Latest washout puts play-off pressure on Edinburgh Monarchs

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Edinburgh Monarchs are fighting a race against the clock to save their speedway play-off hopes after their vital Premier League clash against Glasgow Tigers tonight was washed out at Armadale – incredibly, their ninth postponement in 2016.

The Capital side require three points to secure their top-six place and keep alive their dream of capturing the league championship crown for the third year in succession.

However, if the weather continues to thwart them from staging matches, there is a real danger Monarchs could get squeezed out of contention by their rivals through no fault of their own.

Monarchs have asked Glasgow, who are desperate also for points to remain in second place in the table behind Somerset Rebels, to return next Friday which is the cut-off date for qualification. But co-promoter John Campbell is still awaiting an answer from his Ashfield counterpart Alan Dick. However, it is believed Glasgow are actively considering the situation.

Campbell told the Evening News: “Glasgow are at Workington tomorrow night and may well wait to see how they fare down there before getting in touch. Should they agree to come back on Friday they wouldn’t be any worse off points wise but it is likely they would be missing Richard Lawson and Richie Worrall from their team and that could have a bearing.

“And we ourselves will be without Erik Riss, who is on World Under-21 duty no matter what happens.”

If Glasgow decline Monarchs’ request then Somerset or Peterborough Panthers, who were rained off earlier in the season, would have to fill the blank fixture space despite already refusing to do so.

Campbell revealed: “We have to get those matches on and we asked the British Speedway Promoters Association for help earlier in the week but nothing seems to have happened although our preference would be to race Glasgow.”

Somerset said they couldn’t return because they “didn’t have a team” that particular evening, but Campbell explained: “Somerset will be no different than they would have been had the original staging gone ahead and will still be missing three riders.

“Peterborough have not presented a reason for not coming other than to say they are not coming. An international fixture list is updated each week and there is nothing on in the world next Friday that any of their riders could be involved in so, if they are claiming they can’t come because some of their riders have commitments elsewhere it’s an untruth.”

Campbell continued: “We may have to depend on others to guarantee our qualification. We are still in a strong position but we don’t want to reach a situation where we may require just a single point to qualify but we don’t have a match to run.

“We don’t want to stage another double-header nor can we run next Saturday either because we would still be without Erik and we wouldn’t have Max Clegg or Dan Bewley either as they are both riding in the National League Riders Championship on the same evening. It’s a difficult situation.”

The one upside from the Glasgow postponement is that whenever it’s restaged Bewley, who pulled out of the meeting after suffering concussion at Newcastle, will be fit again.