Team Manager: Trevor Greer
|1. Edward Kennett||2||F||F||1*||3||1|
|2. Tom Brennan||F||2||2||0||3||1||8||0|
|3. Kyle Newman||1*||2||2*||3||2||R||10||2|
|4. Lewis Kerr - Rider Replacement||0||0|
|5. Richard Lawson||2||3||3||3||2||3||16||0|
|6. Jason Edwards||1*||1||0||2||1|
|7. Alfie Bowtell||2||1*||0||1||1*||5||2|
Team Manager: John Campbell
|1. Sam Masters||3||3||2||3||2||13||0|
|2. Nathan Greaves||1||1||2||1*||5||1|
|3. Kye Thomson||0||1*||2*||2||5||2|
|4. Josh Pickering||3||2||3||3||1*||12||1|
|5. Richie Worrall||3||3||1||0||7||0|
|6. Joe Lawlor||3||1||0||0||4||0|
|7. William Lawson||R||0||0||0||0||0|
On an astonishing night at Eastbourne the What the Fork Monarchs pulled off one of their most remarkable results for many years by winning 46-44 at Eastbourne, their first victory ever at Arlington Stadium.
It certainly made the near 1000 mile round trip bearable for team boss John Campbell. He said "They made the track so, so wet at the start which was fine for our guys, that's what they are used to generally. But the Eagles were completely put off. In the first half of the match Richard Lawson was the only home rider of consequence, though Kyle Newman got better as the night went on.
"Of course we got lucky at the end when Newman packed up but we deserved to win for sure – Richie had an engine failure before heat 13 and that put him right off as well.
"It was brilliant, and all did their bit apart from William Lawson who was not on the pace – I can't understand that as he's been good here before and conditions should have been ideal for him.
"Joe Lawlor won heat 2 even though he's still having trouble holding on with his wrist injury. Nathan Greaves is fitting nicely in at no. 2, and Kye Thomson is going to get better and better. He was annoyed with himself for not winning heat 12 even though it was a track expert who caught him. Kye is going to be so good, a joy to work with.
"Everything was positive about the whole show apart from Sam lifting going down the back straight in heat 15 after making the gate!
"The team has developed really quickly, they have great team spirit, and if we thought Eastbourne were one of the strongest teams in the league then for sure we are one of the strongest teams in the league. We can only get better."
Monarchs have never even been close at Eastbourne before but astonishingly they provided the first six race winners here, and third places for Nathan Greaves twice and Joe Lawlor meant that Eastbourne were using a tac sub by heat 7. That didn't work as Pickering and Thomson kept Brennan at the back.
However Greaves was pipped at the line by Brennan in heat 8 and then a home 5-1 levelled the scores after heat 9, so many must have thought the tide was turning.
Not a bit of it – Aussie pals Pickering and Thomson rattled off a heat 10 5-1 and Monarchs led again. Richard Lawson handed Sam Masters his first defeat in heat 11 but again Greaves got the vital third.
Newman passed Thomson in heat 12 and the lead was down to 2, but Sam Masters and Josh Pickering won the next two heats to set up that dramatic and slightly fortunate finish. But a historic away win it is for a team that seems to have been under-rated even by its own fans.
EAGLES 44: R Lawson 16, K Newman 10, T Brennan 8, A Bowtell 5, E Kennett 3, J Edwards 2.
MONARCHS 46: S Masters 13, J Pickering 12, R Worrall 7, K Thomson 5, N Greaves 5, J Lawlor 4, W Lawson 0.
The What the Fork Monarchs are on the road again on Saturday as they make the long trip to Sussex to take on the Eastbourne Eagles in Championship action.
The Eagles are tipped as one of the favourites to make the playoffs and in recent seasons any success they have had has been predicated on turning their Arlington base into a fortress, so a tough task lies ahead for the Monarchs.
The Eagles are also known for having a very British feel to them and that continues in 2021 as their entire septet are all British born albeit 2 changes to the line-up for this one firstly sees Drew Kemp miss out due to track and trace Alfie Bowtell stepping in.
Elsewhere Lewis Kerr also misses out after smashing his collarbone last week, rider replacement will be in operation all bar Edward Kennett due a ride in Kerr's absence.
The big battles off the day will no doubt be at the top end as the Eagles have a potent pairing in Kennett and Richard Lawson so the heat 13 and 15 battles will be one to behold.
The middle order of the Eagles team sees a mix of youth and experience as Kyle Newman and Tom Brennan fill those spots, Brennan looking well healed after a horrific injury early in 2019. Newman off course now with a good few years under his belt and looks a steal in that second string role having been a number 1 at this level in the past.
Jason Edwards completes the line-up and is just the kind of rider the rising star system was put in place for a young improving rider who no doubt will benefit from the increased chances off a team spot that comes with the program.
The What the Fork Monarchs will head south buoyed by a strong home win over Leicester on Friday night with Josh Pickering and William Lawson in particular a lot happier with their performances. Willie on an improved clutch put in a great performance and Josh taking his first heat 15 win at Armadale so both will look for a repeat.
Sam and Richie have plenty of Eastbourne experience also so the hope will be they can outscore their counterparts while Kye has shown that he is not overawed by visiting anywhere new and with the Eastbourne track like Armadale being one of the tighter more technical tracks it should hold no fear.
Any points gained elsewhere by Nathan and Joe will go a long way towards a strong result for the Monarchs and as always the minimum aim is to in search off a league point and see if anything better can be achieved.
Live updates will be available on the Monarchs website so tune in to see how the boys are doing!