What the Fork Monarchs attempt to cut down Newcastle Diamonds over two legs in the first round of the Championship Knockout Cup.

Monarchs’ director Mike Hunter said it is a tie which has traditionally produced drama and excitement over the years.

History shows Monarchs have met the Tyneside team ten times in knockout ties with Monarchs 6-4 ahead in victories. Diamonds were successful on the last occasion in 2019.

Looking further back, the teams met in the final in 2010 and Newcastle won and in 2013 Monarchs lost the home leg by a single point and lost a key rider but went to Tyneside two days later and won by two.

Alex Hrkess, club chairman, said: “Knockout Cup matches with Newcastle are absolutely fascinating. We’ve lost a home one and won the away one before now, we’ve had last heat deciders, last time we raced we had a big home win then a big away defeat and got knocked out. It’s an attractive fixture with nobody knowing what could happen.”

Richie Worrall, one of Monarchs’ heat leaders, said: “I want to see the team do well and I’m expecting wins at the weekend against Newcastle home and away. I love it at Brough Park and I know Josh (Pickering) does as well. It’s a very similar to track.”

Former Monarchs and Armadale specialists Matthew Wethers and Max Clegg line up for Newcastle and Kyle Howarth comes in for the Diamonds on Friday in place of Ben Barker who was injured in practise.

Friday’s match will be live streamed and details are on the Monarchs club website.

THIS WEEK’S MEETINGS:

Friday 4th June: Edinburgh What the Fork Monarchs v Newcastle GEC Diamonds (Championship Knockout Cup), Armadale, 7:30pm

WHAT THE FORK MONARCHS: Sam Masters (capt), Nathan Greaves, Kye Thomson, Josh Pickering, Richie Worrall, Joe Lawlor, William Lawson.

GEC DIAMONDS: Kyle Howarth (Guest), Adam Roynon, Connor Mountain, Max Clegg, Matthew Wethers (capt), James Wright, Joe Alcock

Monarchs will utilise Richie Worrall’s brother Steve as a guest for Sam Masters in the second leg on Sunday (4pm) as Masters’ Polish fixture has priority

Glasgow Tigers are also in action on Friday, hosting Poole in the SGB Championship (7pm)