PREVIEW: MONARCHS RETURN WITH LEAGUE POINTS THE PRIZE

28/06/24

Poole 'Wessex Marine' Pirates will be seeking a much larger victory than they managed in the Knockout cup over the Stellar Edinburgh Monarchs when they host the Scottish capital side on Wednesday (3rd July).

With valuable league points on the table the Pirates will be determined to bank the two immediately available and position themselves in the driving seat for the aggregate bonus when they travel for the corresponding fixture in August.

It is as case of one in and one out for the Pirates though as they hope to welcome back Tobias Thomsen, who missed Poole's narrow defeat at Oxford after suffering a foot injury, but thankfully the initial fears of a six week lay-off were dismissed once it became apparent that he had only sprained it. In contrast though, Vinnie Foord is ruled out of the meeting after suffering a fractured wrist last Wednesday whilst making a bid for a rostrum placing in the National Development Series (League Riders Championship) put on by Poole Speedway.

Thomsen has provided the following update on his foot, advising "in the first week following my crash I began physio on my foot straight away to give me the best chance of getting back quickly. I had a lot of laser treatment and exercises with rubber on the foot to get the strength back. The laser has helped to bring the swelling down and so now I don't have a swollen foot, I walk a bit funny but now I can get around and back to work, so all is looking real good and with the continuation of laser treatment and massages I should be good to go."

Promoter Dan Ford is a little frustrated that once again he can't track his preferred one to seven as the Pirates return to league action "just like any meeting the SGB Cab Direct Championship we really need to produce the right result and that means giving ourselves a healthy lead to assist in the quest for the bonus point. We know first hand what Edinburgh are capable of and ideally we would have had our full team together for this one, but that is not to be the case. We missed Tobias at Oxford recently, I felt that we might well have come out on top there had he been with us, so hopefully he can come back in to the side fighting fit. To lose Vinnie is a huge disappointment. I think, even in the short time that he has been with us, he has demonstrated his battling attitude and he settled in real quick. But we are talking speedway here and injuries are an occupational hazard and so we will just have to get on and play the cards that have been dealt. We are calling on Max Perry for this meeting and I am sure that he will be relishing the opportunity to show us more of the stuff that we saw last Wednesday."

When the sides met earlier in the year in the cup quarter finals, Poole won at Wimborne Road by nine points and managed to defend some of that advantage in the second leg after losing at Armadale by four.
The second and fourth highest riders in the current set of Green Sheet averages, which come into effect for this meeting, will go head to head in heat one with Richard Lawson (9.09) facing up against Josh Pickering (8.85).
Both riders are particularly prevalent scorers around the Wimborne Road circuit and it was only Lawson who was able to defeat Pickering when they last met at Poole, the 'Rocketman' doing so twice on the night.

With 'Paco' Castagna coming into some rich form of late and Justin Sedgmen (who scored paid eleven in their cup visit) adding solid backing to Pickering, the Pirates will need to be on their 'A' game as they seek to close the gap at the top of the league table, where they currently have matches in hand.

Poole make a positional switch with skipper Ben Cook moving to the number three berth and Tom Brennan taking the number five position.

Teams
Poole (TM: Neil Middleditch) 1 Richard Lawson 2 Tobias Thomsen 3 Ben Cook (Capt) 4 Zach Cook 5 Tom Brennan 6 Sam Hagon 7 M.Perry (Guest)
Edinburgh (TM: John Campbell) 1 Josh Pickering 2 Kye Thomson 3 Lasse Fredriksen 4 Michele 'Paco' Castagna (Capt) 5 Justin Sedgmen 6 Max James 7 Connor Coles

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