Devils demolished as Monarchs take their unbeaten reign to 18
Max Fricke, the Australian, powered to his first full house last night as Monarchs powered to a league double over Devils at Armadale to extend their unbeaten run to 18 games, 17 of them victories, since the start of the season, writes Nigel Duncan. Fricke won all his five races in the comfortable victory in which the home side collected seven 5-1 heat scorelines.
Victory was sealed midway through the match when Plymouth were hit by a triple whammy with 5-1 scorelines in heats 6, 7 and 8 as Monarchs moved to a 33-15 scoreline. They never looked back and cruised to a comfortable win to set themselves up for a tricky away meeting with Workington Comets in the league tonight. The home side have enlisted their former No.1 Richard Lawson as a guest for the former Glasgow Tigers man Josh Grajczonek. nStewart Dickson, the Glasgow Tigers, manager, believes that his side are favourites for this weekend’s Knockout Cup Quarter-final doubleheader with Rye House Rockets even though they are without key riders and Rockets are two places above them in the Premier League table.
Tigers, who are second-bottom of the 13-strong division, visit the English side in the re-arranged first-round tie tonight and entertain Rockets tomorrow (5pm). Former Tiger Andre Compton deputises for the injured Frenchman Dimitri Berge while Kasper Lykke, the former Rye House rider, will be in Norway on international duty. James Sarjeant steps in for the away leg and Tom Perry is his replacement on Sunday. The French racer Mathieu Tresarrieu misses out for Rye House because of grasstrack racing commitments abroad and they bring in guests.
Dickson said: “We need our backsides kicked if we don’t go through to the next round to face Newcastle Diamonds. Christian Henry is going to make a big difference [for us] at No.2 and, with him coming in, and them losing Tresarrieu, we’ve got to be favourites for this tie. Without being disrespectful, they [Rye House] have not been doing well and they’ve got a National League rider at No 2.
“At worst, it should be a four or sixpoint defeat [in England], but we should be looking to get a win down and the job would be easier to do on Sunday.”
Katie Archibald will be looking to bounce back from a crash in last weekend’s Jupiter London Nocturne when she contests the Surf & Turf 2 Day event in Lancashire this weekend, writes Colin Renton. The race, made up of three stages, features a prologue this morning, a criterium this afternoon and a road stage tomorrow. She is joined in a strong field by several of her fellow Scots, including Claire Thomas, who will be a Commonwealth Games colleague for Archibald next month and Scottish road race champion Jane Barr, who has a point to prove after being overlooked by team selectors for Glasgow. VICTORY TARGET: Mark Webber leads Porsche’s return to the Le Mans 24 hours today.
Sally Conway, the world No.5, sharpens up for the Commonwealth Games by taking part in a top level Olympic training camp in Minsk this weekend, writes Roddy Mackenzie. A silver medallist at last month’s Baku Grand Slam in Azerbaijan, Conway is ranked second in the Commonwealth at Under-70kg level. The 10-day camp has attracted judoka from across Europe, and Edinburgh-based Olympic silver medallist Gemma Gibbons, who will compete for England at the Games, will also attend. Mark Webber, the Australian who leads Porsche’s return to the Le Mans 24-hours race today, aims to achieve something his former Red Bull team- mate in Formula One, Sebastien Vettel, has not done yet this season: win a race, writes Jim McGill.
Webber and the four-time F1 world champ shared an often acrimonious relationship at Red Bull, and the 37-yearold couldn’t help having a dig at the German, whose best result so far is third in Malaysia and Canada. Vettel’s new team-mate, another Australian Daniel Ricciardo, won in Canada and leads the title holder by 19 points. “I think he’s had my car from last year,” Webber said yesterday as he prepared to start his new Porsche 919 Hybrid from fourth, behind the pole-sitting Toyota and just ahead of the lead Audi in fifth, on the 56-car grid in front of 300,000 spectators today. “In terms of reliability it’s been difficult for him to get the results he wants, but I must admit Both Glen Urquhart and Lovat will be wary of injuries and suspensions today as they seek to emerge intact ahead of next weekend’s RBS MacTavish Cup final, writes Kenneth Stephen. Both finalists have players on the brink of bans and others nursing injuries which could prevent involvement in front of the BBC Alba cameras next Saturday.
Both also have important games today, with Lovat looking to take a major step towards the Macaulay Cup final, against lower league Fort William while Glen face bottom club Lochaber in the Premiership as they aim to consolidate their position in the top four.
Billy McLean, co-manager of Glen Urquhart said: “Bookings take one week to take effect and we have one or two lads on the threshold but we need to avoid red cards, certainly. Mike Brady is unlikely to make the final. He arrived at training this week for physiotherapy and left on crutches.” Lovat will be without Michael MacKenzie next week because he is on holiday.