Edinburgh Monarchs hot shot Cameron Heeps wants Ricky Wells’ No.1 jacket

It’s very early days yet, but Cameron Heeps has made a solid start to his career with Edinburgh Monarchs.

Cameron Heeps, right, has been exciting to watch

And he revealed he is a rider on a mission, declaring: “I want to be pushing captain Ricky (Wells) for his No.1 race jacket.”

Heeps was impressive in Monarchs’ opening challenge match against Wolverhampton Wolves last week and he was the top scorer in their 49-41 KO Cup quarter-final first leg defeat at Scunthrope Scorpions on Sunday.

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It is little wonder he is satisfied with how things are going so far as he prepares to face Newcastle Diamonds at Armadale tonight, a meeting which opens Monarchs’ Championship Shield campaign.

Heeps said: “The meeting against Wolves was a tough meeting, they are a Premiership side and it was always going to be hard for us to win, but I think we equipped ourselves very well indeed. After all it was our first meeting together as a team.”

Monarchs fought back to trail the Scorpions by just eight points which gives them a fair chance of progressing to the Cup semi-finals when they host the deciding leg at home in June.

Said Heeps: “We all rode reasonably well and put in a strong second-half display. Justin (Sedgmen) is finding it tough at the moment but he is working hard to put things right. He is a quality rider and he has been in this game long enough not to get things going the way he wants to.”

Heeps revealed he blew his top motor during the match but that setback didn’t prevent him from notching up an 11 point haul. “It was unfortunate but I managed to cope and I was very pleased with how I rode. I have definitely got my eyes on Ricky’s No.1 spot but know I will have to add a few points to my average over the season to try and achieve my goal.”

Newcastle’s Shield journey looks to be over after they lost their opening home and away qualifying matches to neighbours Berwick Bandits. The Bandits are setting a hot pace at the top of the group after they defeated Glasgow Tigers last weekend at Shielfield Park, reversing their loss at Glasgow 24 hours earlier.

But 23-year-old Heeps feels Monarchs can go all the way in the competition. “We are determined to win some silverware this season and this is an early chance for us to prove ourselves.

“I think we can get off to a winning start this evening and hopefully we can also give a good account of ourselves in the return fixture at Newcastle on Sunday.

“I think once we all get dialled in we’ll have a excellent chance of glory in all the major compeitions this season, but our aim is to make the play-offs ultimately.”

Monarchs team boss Alex Harkess expressed satisfaction at the performance at Scunthorpe. “I was very happy with the result on Sunday, we set a target which is now achievable in the second leg. It was such an early fixture for the team you were never quite sure what would happen.

“A ten or 12 point defeat is always on the borderline, but an eight-point deficit is well within our capabilities of retrieving the tie.”

Harkess added that Monarchs cannot be complacent against the Diamonds tonight, saying: “Their qualifying campaign is almost certainly over following their losses to Berwick, but it doesn’t mean Newcastle won’t arrive trying to get their season back on track, and they proved that last Sunday by beating Sheffield Tigers in the league, so we must be on our guard.”