Monarchs star Justin Sedgmen warns against complacency

Justin Sedgmen is gunning for both Peterborough and Newcastle tonight
Justin Sedgmen is gunning for both Peterborough and Newcastle tonight
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Justin Sedgmen insists tonight’s second leg of the League Cup final will be no “walkover” for Edinburgh Monarchs.

Sedgmen helped put Peterborough Panthers to the sword in the first leg at the East of England Showground last weekend as Monarchs triumphed 46-44.

The victory placed the Capital outfit in pole position to capture their first team silverware of the season in tonight’s deciding tie at Armadale.

Sedgmen was Monarchs’ top scorer with 12 points. However, while many observers feel Peterborough will require a miracle to deny their hosts, the young Aussie insisted: “Peterborough did well at our place last time so it’s not going to be any walkover for us. However, I do think they will have to produce something pretty special to beat us.”

Monarchs have certainly given themselves a big cushion by winning the first match and Sedgmen hailed the way they took on board the lessons they learned from their previous visit to the Showground. “It was a good meeting and a good day for everybody and a different story from last time when Peterborough turned us over. But we just did what we have been doing all season and that’s winning matches.”

Sedgmen partnered Craig Cook to a trio of 5-1 advantages and this laid the foundation for their victory. “Every track I’ve gone to this year I have done better than the time before,” Sedgmen revealed. “Peterborough is a vastly different circuit to Armadale so to pick up the points I did was great, but I have been getting dialled in to places away from home and this has been good for me. And next year I want to pick up from where I have finished this season.”

Monarchs are hunting down a possible trophy treble but Sedgmen is just focused on nailing the first component of it.

“The treble would be fantastic if it comes off and, yes, we want to win everything, but the league title is the main thing for us. Any other trophies we pick up is really just a bonus for us.

“I think we deserve to win anything that comes our way simply because of the way we have performed this season.”

For Panthers team boss Carl Johnson, it’s almost a mission impossible scenario after witnessing his side’s failure to win their own leg. Johnson said: “We wanted to come up to Edinburgh tonight with a decent lead to defend and it’s disappointing that we couldn’t manage that.

“It wasn’t a bad performance from ourselves by any means as all the boys got points, but it wasn’t enough on the day. We know the job we face, we need to become the first team to win at Edinburgh this season. It goes without saying it will be a tough meeting, but we have got to believe we can do it.”

Monarchs’ equally important Knockout Cup semi-final first-leg clash against Newcastle Diamonds will precede the Peterborough encounter and Sedgmen is under no illusion that the Diamonds will provide stiff opposition.

“Newcastle ran us very close in the league match last month, although the track was not to our liking on that occasion, we just want to win the match.

“Newcastle always do well at Armadale and are a good side and you certainly don’t want to slip up against them as they keep coming at you from all directions.”

The 22-year-old added: “We will need a few points to take down to Brough Park on Sunday. Not that we have anything to fear, we have a draw and a win to our credit at Newcastle already this year, and we know we ride their place pretty well.”

Newcastle team manager George English thinks there won’t be much in it over the two legs. He said: “Edinburgh are a very good side, we all know that, but if we are on our game and ride as well as we did at Armadale on our last visit, it will be everything to ride for in the second leg at our place.

“We go in as underdogs which suits us and hopefully we can pull off a shock. We must keep the scores close this evening and try to restrict Edinburgh. It’s going to be very tight all the way through, and it should be two great meetings between us. There will be top riders on show and that’s what people come along to see.”

The winners will face Ipswich Witches in the final and Sedgmen added: “That will suit us. I quite like the Ipswich track and so do the rest of the boys.”