Team Manager: Laurence Rogers
|1. Chris Harris||1*||3||2||1*||2||9||2|
|2. Valentin Grobauer||2||2*||3||0||7||1|
|3. James Shanes||1||1*||1*||2||5||2|
|4. Ashley Morris||0||2||2||2||6||0|
|5. Erik Riss||0||1||2||2||5||0|
|6. Dillon Ruml||0||0||0||0||0|
|7. Jack Thomas||3||1||2*||1*||1*||0||8||3|
Team Manager: John Campbell
|1. Sam Masters||3||3||3||3||12||0|
|2. Anders Rowe||0||0||1||0||1||0|
|3. Kye Thomson||2*||2*||1||3||1||9||2|
|4. Josh Pickering||3||3||3||3||3||15||0|
|5. Richie Worrall||3||1||3||0||7||0|
|6. Drew Kemp||2||FD||0||0||2||0|
|7. Dan Gilkes||1*||2*||0||1||4||2|
The What the Fork Monarchs are through to the semi finals of the KO cup after victory at Birmingham on Wednesday night.
The Monarchs held an 18 point lead from the first leg but not only did they defend this cushion but romped over the line winning by 10 points on the night 50-40 to win 104-76 on aggregate.
On a track where passing was at an absolute premium it was the Armadale men who led from the start more often than not with captain Sam Masters and Josh Pickering each in blistering form recording full maximums.
Jubilant team boss John Campbell saying after "It was a great performance, even if we didn't gate first we rode harder into the first corner and that was where it was won. Having 2 riders score maximums makes it so much easier and they were superb. I felt the track was 100x better than when we were down in the league 2 weeks ago and that made it better for us and worse for them.
"It's been a great night not only to get through but to win sets us up really nicely for the weeks to come, the only downside was Anders (Rowe) felt pain in his knee again so we will need to keep an eye on that for Friday. I also have to say thanks to Dan Gilkes who was an excellent guest."
Having been defeated at the same venue by 14 points a fortnight ago the thoughts in the Monarchs camp were progression would not be an easy task and work still had to be done and they set to their task immediately taking the chequered flag in 3 of the first 4 races and with 2 of these wins being maximum heat advantages an 8 point lead on the night and 24 point lead overall had been built up and there would be no way back for the hosts.
The teams would exchange further maximums in heats 8 through 10, 2 of the 3 to the Brummies allowing the home men to cut the deficit to 4 but this would be as close as they would get as with Masters, Pickering, Richie Worrall and Kye Thomson all being paid for at least 2 wins each the Monarchs had a strong presence in practically every heat.
The tie was mathematically over by the end of heat ten Pickering and Thomson's 3rd heat advantage of the match and at this stage the only thing left to wonder was if the Monarchs would run out victors on the night as well.
Pickering again made sure of this winning the penultimate heat and with Dan Gilkes who did an excellent job as a guest at reserve picking up third the win on the night was secured.
This meant the only real drama going into the last race was to see if Pickering could complete his full house, Masters deciding to give it a miss meaning that pairing of Pickering and Thomson were matched again. This time the Monarchs would miss the gate as Birmingham number 1 Chris Harris led the way. The Aussie was not to be denied though powering through on the second lap to complete his max.
So, a rousing victory for the Monarchs that sets them up well for the Playoff Quarter Final clashes against Redcar this weekend and with the knowledge there is now a cup semi final against Glasgow to come also.
For the hosts it was an emotional night with club owners David and Peter Mason recently announcing they would be walking away at seasons end and with no buyers currently forthcoming this could be the last we see of the Midland's outfit for the foreseeable future. All at the Monarchs hope this is not the case and wish them all the best in coming to tapes in 2022.
The What the Fork Monarchs are back in action after a 2 break on Wednesday evening as they head to Birmingham knowing any result better than an 18-point defeat will mean a place in the KO cup semi final and a mouth-watering tie against Glasgow.
The job is far from done though as the Brummies have proved to be a hard nut to crack on their own shale and with boss David Mason having said he is walking away at season's end then the Brummies fans and riders know if they don't overturn the deficit then that could be it for Birmingham speedway unless someone steps in over the winter to take over.
So emotions will be high as the home team look to give their fans at least one more night of action and one man who will lead the way in this is home number 1 Chris Harris, the former world number 6 is in scintillating form just now putting in big scores home and away for both the Brummies and as witnessed on Eurosport on Monday night for Peterborough also and he will lead the charge.
The rest of the Brummies line-up also sees one further change free scoring reserve Paco Castagna misses out with illness with Plymouth man Dillon Ruml stepping in. Elsewhere main back up to Harris will be expected from Erik Riss, the middle order of James Shanes and Ashley Morris can never be discounted either.
The key battle may come at reserve where if the Monarchs can subdue Ruml and Jack Thomas that will go a long way to providing a basis for overall victory, this task now a little easier perhaps as Castagna powered to 13 points on the Monarchs last visit to Perry Barr although Ruml will give his all and recorded a very impressive 8+1 from the number 2 spot on a previous visit to Perry Barr.
For the What the Fork Monarchs there is only one change to the usual line-up that coming at reserve where Nathan Greaves of course has stepped down meaning a guest is required, stepping in is Kent's Dan Gilkes, the youngster having recorded a 7-point haul on the Kings visit to Brum earlier in the season.
As mentioned, the rest of the line-up is as per usual, and the heavy lifting will be expected from Sam, Richie and Josh the latter in particular looking to put a nightmare night behind him from our last visit.
That came only 2 weeks ago as the Monarchs went down by 14 points on a night that all but clinched the Armadale men's playoff position.
A repeat of that score-line would suffice for the Monarchs to progress on Wednesday evening, but the hope will be that the Blue and Gold can go a little better than that and save any nerves come those last few heats.
For those unable to attend live updates will be available on the Monarchs website with tapes up at 7.30pm!
Saturday 25th September 2021, 9:00pm
What The Fork Monarchs opposition and fixture dates have been confirmed for the Championship Play Off Quarter Final! Read on to find out more.