Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Richie Worrall||3||3||R||3||2||2||13||0|
|2. Paco Castagna - Rider Replacement||0||0|
|3. Kye Thomson||2||FD||3||3||2||10||0|
|4. Lasse Fredriksen||2*||1*||2||1||1||0||7||2|
|5. Leon Flint||1||2||1||0||4||0|
|6. Kyle Bickley||0||R||0||0||0||0|
|7. Jacob Hook||1||0||0||1||0||2||0|
|8. Dayle Wood||0||0|
Team Manager: Dave Peet
|1. Ryan Douglas||0||3||2*||3||3||11||1|
|2. Simon Lambert||1||1||2||3||1||8||0|
|3. Max Clegg||0||1||0||1||0|
|4. Jake Allen||3||3||2||3||11||0|
|5. Michael Palm Toft||3||2||2||1||8||0|
|6. Nathan Ablitt||2*||1*||0||1||4||2|
|7. Connor Mountain||3||2*||1*||3||2*||11||3|
The Stellar Monarchs scored an encouraging 5-1 in the opening race through guest Richie Worrall and Lasse Fredriksen, but for most of the rest of the night it was one way traffic in the other direction as the depleted home side went down heavily by 36-54 to a solid and business-like Scunthorpe team.
In less than a 24-hour period Monarchs had lost their top two of Josh Pickering and Craig Cook to injuries, with Richie Worrall called up to cover for Josh (he had been on standby all week) and Leon Flint accepting a very late Friday afternoon call-up when Cook's situation became know. Leon had to borrow machinery from Jonas Knudsen, and although he had a lowish final score we thank him for putting in 100% effort.
With Paco Castagna also missing, clearly Monarchs needed the rest of the side to ride out of their skins, but it didn't happen. The 5-1 advantage from the opening race was quickly lost in a disappointing heat 2 when not only top reserve Connor Mountain but also the less experienced Nathan Ablitt finished a long way clear of our out of touch reserve duo.
A very disappointed team manager Alex Harkess said "Just as in our previous fixture we started with a 5-1 and I thought if we could keep that momentum going we might have a chance, even with our patched up lineup. But the score was reversed in the following race and we never got anything going after that. There's no excuses, we were not good enough by a long way and it was very disappointing."
Scunthorpe went ahead in heat 4 won by Michael Palm Toft, with Mountain just getting the better of a four-lap duel with Leon Flint.
There was another tussle for minor placings in the next race as Kye Thomson fell when Simon Lambert cut in front of him, and in this incident Kye suffered a hand injury. He rode on and managed to take two race wins, but was in too much discomfort to ride in heat 15.
Richie Worrall took a tac sub ride in heat 7 alongside Flint, but Monarchs' luck was out again as Worrall suffered a machine failure.
Thomson won his rider replacement ride in heat 8 and this was followed by two 4-2 advantages to Monarchs, cutting the deficit to four points, with heat 10 perhaps the best race of the night as Worrall caught Jake Allen on the line to give the Aussie his only defeat of the match.
That was the end of the fightback though as all the remaining heats were Scunthorpe advantages. The score was exactly the same as the victory that Monarchs took in their previous fixture away at Birmingham.
For the Scorpions, Max Clegg struggled but all the other six visiting riders performed well. The in-form Douglas started with a last for the second year running, but never looked like being beaten thereafter. Lambert, Allen and Mountain were all prepared to do some pushing and shoving when required and the home riders on the whole didn't manage to stand up to them. Michael Palm Toft took a comfortable 8 points and Nathan Ablitt certainly did his job with paid 6.
Monarchs had no luck in the days preceding or on the night but it is very unlikely that they could have reversed this result even at full strength, so there might have to be some hard thinking very quickly about where the team goes from here.
Thursday 25th May 2023, 8:25pm
Josh Pickering's return to action for King's Lynn at Sheffield tonight has not been successful and he has contacted us immediately to let us know. The captain withdrew after two struggling rides at Owlerton and he will be replaced in Monarchs' lineup to face Scunthorpe tomorrow by Richie Worrall.
Wednesday 24th May 2023, 8:15pm
After a blank Friday last week at Armadale everyone will be thirsting for action when the Scunthorpe Scorpions come calling in search of league points on Friday (7:30pm).