|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: Chris Hunt
|1. Troy Batchelor||3||3||3||3||0||12||0|
|2. Ben Morley||1||1||2||1||5||0|
|3. Paul Starke||3||2||3||1||9||0|
|4. Cameron Heeps||0||1*||1||3||5||1|
|5. Scott Nicholls||3||3||2||0||8||0|
|6. Jake Mulford||3||0||1||0||1*||1||1||7||1|
|7. Dan Gilkes||NS||0||0|
Team Manager: John Campbell
|1. Sam Masters||2||3||3||3||2||3||16||0|
|2. William Lawson - Rider Replacement||0||0|
|3. Kye Thomson||1*||R||3||2||2*||2*||10||3|
|4. Josh Pickering||2||2||FD||0||4||0|
|5. Richie Worrall||2||2||2||1*||7||1|
|6. Luke Crang||0||XO||0||0||0||0|
|7. Nathan Greaves||2||1*||FD||1||F||2||6||1|
The What the Fork Monarchs staged a late rally at Kent tonight to take a point on our first ever appearance at the track. We trailed all the way but exactly as at Poole last week, a final heat 5-1 was enough to get the point in a 43-46 loss.
Monarchs' boss John Campbell said "Other than Sam our big guns didn't win enough races. But even with that we should have done better – we had Nathan Greaves falling in point scoring positions, Josh Pickering likewise and Kye Thomson having an engine failure at the start of heat 7. Too many points lost. Kye though did have a good meeting otherwise, he looked very quick.
"As he left the stadium just after heat 15, Len Silver said to me 'I'm glad we managed to squeeze in heat 15 before the deadline because I knew you'd get a 5-1 and I didn't want you to go home empty-handed!"
It's the Kings first year in the Championship and their win tonight takes them above Birmingham at the lower end of the table, while Monarchs missed a chance to go level on points with Glasgow at the top.
The home side lost Dan Gilkes in a heat 2 tumble, which might have been a big problem for them, but they still did enough to cover with their other reserve Jake Mulford outscoring Nathan Greaves.
Kent took an opening heat 4-2 and led all the way. Gilkes was ruled out of the match in heat 2 but Monarchs still didn't share the heat as Luke Crang was excluded for not having a dirt deflector on.
We shared the next three heats then lost two 4-2s and by heat 7 we trailed 24-17 and only Sam Masters (heat 5) had won a heat.
Kye Thomson then won heat 8 in his rider replacement ride for William Lawson, but by heat 11 Kent led 37-28 after both Pickering and Greaves had taken tumbles.
We recovered ground with Masters winning his tactical sub ride in heat 12 backed by Kye Thomson for a 5-1, but when we lost a 4-2 in heat 14 it left us needing an advantage to take a point. This was achieved in style by Masters and Thomson with a 5-1 over the previously unbeaten Troy Batchelor.
Another week another trip into the unknown for the What the Fork Monarchs as we make the trip to Kent in league action meaning another visit to a new team in the division this year.
That is not to say there will not be some familiar faces in the other side of the pits as the home men are run by Len Silver the recently nominated British Speedway Hall of Famer.
It has been a bit of a baptism of fire for Silver's men but with recent changes bolstering the top end another tough tussle lies ahead for the Monarchs.
That change sees former GP man Troy Batchelor introduced and alongside evergreen Scott Nicholls the battles between these pair and the Monarchs potent top 3 will be a sight to behold.
There is a Scottish speedway feel to the middle order as former Monarch Cameron Heeps and former Glasgow man Paul Starke form the engine room. The latter is particularly in fine form and likely to provide the most back-up to the top 2 while Heeps has had an up and down season due to a shoulder complaint but will be looking for an injury clear run now to regain form.
Having moved up from the National League there is a plethora of exciting youngsters at the bottom end of the team where Dan GIlkes is quietly having a break-through season while Jake Mulford has impressed in the third tier and gets the reward of a Championship spot after the reshuffle to allow for Batchelor's inclusion. Ben Morley completes the home men and is a key man who is tough to beat on his home shale.
For the Monarchs we look to build on that excellent point gained at Poole last Wednesday and as the season progresses it can probably be said that one more away win coupled with a clean home record should be enough for a playoff spot. However, with the playoff structure changed this year to allow the top 6 in with top 2 getting a bye then all points are still key and that bye has to be a goal to make for an easier route to a potential final.
The Armadale men line up with one change to as per normal, William Lawson is awaiting results of a covid test so doesn't travel, rider replacement in operation allows for an extra ride for Kye Thomson and the reserves.
With this news it means a big night ahead for Nathan Greaves who could well be the key man, Greaves put in solid performances at Plymouth and Poole last week and with the weather putting paid to matches on both Friday and Saturday another week of rest will have done Nathan no harm.
It was a mixed night for the Monarchs riders in Premiership action on Monday, Sam battling conditions and an engine malfunction to record 7 points in Wolves home win over Kings Lynn, Josh had a solid night recording 6+2 in Sheffield's crucial victory away to Ipswich while Richie was the only to taste defeat as he scored 4+1 in Belle Vue's home loss by Peterborough.
All will be looking to record big scores tonight to boost the Monarchs on, as is so often the case for Kye Thomson it is another new track but our young Aussie shows match on match he is a quick learner so nothing should faze him.
Luke Crang continues his return to the sport and will be looking to build on some promising signs last week although the points did not come.
Another big match looks in place with some mouth-watering tussles no less between Batchelor, Nicholls and the Monarchs top 3 for all those not in attendance live updates will be available on the Monarchs official website with tapes up at 18.30