Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Josh Pickering||2||1||3||1||2||9||0|
|2. Lasse Fredriksen||1*||F||3||1||5||1|
|3. Kye Thomson||2||2*||F||2||6||1|
|4. Paco Castagna||0||3||3||1||7||0|
|5. Craig Cook||2||3||1||3||R||9||0|
|6. Kyle Bickley||FD||0||0||0||0|
|7. Jacob Hook||3||1*||1||0||F||5||1|
Team Manager: Gary Flint
|1. Thomas Jorgensen||3||1||3||0||1||8||0|
|2. Jonas Knudsen||0||0||2||2*||4||1|
|3. Leon Flint||1||2||0||3||6||0|
|4. Jye Etheridge||3||1*||2||3||9||1|
|5. Rory Schlein||3||2*||2||2||3||12||1|
|6. Connor Coles||2||3||0||1*||1||2*||9||2|
|7. Nathan Stoneman||1*||FD||1||1|
On a hugely disappointing night for the Monarchs' support, Berwick Bandits triumphantly bounced back from their own home defeat of last Saturday to land a 49-41 victory which was probably unexpected but very much deserved for a lively and committed display.
Team manager Alex Harkess said "I was very disappointed by our display. Kye Thomson was very unlucky to lose a chain and fall when leading one race but as the home team we should have been able to do more. I'm looking for big improvements at Berwick tomorrow."
Berwick displayed good teamwork throughout and combined well when in front, notably Connor Coles whose 9+2 was a match winning effort.
Unsatisfactorily enough, the match was hugely unbalanced by a ridiculous advantage for gate 4, from which 37 points were scored. Gate 1 on the other hand scored just 14. In heat after heat the rider from the outside leapt ahead. To make it worse gate 2 was the second best starting position meaning that riders from gates 2 and 4 totalled 59, to 31 for riders from gates 1 and 3.
That meant you had to capitalise on the heats in which you had the good gates, or to try to scrape something up when you didn't. The only points dropped by riders off gate 4 were Thomson's fall, and a last place by Kyle Bickley!
Of course it should be possible to make up some of the ground lost at the start, but this was a night when no riders on either side were really able to achieve much from the back, leading to a disappointing spectacle for the fans at the track and watching on the British Speedway Network. Best race was heat 8 in which Fredriksen and Knudsen passed and repassed before the Norwegian took 3 points for the Monarchs.
The only compensation for spectators was the closeness of the score, and Monarchs did manage to edge ahead at heats 5 and again at heat 10. They would have had a greater advantage at that point had Kye Thomson not fallen while leading heat 9 due to a lost chain. Needless to say, Kye had come off gate 4 and the heat was heading for a home 5-1 over Rory Schlein (who otherwise made an excellent Armadale return).
From heat 11 onwards though, with a run of gates 2 and 4, Berwick took over and made the most of their opportunities.. They were two ahead after heat 13 and with the advantageous gates over the final two races there was only going to be one outcome.
Jye Etheridge and Coles did well to hold off Castagna's strong challenge in heat 14 and that was the match victory secured.
As Monarchs' captain Josh Pickering had unwittingly chosen gates 1 and 3 for heat 1, Berwick had the choice for the final race. Just to cap Monarchs' night, Craig Cook pulled up believing he had seen a red light, which was actually from a centre green camera.
Monarchs have a chance to regain some pride at Berwick on Saturday night.
Thursday 20th April 2023, 9:59am
The Stellar Monarchs complete their BSN Series qualification matches this weekend with home and away matches against Berwick, welcoming the Bandits to Armadale on Friday (7:30pm).
Saturday 15th April 2023, 10:34am
Former Monarchs' promoter Tom Cook, widely known as Big T, passed away at 2am today after sustaining a fall last weekend. The news has been posted to Facebook by his son Scott, who of course rode for Monarchs during Tom's time at the club.