Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Sam Masters||3||3||2||3||2||13||0|
|2. Lasse Fredriksen - Rider Replacement||0||0|
|3. Kye Thomson||1*||3||3||2*||2||11||2|
|4. Paco Castagna||2||2*||3||3||0||10||1|
|5. Josh Pickering||2||2||3||2*||9||1|
|6. Jacob Hook||FD||0||0||2*||0||0||2*||4||2|
|7. James Sarjeant||1||1||0|
|8. Gregor Millar||0||0||0||0|
Team Manager: Jade Mudgway
|1. Jake Allen||2||1||2||0||5||0|
|2. Adam Roynon||0||0||1||1||0|
|3. Erik Riss||3||3||3||3||1||13||0|
|4. Kasper Andersen||0||1||1||0||2||0|
|5. Lewis Kerr||3||2||1||1||3||10||0|
|6. Jason Edwards||3||0||0||1||4||0|
|7. Ben Morley||2*||1||1*||1*||1||6||3|
The WTF Monarchs pulled off one of their more remarkable results for some time by defeating Redcar Bears 48-41, in spite of the loss of key man James Sarjeant in a very unfortunate heat 2 incident.
Selected as Monarch of the Match by supporters was Jacob Hook whose two paid wins went a long way towards giving his team that winning advantage. "Two paid wins in heats where I made starts," said the young Aussie, "if I can make a few more of these then I can start to score some points for the team and for myself. To come from five points down and win against a strong team like Redcar was very good, everyone did their job."
After starting with a 4-2 in the opening heat, James Sarjeant contributing a point, the first bend of the second race was a disaster. The Monarchs' pair were away well but Hook didn't get his bike turned quickly enough and ran into the side of Sarjeant. That was no. 7 Sarjeant out of the match, and with Hook excluded the heat result was 0-5.
Erik Riss and Lewis Kerr won the next two races with a third from Morley making the score 9-14, and at that point few would have believed that the Monarchs could possibly prevail. It was a match that had been expected to be close anyway, and with Lasse Fredriksen away the home reserves were scheduled to take 11 rides!
However the picture gradually changed and for probably the first time this season, all the remaining riders threw off their shackles and produced the goods! The biggest transformation came from the Thomson – Castagna pairing which hadn't clicked so far this season, but which recorded 5-1 victories in heats 5 and 9. Heat 5 involved Thomson rounding Bears' guest Jake Allen with Castagna slipping through on the inside on the next bend.
It was a maximum in heat 8 which gave Monarchs the lead for the first time since heat 1, and this time it was Jacob Hook who backed up Kye Thomson with a fine steady ride. The lead was extended to 5 with the heat 9 advantage but Redcar had reduced that to just 1 again by heat 12, courtesy of Erik Riss who beat both Masters and Thomson with some really dynamic gating.
So Monarchs led 36-35 going in to heat 13. Captain Masters gated but Josh Pickering was initially quite a bit back. He soon rounded up Jake Allen but that wasn't enough for Josh, thundering hell-for-leather after Kerr even though there was precious little room to work.
On the last lap he scraped the fence on the pits turn and built up such momentum that he was round Kerr as well, hanging on round the final turn. A Pickering special.
Monarchs were now in the driving seat and not about to let go. Castagna took his score into double figures with a good win in heat 14 but he was backed up by that man Hook again who didn't give the Bears a glimpse of a chance.
The victory was secured and Bears would have needed a last heat 5-1 for a point. Kerr did win it with his second victory of the night but Masters ensured there was no way through for the previously unbeaten Riss.
Monarchs' best performance of the season in adversity. For Redcar, in truth, other than Riss and Kerr they were a little disappointing though they were of course missing Charles Wright and Jordan Jenkins. Total vindication for the club policy of hiring two ambulances, without which the match would have been seriously delayed or abandoned.
The What the Fork Monarchs are back in action on Friday with a home win a must after recent defeats a task that will not be easy as a strong looking Redcar Bears come to town.
The last 2 home matches for the home men have of course seen big defeats and while still early in the season a 3rd home defeat of the season would put the Monarchs on the back foot in their quest for the playoffs and a crack at league glory come season's end.
Looking to put the boot in the visiting Bears have a plethora of Armadale experience and pedigree from top to bottom in their midst so all of the Monarchs will need to be at the top of their game to fend off the challenge.
The Bears will come minus normal number 1 Charles Wright who misses out after pulling out of Belle Vue's match at Kings Lynn mid match last night Scunthorpe man Jake Allen stepping in.
Heat leader power then comes in the form of former Monarch Erik Riss and fast trapping Lewi Kerr both of whom have had stand out moments at the Dale.
Second string strength will come from Kasper Anderson and Adam Roynon, Anderson a real dark horse in this one as he has 2 double digit returns to his name in his last 2 visits to West Lothian.
One change to the usual Bears line-up will come at the bottom end where Jordan Jenkins misses out after picking up a knock, Ben Morley who has recently been introduced to the Plymouth squad steps in and will look to replicate what many was expecting to be a big score for Jenkins after his flawless maximum for Oxford in the National League at Armadale a couple of weeks ago.
Jason Edwards completes Redcar, and he is another with a reasonable amount of Armadale experience after his late season spell as the regular guest for the Monarchs last year and he is going well this year so will be in and around the points for sure.
Looking to bounce back the What the Fork Monarchs also have 1 change to their normal line-up, Lasse Fredriksen is either in or en-route to Hungary for a European Championship qualifier, rider replacement operates with Kye and the reserves able to slot in.
That means a big night is no doubt in store for James and Jacob both looking to improve on last weeks scoring while a little further up Paco will also look to get back to his heat winning ways to help ease the burden on Sam and Josh who will come in full of confidence after big Premiership scores on Thursday night both leading their respective Wolves and Kings Lynn teams to victory.
So, another tight encounter looks in store with 7 visiting riders all capable of scoring big on their night up against 6 home men all desperate to get back to winning ways. Who will come out on top? Well, there are numerous ways to find out.
Tickets can still be purchased from the official website with pay at the gate available also. For those unable to make it then the match will be livestreamed also again the Monarchs official site the place to get your streaming pass.
It's another big night and as we like to day Friday night is speedway night, we'll see you there!
Wednesday 18th May 2022, 5:00pm
The fixture list for the What the Fork Monarchs could hardly be tougher than it has been in the last few weeks, and there is little letup as we anticipate Friday's visit by the Redcar Bears, victors at Berwick last Saturday and the team Monarchs beat in last season's Playoff quarter-finals. Fans will also recall, the two sides fought out drawn matches home and away on the first weekend of the 2021 season!