Team Manager: Jade Mudgway
|1. Charles Wright||2||3||2||1||3||11||0|
|2. Anders Rowe||0||2*||3||1*||6||2|
|3. Michael Palm Toft||3||1||0||2||6||0|
|4. Jordan Stewart||2*||0||1||0||3||1|
|5. Jake Allen||2||3||1*||0||6||1|
|6. James Sarjeant||3||2*||2||3||0||10||1|
|7. Jordan Jenkins||FD||1*||2*||0||3||2|
Team Manager: John Campbell
|1. Sam Masters||3||3||3||3||3||1*||16||1|
|2. Nathan Greaves||1||2*||F||0||3||1|
|3. Kye Thomson||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|4. Josh Pickering||1||1||3||2||7||0|
|5. Richie Worrall||3||1||2*||2*||2||10||2|
|6. Jordan Palin||1*||0||3||1*||5||2|
|7. William Lawson||2||0||1||3||0|
The What the Fork Monarchs showed their steel as they battled back from a 10 point deficit to share the spoils at the Media Prime Arena on a long and warm day in the North East.
In fact the feeling in the camp was maybe 'what could have been' after going into the last race all square and with the previously unbeaten Sam Masters and quick looking Richie Worrall heading to the tapes.
As it was home number 1 Charles Wright got his nose in front after a highly contested 1st corner and despite a sprited effort from Worrall Wright clinched the draw.
Worrall saying with a smile after 'For early in the season I'll take that, 2 draws. I felt quick in 15, I felt faster than Charles but he was doing some left turns on me so I went over and said you should have put your indicators on but to be fair I would probably have done the same. I felt quick I should have had him but that's speedway you win some you lose some'
The Monarchs had made the trip down the A1 looking to hit back from dropping points to the same opposition at home on Friday and started brightly Masters who was in imperious form all day rocketing from the tapes and Nathan Greaves battling well to keep Anders Rowe at the back so the Monarchs had the lead.
Heat 2 was shared at the second attempt after Jordan Jenkins had come off after a strong start for the Bears.
The home men would then take the lead with a heat 3 maximum despite the best efforts of Josh Pickering who made a slow start after battling clutch problems pre meeting.
Heat 5 saw Masters and Greaves take a maximum of their own before it looked like the wheels had fallen off for the Armadale men.
3 5-1 advantages in a row for the home men put them 10 up the most eventful of these being heat 8 when Jenkins burst from the tapes with Greaves in hot pursuit. At the back Anders Rowe rounded William Lawson and went after the front pair. Jenkins then hit a rut that had developed on the 2nd bend allowing Greaves and Rowe past. The home man keeping it wound on and blasting round Greaves to take the lead entering the last lap. Greaves unfortunately hitting the same rut that cost Jenkins earlier and coming down.
Masters was straight in as a tactical substitute in heat 9 and him and Worrall did the job reeling off a 5-1.
This started the comeback although not after 2 lengthy delays for track work as the warm weather made for a dust bowl at times.
Heat 12 looked key with the Monarchs probably underdogs being as their pairing of guest Jordan Palin and Kye Thomson had 1 point combined to their name at this point. Palin was away well though and when Thomson passed Jenkins for a vital 3rd it was game on.
Another Masters/Worrall maximum in heat 13 was followed by a share of the spoils in heat 14 meaning it was all square going into that vital heat 15 and that is how it would remain.
So the teams couldn't be separated after 15 heats on Friday and they also couldn't be separated after 30 today an enjoyable weekend against good opposition and it is fair to say Championship speedway is back!
It is take two for the What the Fork Monarchs as they look to make their away league debut of the season as we head to Redcar in Championship action on Sunday, this being the return fixture after a thrilling 45 all draw at Armadale on Friday night.
If that result was a hard fought one for the Monarchs, then this could prove even tougher as we head down the A1, although with a decent recent track record on Teesside and with this being the Bears home opener perhaps there is a chance to catch them cold.
The Bears showed how solid an outfit they are on Friday securing the draw despite only 8 points coming from Charles Wright and Jordan Stewart and anyone thinking these scores will be repeated on Sunday is no doubt sure to be mistaken.
Anders Rowe has been the revelation of the season so far in the Premiership and he showed why on Friday night with a paid 7 score including leading home number 1 Sam Masters for 3.5 laps in the first race and he will be raring to go as he makes home debut.
Michael Palm Toft and Jake Allen are well into the swing of things already going by their double digit returns on Friday including excellent and draw clinching passes by Allen in heat 13 and MPT in heat 15.
At reserve James Sarjeant showed what the Monarchs may end up missing with his paid 9 score and Jordan Jenkins confirmed his status as one of the stronger of the rising star reserves also so from top to bottom it is hard to pick any weaknesses and the What the Fork Monarchs will need to be at their absolute best to come home with the spoils.
As mentioned, though the Media Prime Arena has been a happy hunting ground for the Monarchs in recent years and the always excellently prepared racetrack often offers little home advantage so we should travel in confidence.
Sam, Richie and Josh all hit the ground running on Armadale tallying 34 points and 9 race wins between them on Friday night and a repeat of this would go a long way to securing at least a point.
At second string Nathan Greaves found going a little tougher in the main body of the team but heading back to his former home track he will be keen to impress while Kye Thomson's heat 5 ride will live long in the memory as he took his maiden win for the Monarchs in only his second ever race holding off none other than former British champ Wright in the bargain.
The reserve berths see one change as Joe Lawlor was forced to pull out mid meeting at Leicester in the National Development League on Saturday night after aggravating a wrist injury, Scunthorpe's exciting prospect Jordan Palin steps in and it will be an interesting first look for both sets off fans at the highly touted Palin, elsewhere William Lawson will take up position at number 7 looking to build on his 5-point return from Friday night.
So, an enticing battle ahead with the weather looking set for a scorching 17 degrees and sunshine, a 2pm tapes up and the battle of two exciting looking teams looking for their first win in 2021.
Keep an eye on the Monarchs website for live updates and for those in attendance be sure to make as much noise as possible and cheer on the boys!
Saturday 29th May 2021, 12:00pm
What The Fork Monarchs promotion wish to thank everybody who attended and watched online as the culmination of months of planning took effect with the return of spectators to Armadale Stadium on Friday evening.