Image Credit: Ron MacNeill

Newcastle A Danger

NEWS Wednesday 17th May 2017, 8:00pm

by Graham Muncie

The Parsons Peebles Monarchs will look to continue their table topping form as the Newcastle Diamonds visit in SGB Championship action on Friday night.

Now into the 21st season of racing at Armadale the visitors have the best record of any team with countless victories and close matches to their name and this year looks to be no different.

The Diamonds will be looking for revenge after the Parsons Peebles Monarchs held the Brough Park men to a 45-45 draw last Sunday. The Diamonds made a strong start to the match building an 8 point lead before the Monarchs turned the tide in the second half of a meeting with only a last heat Diamonds 5-1 salvaging a draw.

Both teams strength so far this season have been built on strong performances by the top end of the line-ups and this looks to be the case again this week. Newcastle are forced into one change within their team as number one Robert Lambert is away racing for Great Britain under 21’s. Glasgow captain and winner of last week’s heat 15 decider Aaron Summers steps in, a move which does not appear to weaken the visitors.

Summers will be backed up by ex-Monarch Steve Worrall, Ludvig Lindgren who raced to 2 maximum scores while deputising for the Monarchs last season and Lewis Rose who is making great strides in the sport. A quartet that will give the Monarchs top end a battle in the pursuit of points.

Monarchs co-promoter Alex Harkess is well aware of the challenge that lies ahead stating ‘Expectations are that we always hope to win at home however we accept that Edinburgh vs. Newcastle matches are always tough. It’s not unusual to win the away tie and lose the home one when we have raced each other. None the less we always set out to win at home and this week is no different.’

With new averages now in force the Monarchs have decided to re-jig their riding order somewhat to give a better balance to the side. Mark Riss finished his successful spell at reserve last Friday and now moves to the number 2 spot in the team. Josh Pickering moves to number 4 in a hope that taking away the pressure of riding in heat 1 will allow Josh to ease into the meeting a little more. Max Clegg replaces Riss at reserve and this appears to be paying dividends already as he raced to his highest ever away score for the Monarchs at Newcastle last Sunday.

Teams for the SGB Championship match at Armadale on Friday 19th May (start time 7:30pm, gates open 6:30pm), are:

PARSONS PEEBLES MONARCHS: Ricky Wells, Mark Riss, Erik Riss, Josh Pickering, Sam Masters (capt.), Max Clegg, Mitchell Davey.

NEWCASTLE SAPPHIRE ENGINEERING DIAMONDS: Aaron Summers, Ashley Morris, Lewis Rose, Ludvig Lindgren, Steve Worrall, Ben Hopwood, Connor Coles

DIAMONDS LOOKING TO SHINE: Newcastle have quite possibly the best travelling record of any team in the Armadale era and this year’s team looks like it will provide as stern a test as any of the previous. The top 4 all have excellent Armadale pedigree and with ex-Monarch Ashley Morris rounding out the top 5 and Ben Hopwood looking to build on solid Armadale performances guesting for the Monarchs last year this will be another tough test for the Monarchs.

LAST MEETING: The Parsons Peebles Monarchs were held to a 45-45 draw against Glasgow in a tense affair. Sam Masters was on top form recording 14 points and being ably backed up by Mark Riss at reserve with 12. Glasgow were well served by former Monarch Aaron Summers with 11 with fellow heat leader Richie Worrall recording 10.

NEXT MEETING: The Peterborough Panthers travel north looking to build on an inconsistent start to the season. The Panthers cannot be discounted though with the scoring power of Jack Holder, Kenneth Hansen, Paul Starke and Ulrich Ostergaard sure to test the home men.