tell?
So an eclectic and entertaining looking line-up for what is sure to be a night of thrills and spills at Armadale on what is set to be a fun night out for the family. This event has been promoted as a family night and with face painting and a bouncy castle for the kids alongside Ed the Monarch being primed and ready for any and all picture opportunities being twinned with the previously mentioned reduced admission prices a cracking night is in prospect. Unfortunately due to work commitments I can’t finish with my usual line so will change it this week from See you there to I wish I was there!!
Friday 30th June 2017, 9:53am
The heavy rain throughout this week has resulted in the early cancellation of tonight's Caledonian Riders' Championship.
Tuesday 27th June 2017, 8:36pm
On Friday evening Parsons Peebles Monarchs regulars Max Clegg and Mitchell Davey will be aiming for individual glory in the Caledonian Riders's Championship in association with Linlithgow Tyres and Exhausts.
Monday 19th June 2017, 7:00pm
We can now reveal the full line-up for the upcoming Caledonian Riders' Championship, in association with Linlithgow Tyres and Exhausts which will take place at Armadale a week on Friday on the 30th of June.
Thursday 15th June 2017, 8:00pm
On Friday June 30th the Parsons Peebles Monarchs will present the Caledonian Riders' Championship sponsored by Linlithgow Tyres and Exhausts.