Sixth title on the line for Edinburgh Monarchs, with Glasgow Tigers in wait
The Edinburgh Monarchs begin their quest for a sixth league title in 18 years tonight when they welcome the Redcar Bears to Armadale for the first leg of their Championship play-off quarter-final tie.
The Monarchs are going strong in both league and cup following Wednesday night's aggregate win over the Birmingham Brummies in the KO Cup, a result that sets up a semi-final showdown against arch-rivals the Glasgow Tigers later this month.
But captain Sam Masters says it's a relief just to be in the play-offs after some disappointing performances on home shale this season.
He said: “We made hard work of it because we didn't win too many matches at home. But we've been really good away, which is kind of promising because over two legs if you can be good away, then that's really a bonus for us. So, if we can sort our stuff out at home then I can't see why we can't beat anyone on aggregate.
“We've got Anders (Rowe) who has done a couple of meetings now, Drew has shown how good he can be so I think we should be stronger at home. Hopefully that can work in our favour. I'm confident that we've got the team to win the league, but obviously when it comes to the play-offs it takes a bit of luck as well so it's up to us to create our own luck and see where it takes us.
“I'm the captain and I've got more experience than some of the other guys in the team so I do my best to help out. Richie (Worrall) has been around while now too so he knows the drill, but the team spirit has been pretty good lately. If we can start well then the mood in the camp is always an upbeat one. We're at the business end of the season to win trophies so I want to make it happen.”
Monarchs will be without reserve Drew Kemp who is riding for Great Britain in the Czech Republic. His replacement is Berwick Bandits' Leon Flint. Jason Edwards will also fill the void left by Nathan Greaves after announcing his retirement from the sport last month.