Team Manager: Stewart Dickson
|1. Nick Morris||3||3||2||0||8||0|
|2. Dan Thompson||1||0||3||0||4||0|
|3. Ryan Douglas||1||3||2*||3||1||10||1|
|4. Kyle Howarth||3||1||3||2||9||0|
|5. Hans Andersen||1||3||2||2||0||8||0|
|6. Joe Thompson||1*||1||1*||1*||4||3|
|7. Zaine Kennedy||2||0||1||1||4||0|
Team Manager: John Campbell
|1. Sam Masters||2||2||1||3||3||3||14||0|
|2. Anders Rowe||0||0||0||0||0|
|3. Kye Thomson||0||0||FD||0||0|
|4. Josh Pickering||2||2||3||3||2*||12||1|
|5. Richie Worrall||3||2||1||1||7||0|
|6. Drew Kemp||0||1*||0||2||3||1|
|7. Jordan Jenkins||3||2*||2||0||0||7||1|
The most important weekend of the season so far continues Saturday as the What the Fork Monarchs head for Leicester in search of Championship points.
A mixture of Eastbourne's demise and below par home form has meant what once looked like a certain playoff position is now far from certain and work is required in this the first of 3 away league fixtures in the next 5 days.
That task will not be easy though as Leicester are reigning champs and are rounding into form themselves having won 5 of their last 6 matches overall and 8 of 9 at home with current pace setters Poole the only to take anything away from the Midlands circuit this year.
The Lions boast a strong line-up form top to bottom with the mid-season surgery to bring in Hans Anderson and Zaine Kennedy now paying dividends. Anderson forms a potent spearhead alongside Nick Morris, Ryan Douglas, and Kyle Howarth and all 4 are capable of going through the card on any given night.
Elsewhere Dan Thompson has been one of the revelations of the season roaring from a reserve berth up to a nigh on 5-and-a-half-point average and with no sign of the move into the main body slowing down his rapid progress.
Dan's twin brother Joe has had an excellent debut season at this level also with close to a 4 point average an excellent effort. His reserve partner Zaine Kennedy was one that fell afoul of the Rising Star merry go round at the start of the season.
Originally lined up for a team spot at Poole, the Pirates were forced into a change, and this left Kennedy on the side-lines. The former Sheffield man waited patiently and has been rewarded with a team spot and after a slow start Kennedy is now getting up to speed and recorded a paid double-digit score in the recent home win over Plymouth.
So, a tough match lies in prospect against the team that was tipped by many as preseason favourites and look to have strengthened even further from their original 1-7. The Lions look certain to make the playoffs, but this is not mathematically guaranteed yet as they currently sit on 30 points and with 33 points looking like it will be enough then they know a home win against the Monarchs will all but see them home.
The Armadale men will of course be looking to stop this from happening and while they are aware of the task at hand can travel in some form of confidence themselves. The return of Richie Worrall on Friday night was a huge boost and Worrall obviously showed no effects of his injury rattling off 4 heat wins in a 14-point haul, as a former league winner with the Lions Worrall certainly knows how to score big.
Sam Masters is another who loves the Leicester circuit romping to a 15-point full maximum on the Monarchs last visit there when we were the only team to take a league point in the Lions title winning season.
Josh Pickering is also a noted lover of the circuit and has been used as a guest by the Lions on more than one occasion.
The recent bolstering at the bottom end should add confidence with Drew Kemp and Anders Rowe already facing up against the Lions at home this year when they were with Eastbourne and Redcar respectively and with Jordan Jenkins stepping in at reserve on the back of a paid 9 on his last visit the bottom end scoring that has been the Achilles heel of the Monarchs so often this year now looks solidified.
As most away meetings have been this year it will be another relative trip into the unknown for Kye albeit we all know how well he has adapted to new circuits this year so there are no fears for either Kye or the Monarchs on that front.
A titanic tussle looks in store with each rider matchup looking key and hotly contested, both teams are chasing the points to make this playoff with 3 points for Leicester all but guaranteeing those playoffs where for the Monarchs the expectation would be that 5 points from the 3 away matches this week would also make a continuation of the season a certainty.
Live updates will be available on the Monarchs website with tapes due to rise at 7pm.
Saturday 11th September 2021, 11:57pm
The What the Fork Monarchs are in the thick of a tussle for a Playoff place but made a big step forward tonight by gaining a point at Leicester, something very few teams do. Exactly as they did on their last visit in 2019, Monarchs top two clinched the point with a last heat 5-1.