Edinburgh Monarchs’ young reserve ace Dan Bewley is hoping to put the bite on title-chasing arch-rivals Glasgow Tigers at Armadale on Friday in what has now become a must-win match for the Capital outfit if they are to claim an end-of-season play-off spot.
Bewley failed to score in Monarchs’ League Cup defeat at Ashfield in April and missed the return tie a month later, but the talented Englishman has come on in leaps and bounds since then and is keen to get points on the board this time.
And he is all too aware of the importance of the clash as the Tigers, who are riding high in the league, are perhaps favourites to overthrow Monarchs, which would deal a severe blow to the Capital side’s championship ambitions.
Said Bewley: “It’s a vital meeting, but everyone knows Edinburgh are a strong team and obviously it’s a match we all want to do well in, and we have beaten Glasgow at Armadale already this season.”
He added: “Glasgow are a good side and have won a lot of matches, but the season still has a long way to go and anything can happen.”
Monarchs certainly cannot afford to drop any points at home and Bewley believes they have the firepower to repel the Tigers.
He said: “Edinburgh are doing quite well at home. We have had a couple of close league matches recently because some of us did not ride that well, but in other meetings we have done so.”
Bewley’s stock is pretty high within British speedway and his progress for Monarchs is also rising and a fine race win against Newcastle Diamonds duo Theo Pijper and Lewis Rose three weeks ago signposted his undoubted ability.
“I’m starting to get some points now,” he said. “At the beginning of the year I wasn’t getting any. I feel a lot better about myself now I think.
“I’m also a lot more comfortable riding Armadale and it’s great to get on it when it’s dry although that hasn’t happened too often and the surface is totally different when it’s wet. I hadn’t been used to that and struggled a bit in the damp, but I’m more confident now.”
It’s going to be a febrile atmosphere tomorrow night with the Tigers smelling blood. And Bewley knows exactly how much the clash means to both sets of supporters.
He said: “You can sense the rivalry, especially if you go on to Facebook and read some of the friendly arguments! But I think we can win, our fans are looking for that, and there is no reason why we can’t.”
Glasgow have strengthened their squad by signing Rene Bach but he misses Friday’s meeting due to a Danish league fixture. Berwick rider Kevin Doolan deputises for him.
Monarchs travel to Ashfield for the return tie next Wednesday, which is being broadcast live on Sky Sports.