Monarchs scramble for Scunthorpe after Cup washout

Edinburgh captain Erik Riss is all smiles despite the rain-soaked track. Pic: Ron MacNeill
Edinburgh captain Erik Riss is all smiles despite the rain-soaked track. Pic: Ron MacNeill
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The washout of last night’s Scottish Cup second leg speedway tie between Edinburgh Monarchs and Glasgow Tigers is bad news for the Capital outfit who now travel to Scunthorpe Scorpions tomorrow afternoon for their first Championship League match of the season woefully short of match practice.

But Monarchs promoter John Campbell doesn’t see it being a problem, nor does he think the meeting has come too early for his new squad.

He said: “I don’t think it has. We may well have arranged to take on Scunthorpe later on in the season when some of our riders might well be missing due to World Championship duty. So we’ll just see what happens tomorrow.”

Scunthorpe is a track where Monarchs have had considerable success in the past but Campbell is at pains to point out the Eddie Wright Raceway is not a circuit that all of the Monarchs like to ride.

He said: “The trouble with the Scunthorpe track is that there are so many different racing lines to it that it does take a bit of getting used to.

“The home team invariably know the quickest way around but a lot of visiting teams struggle to get to grips with the place. But I believe we have the riders who can do a job for us.”

Monarchs’ only competitive fixture so far this season was the first leg of the Scottish Cup at Ashfield a week past Friday which they lost 50-40 and Campbell was impressed by the performances of two of his new riders, American Max Ruml and reserve ace Matt Williamson, who was especially potent at reserve scoring eight points.

Said the Monarchs boss: “Matt did really well and looked very competitive indeed and Max looked quite impressive as well. Only Joel (Andersson) struggled to get going but I’m sure he will improve as the season goes on.”

Skipper Erik Riss is looking for a victory against the Scorpions and reflected on Monarchs’ efforts at Glasgow. Said Riss: “I would say the result could have been a lot worse for us, but it could have been better too.

“After heat 13 we were only two points down and it was a shame to lose by ten at the end. It’s quite hard to pass through at Ashfield, I won my first two rides and made my first three starts then made some changes after that.

“These weren’t perfect. But I think the team did well but it was just the performance over those final two heats that was disappointing. We’ve got to work on that.

”But I was happy we did okay and everyone got behind us. Everyone can ease up a bit now and start riding a bit more, but the team spirit was really good and I was pleased about that. And I think we’ve got a chance of winning at Scunthorpe.

Scunthorpe are a team who wielded the axe after a disastrous 2017 campaign. Josh Auty is the sole survivor but is joined by six new team-mates including Steve Worrall and Jason Garrity.

Promoter Rob Godfrey said: “We couldn’t have another year like last year and though we are not living within our means with this new team, we had no choice really, we had to take a gamble.

“Our aim is to give it a real go this season and it’s no secret if it doesn’t work, we may not be running the year after.”