|MATCH POSTPONED: Tonight's match at Armadale Stadium against Glasgow Tigers has been postponed due to heavy rain. The match will be restaged this Friday 22nd October at 7:30pm. Full details on tickets and streams to follow.|
Team Manager: Dave Peet
|1. Adam Ellis||R||2||3||0||0||5||0|
|2. Simon Lambert||2||E||3||1||6||0|
|3. Theo Pijper||1*||2*||2||2*||7||3|
|4. Tero Aarnio||2||3||1*||1||2||9||1|
|5. Ulrich Ostergaard||3||2||2*||3||10||1|
|6. Josh MacDonald||1||0||1||0|
|7. Jordan Palin||3||1||1*||2*||3||3||3||16||2|
Team Manager: John Campbell
|1. Sam Masters||3||1||FD||0||2||6||0|
|2. Nathan Greaves||1||0||1||1||3||0|
|3. Kye Thomson||0||1||0||1||2||0|
|4. Josh Pickering||3||3||2||2||3||13||0|
|5. Richie Worrall||2||3||3||1*||1||10||1|
|6. Joe Lawlor||0||0||0||0||0|
|7. William Lawson||2||0||0||0||2||0|
The What the Fork Monarchs fell to their first defeat this season at the Eddie Wright Raceway on Sunday afternoon although it is hard to be upset given the standard of racing that was on show.
Heat after heat of scintillating action culminated in a heat 15 where you could have thrown the proverbial blanket over all 4 riders albeit from a Monarchs viewpoint the outcome of these battles too often fell in favour of the home men.
The visitors started well with an opening heat 4-2 before falling 6 behind after 5 races. Sam Masters was brought in immediately as a tactical substitute but after he and Richie Worrall made the gate, Sam hit a bit of grip and came down. While Worrall won the re-run the deficit was not reduced and with no more tactical options available it was an uphill battle from then on in.
Monarchs team manager John Campbell said after, "Sam (Masters) had what will be his worst match of the season. If you add the 8 or 9 more points he would normally score on then it would have been a lot closer. We always find Scunthorpe a difficult track to come to and people are right in saying it is difficult to be a visitor here.
"It's a shame Sam came down while on his tactical, that ruined our chance of at least a point and from there I'm not sure we were even scrambling to try and get that point, just to try and keep the deficit down.
"I'm sure this is just a blip for us though, I wasn't sure how we would go today so there we go."
After the failed tactical ride the Monarchs did reduce the deficit in the next race with Josh Pickering, who was involved in so many of the best races on the day as he so often is, cutting under home guest Ulrich Ostergaard to take the win. Kye Thomson picked up 3rd after home reserve Josh MacDonald had crashed out in a big looking incident.
Thankfully MacDonald seemed relatively unscathed, albeit had to sit out for the rest of the match. The Aussie's absence was not felt in any way by the Scorpions as fellow reserve Jordan Palin was undoubtedly the star of the show. A 16 point hail for the 17 year old with ride after ride belittling his lack of experience.
While the match was gone from a Monarchs point of view by the midway point, there was still plenty to enjoy as almost every race produced multiple passes on a track where no distance of a lead was safe.
The visiting fans did at least get something to cheer about in the final race when after a four lap battle between all 4 riders, Pickering stole the win on the line.
As it was though, this could not deny the home men their deserved spoils and it is now a couple of weeks break for the Monarchs to regroup before home and away matches against the Berwick Bandits.
Another weekend on the road for the What the Fork Monarchs sees a trip to Lincolnshire to take on the Scunthorpe Scorpions.
This will be the second meeting of the sides in a few days with the Monarchs running out 14 point winners on Friday night albeit this only coming after a strong finish from the home men the Scorpions being only 4 behind with 3 heats to go.
Rob Godfrey's men were written off by many prior to the season after Jake Allen's withdrawal from the team but they have made a mockery of these predictions currently sitting second in the table and with Adam Ellis recently added to the fold they now have a strong spearhead to lead the charge.
This early season performance has been based almost solely on an unblemished home record in the league where Plymouth, Eastbourne, Newcastle and Glasgow have all went home pointless so a big challenge lies ahead for the Monarchs.
Backing Ellis the rest of the 1-5 is full of experience with main backing normally coming from popular Dane Thomas Jorgensen, Jorgensen misses out for this one though after picking up a shoulder injury at Armadale on Friday. Glasgow's in form Ulrich Ostergaard steps in.
The engine room of the side sees a trio of riders all enjoying an excellent start to the season, Simon Lambert has been quoted as saying this is the best start to a season he has ever made, Tero Aarnio appears to have turned around some early season machine woes and as we all saw on Friday night Theo Pijper has lost none of the guile and track craft that make him a popular rider to have around.
Josh MacDonald and Jordan Palin round out the Scorpions squad both of whom have also impressed so far this year MacDonald being touted as the 'match winner' against the Tigers by his captain Lambert. Palin no doubt coming in on a high after qualifying for the u19 European Championship final in the Czech Republic on Saturday.
So it will be a confident and on form home side the Monarchs will face as they look to maintain their run as the only unbeaten team in the Championship.
The Eddie Wright Raceway is a track that should hold no fears for the Blue and Gold as we have a fairly decent record there over the years albeit our last victory in Lincolnshire was back in 2017.
The What the Fork Monarchs will line-up as usual with the charge expected to be led by our heat leaders trio Sam, Richie and Josh all in scintillating form on Friday dropping only 3 points between them.
Nathan and Kye continue to pick up crucial points in all meetings and up against that solid Scorpions line-up a big performance from either could be key.
Willie has a engine he believes will do well today and with Joe leaving Armadale 'buzzing' on Friday after his last race and passing Adam Ellis confidence from the bottom end will be high.
So an enthralling looking encounter lies ahead it is 2nd vs 3rd in the table with an unbeaten home league record up against an unbeaten visitor, maybe not quite the irresistible force meets the immovable object but something has to give and a cracking afternoon's entertainment looks in store.
For those not able to make it along live updates will be available on the Monarchs website with the tapes due to rise at 3pm.