Clash with past champs give Monarchs some much-needed track time

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As part of Edinburgh Monarchs’ 70th birthday celebrations, the current team are taking on a select squad drawn from previous championship-winning sides at Armadale tonight in a special challenge match.

Monarchs team boss Alex Harkess insists the fixture is all about getting some much-needed practice in for his riders, who have only ridden one meeting this season, their 50-40 loss to Glasgow Tigers in the first leg of the Scottish Cup at Ashfield a fortnight ago.

The start of the speedway season has been hit hard by the weather, with only a handful of matches throughout the country managing to beat the snow and rain.

Harkess said: “This is all about getting track time in for the team. The boys are desperate to get out on the track before we begin our official list of fixtures. This meeting is nothing more than a practice match for them.”

The big attraction this evening will be the return of former skipper Craig Cook, who lines up alongside the likes of Rory Schlen and Newcastle’s Matthew Wethers as they attempt to lower the colours of the 2018 squad.

Monarchs hope to open their Championship Shield qualifying group account tomorrow when they visit Berwick Bandits at Shielfield Park. Monarchs are in a group with Workington Comets and Glasgow and only the pool winners make the semi-finals.