Timing in speedway can be everything, as Edinburgh Monarchs will testify to, as they travel to Sheffield Tigers for tonight’s return Championship League fixture at Owlerton Stadium.
Had they visited two weeks ago, the odds on a Monarchs away victory would have been pretty short. However, since then the Tigers have beefed up their squad with the acquisition of young Dane Kasper Andersen following a spate of home defeats.
Andersen and reserve James Shanes excelled in Friday’s first match at Armadale despite Monarchs easing to a comfortable 54-36 victory.
The Sheffield duo created a real buzz on the terraces. Andersen collected 13 points and Shanes picked up ten from the tail-end.
Andersen, 19, said: “A lot of people had told me prior to the match that Edinburgh was a hard place to go to.
“I enjoyed myself and I like small tracks which Edinburgh is, but it’s important that I can show Sheffield fans tonight that I can win races at home and do a good job for Sheffield.”
Realistically this is Monarchs’ best chance of picking up a second away win this season, which could propel them into the end-of-season play-offs providing they keep a clean sheet at home.
With fellow play-off hopefuls Glasgow Tigers, Workington Comets, Lakeside Hammers and Berwick Bandits still to visit Armadale before the September 14 cut-off date for qualification, Monarchs face a tricky run-in.
Team manager Alex Harkess played down Shanes and Andersen’s efforts, saying: “What they did at Armadale bears no relation to what they might do at Sheffield. The tracks are totally different. Ours is small and Sheffield is very big.
“The pair haven’t done much at Sheffeld up until now and I have no idea how they will do round their own track.
“I’d like to think we have got a chance of victory. We have got three away matches left, including Sheffield, and I would hope we can pick up three points on our travels.
Harkess added that he was pleased with William Lawson’s return to the saddle after an eight year absence. The 31-year-old Perth rider scored two points on Friday from reserve.
“I was quite happy with what he did. He was on the pace and when he made the gate he held on to it.
“He can only get better with more matches. His confidence will improve as well.”