Team Manager: Laurence Rogers
|1. Chris Harris||3||3||3||2||2||13||0|
|2. Valentin Grobauer||0||0||0||0||0|
|3. James Shanes - Rider Replacement||0||0|
|4. Ashley Morris||2*||3||1||2*||2*||1*||11||4|
|5. Erik Riss||3||3||3||2||1*||12||1|
|6. Paca Castagna||3||0||0||3||1||3||3||13||0|
|7. Joe Thompson||1||1||0||1*||3||1|
Team Manager: John Campbell
|1. Sam Masters||2||2||2*||3||3||F||12||1|
|2. Anders Rowe - Rider Replacement||0||0|
|3. Kye Thomson||0||1*||2||2||1||6||1|
|4. Josh Pickering||1||2||0||1||4||0|
|5. Richie Worrall||2||1*||3||F||3||9||1|
|6. Drew Kemp||1*||2||1*||2||1*||0||0||7||3|
|7. Tom Woolley||0||0||0||0||0|
The What the Fork Monarchs endured a tough night but ultimately stuck to task going down 52-38 at Birmingham on Wednesday night that means barring the most unlikeliest of events the Armadale men can look ahead to the end of season playoffs and a crack at their 6th league title.
It was not an easy night with the Monarchs being undermanned from the get go due to Anders Rowe recent injury and with no guest up to the level of Nathan Greaves available it was known all the Monarchs would have to perform.
As it was each of the team had their moments albeit without maybe hitting the heights they are accustomed to.
Monarchs team boss John Campbell saying after '38 was the minimum we needed and I didn't think it would be such a struggle to get to that 38, it was panic stations a little when Sam Masters had his bike problems before heat 15 as he had been the only one consistently doing well'
'Richie Worrall rode brilliantly in that heat though to get the win and he had to, Chris Harris had been brilliant all night he was really the only one able to pass on that track but Richie made the start and rode the dirt line that was out wide by that point.'
'Drew Kemp requires a special mention as well he got stuck in and made it to the first corner in the points more often than not and without his points we wouldn't have been as close'
Birmingham knew coming in to evening that a home defeat would all but end their own hopes of making those playoffs and were at it from the off. 3 heat advantages out of the first 4 races gave them a lead they would never surrender and from there it was damage limitation for the visitors.
Heat 6 looked like the arrears would be reduced as the Monarchs jetted from the gates but Harris had other ideas rounding both to share the spoils.
The Monarchs did reduce the lead to 4 points after a heat 9 5-1 from Worrall and tactical substitute Sam Masters but this was quickly erased by advantages for the home men in heats 10 and 12.
This meant with 3 races to go the home lead was 10 and by this point passing was nigh on impossible so gating was the name of the game. Masters blitzed away from the start in this race but no advantage could be gained as Worrall slid off in 3rd this guaranteeing the home men victory.
Any hopes the Monarchs could snatch a consolation point were gone in the penultimate race as the home men jetted off for a 5-1 and with Masters suffering engine issues meaning he missed the 2 minute allowance for the last race it was left to Worrall to nullify the damage and confirm the 14 point deficit on the night.
From the Monarchs point of view this means they finish in the table above Scunthorpe and barring two monstrous wins for Kent over fellow title challengers Leicester it will be all guns blazing for another title tilt.
The What the Fork Monarchs conclude their Championship campaign on Wednesday as they head to the Midlands to take on the Birmingham Brummies' in a match which the outcome could still be crucial for both.
For the Monarchs, the task is simple 38 points or better on the night guarantees a playoff spot with anything less than that meaning mathematically nothing is certain albeit a fluke run of results would be required to deny the Armadale men.
For the home men it is a fairly basic equation as well, 11 points are required from their 4 remaining fixtures and with only 2 of these at home victories at Perry Barr are crucial.
There are changes in both camps with Anders Rowe reoccurrence of his knee injury ruling him out and of course Nathan Greaves spot requires filled by guests the rest of the way. R/R will operate for Rowe with Kye Thomson and the reserves filling those rides while Armadale's Tom Woolley steps in for Greaves.
For the home men James Shanes injured his wrist at the weekend in a Grass track crash meaning rider replacement is in operation with all apart from Chris Harris able to deputise. Jack Thomas also misses out with a neck injury, Joe Thompson stepping in at reserve.
Elsewhere some home cooking must have done the trick as Valentin Grobauer was able to take part in a meeting in Germany on Saturday after missing a couple of weeks racing in the UK and two visits to Armadale, so he returns to the Brummies' line-up also.
The Monarchs can head into the match full of confidence with the return of Richie Worrall pushing the Armadale men onto a good weekend, a convincing home win on Friday was backed up with a well-earned point at Leicester and win at Newcastle putting the Monarchs in the position they are now.
So, 38 points the minimum target although we know that this and every Monarchs side go into every match looking to win and that will be the mindset from the off.
Tapes up is at 19.30 with live updates available on the Monarchs official website.