Oxford have had 15 years out of the sport but have won their battle to return. The last time Monarchs and Cheetahs met on track was the 1997 Cup Final in the first year of speedway at Armadale.
Oxford are visitors to Armadale on Friday and strong rivals to the Monarchs for a play-off place later in the season. That is what makes this week’s match so important for both clubs.
Monarchs have a slight advantage in the table but an away win on Friday would swing that round and neither of Monarchs’ injured riders, Lasse Fredriksen or James Sarjeant, are ready to return.
The guest for Sarjeant at Reserve is Lee Complin whose team, Newcastle Diamonds, closed this week. Lee won Heat 2 on Newcastle’s recent visit to Armadale in the rain, before the match was abandoned, and he is a rider who can be counted on for 100 per cent effort.
Former Monarchs’ and Berwick Bandits star Aaron Summers (pictured in his Berwick uniform) has returned to action for the Cheetahs, a significant strengthening for them. He won four heats on his home debut for Cheetahs, a narrow win over Glasgow Tigers. They also have a more recent Monarch in Cameron Heeps in their side, and their unnamed No 7 could be the exciting newcomer Luke Kileen.
Monarchs’ team boss Alex Harkess said: “It will be a tough match especially now that Aaron Summers is in their side, but it doesn’t matter how tough they are we have to take them on and win at home against them.
“You can look at them and say they have people who have done very, very well at Armadale in the past, but surely they’ve not done any better than what our top two do each week. It’s up to us to win, it’s essential that we do if we are to be in the play-offs.”
The match will be live streamed on www.edinburghmonarchs.co.uk
WTF MONARCHS: Sam Masters (capt), rider replacement for Lasse Fredriksen, Kye Thomson, Paco Castagna, Josh Pickering, Jacob Hook, Lee Complin (guest).
MONARCH OXFORD CHEETAHS: (provisional) Scott Nicholls (capt), Cameron Heeps, Kyle Newman, Aaron Summers, Troy Batchelor, Dillon Ruml, A N Other