Edinburgh MONARCHS bring down the curtain on their 2012 season when they entertain Workington Comets in their final play-off speedway group match at Armadale tonight.
And while Monarchs cannot qualify for the Grand Final against Somerset, they can decide who does.
Workington need to defeat Monarchs to go through. If they don’t, current group leaders Scunthorpe Scorpions will qualify, the point they managed to pick up against Monarchs two weeks ago at the Lothian Arena putting them into pole position for possible championship glory.
Monarchs were unlucky not to salvage their play-off hopes when they lost 46-44 at Workington last weekend. The match was couched in controversy when Comets ace Richard Lawson was deemed to have crossed the white line when he passed Craig Cook in heat 13. But referee Darren Hartley refused to exclude Lawson and Monarchs could only curse their bad luck.
Cook, however, put his anger behind him when he was crowned Premier League Riders’ Champion at Sheffield’s Owlerton Stadium 24 hours later, and Monarchs supporters are sure to give the Englishman a huge welcome this evening, especially after Cook revealed he definitely wants to be back in Monarchs colours again in 2013.
Monarchs will want to end on a winning note, but Workington have often proved to be doughty visitors to Armadale.
Despite a bad run of recent injuries, they are almost back at full strength. Adam Roynon returned to action last weekend, and Rene Bach and Lawson are also fit to ride after suffering knocks. Only American Kenny Ingalls remains sidelined, but this doesn’t weaken them bearing in mind Ingalls struggled on his last visit north.
Cook said: “It is disappointing that we are not contesting the fight for the league, but tonight’s meeting is still important for the team. It’s all about winning and we owe it to Scunthorpe to make sure we give of our best against Workington, and after what happened at Derwent Park on Saturday, I’m looking for revenge over my old club.”
Former Monarchs stars Ashley Morris and Kyle Howarth will be key men for the Comets at reserve, and Monarchs tail-ender Jozsef Tabaka will pray for a more productive home score after three engine mishaps against Ipswich Witches seven days ago, contributed to the Capital side’s exit from the KO Cup at the semi-final stage.