Monarchs aim to polish off the Diamonds

Monarchs have a good record against Newcastle. Picture: Ron MacNeill
Monarchs have a good record against Newcastle. Picture: Ron MacNeill
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Edinburgh Monarchs will face Newcastle Diamonds in the first leg of the Premier League Knockout Cup semi-final at Armadale on Friday.

The Diamonds sailed through their quarter-final tie against Glasgow Tigers at Ashfield, winning 55-35 for a comfortable aggregate success.

And Monarchs co-boss John Campbell today said he is confident his side can make the final where they would face Ipswich Witches.

“It was no surprise Newcastle made it through when you noted the team Glasgow put out.

“And, whilst Newcastle did well at our place earlier this month, it’s also fair to say that we have not lost at Brough Park this season. It should be a normal match for us – perhaps a bit trickier, but I’m confident we will get to the final.”

Newcastle may feel they have a chance of causing an upset after going down by just seven points in their recent league clash at the Lothian Arena. They lost their No.1 Stuart Robson, who crashed out of the meeting in his first race, and that setback for the visitors definitely enabled Monarchs to preserve their unbeaten home record. The deciding leg of the tie will take place at Newcastle on Sunday, October 12. Monarchs, who thought they might be there this weekend, have been allowed to stick to their original schedule and will make the long haul to Peterborough Panthers on Sunday for the first leg of the Premier League Cup Final, and will host the second leg at Armadale on Friday, October 10.

Monarchs have not captured the KO Cup in more than a decade and it’s no secret that Campbell has made it a personal mission to redress their lack of success in this competition which ranks second in importance behind the league championship title.

“I don’t know why we haven’t done better,” he said. “It’s maybe just be down to bad luck in the past. But it’s a trophy I’m very keen to win again and with the team we have this year, and the way we have been riding, we certainly have the opportunity to bring it back to Armadale.”

Meanwhile, Monarchs’ final league fixture of the season at Workington Comets has been rearranged for Saturday, October 18.