Monarchs will need some more magic to defeat Witches

Mitchell Davey admits mechanical problems have hindered Monarchs. Pic: Ron MacNeill
Mitchell Davey admits mechanical problems have hindered Monarchs. Pic: Ron MacNeill
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Edinburgh Monarchs’ reserve star Mitchell Davey says his team cannot be complacent against Ipswich Witches at Armadale tonight despite winning at Foxhall Heath recently, one of the shock results of the season.

Davey said: “We stole three points off them so they will want to steal three points of us to gain revenge. We have got to be on our guard and hope we are all firing if we want to win to stay in play-off contention.”

Monarchs’ 47-46 triumph last month at East Suffolk came as something of a surprise to Davey who revealed: “As riders you never really keep abreast of the score. But in the second last race we got a 5-1 and we hung on to win. It certainly was a bit of a surprise to come away with all the points.”

Davey said that after the equally surprising home defeat by Sheffield Tigers, which ended Monarchs’ unbeaten record negating the Ipswich away triumph, it was important that they struck back against Peterborough Panthers last week.

“It was very important that we won the match, but conditions were not that ideal. We needed the win because the Sheffield reverse was a bit of a wake-up call for everybody.

“Some of the Peterborough team were not that keen on the conditions. We just got on with the job.”

Just how difficult was the track on the night. Davey added: “I don’t really know because my last ride was in heat seven!

“The rain we had in the afternoon ended up making the track quite grippy and it did catch a lot of us out a bit. I don’t think Peterborugh were prepared for it either. We just kept plodding away and built up a healthy points total. We just need to keep that going.”

Team manager Alex Harkess has lamented all season about a lack of consistency from his seven riders. Does Davey agree? “We are all in contact with each other during the week, we all talk. There are some mechanical gremilns in the background, and individually we need to sort them out. It’s mostly little things but we need to get on top of them before the play-offs come around.”

Monarchs, who have recruited Peterborough Panthers’ Chris Harris as a guest for the injured Sam Masters for tonight’s meeting, were brought back to earth a bit on Sunday when another trip to Glasgow Tigers ended up with a 53-39 defeat. Said Davey: “It’s always tough going to Glasgow. I think considering we were without Sam (Masters) we did quite well. Without Sam it was always going to be hard. You know what you are going to get from Sam which is normally double 
figures. But we needed everyone to score to put Glasgow under pressure and we didn’t manage that.”

Monarchs, Glasgow, Ipswich, and Sheffield look almost certain to contest the play-off semi-finals at the end of te 
season. And if Monarchs want to progress to the final much will depend on the semi-final draw.

Davey said: “I think we could be more dominant away from home. We need to win all our remaining home fixtures as well. We all need to score well until the end of the season. We certainly don’t want to get complacent.”

So, can they turn Ipswich over? Davey predicted: “It won’t be easy because Ipswich have some true Armadale specialists in their side but we will do our best.”

Monarchs also travel to Sheffield on Sunday for a restaged Championship fixture. It will 
be another tough test for the Capital side.