Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Richie Worrall||3||3||2||2||0||2*||12||1|
|2. Drew Kemp||1||F||3||0||4||0|
|3. Kye Thomson||2||2||FD||1*||5||1|
|4. Bastian Borke||1*||1*||FD||2||4||2|
|5. Josh Pickering||2||2||2||2||3||11||0|
|6. Dayle Wood||0||0||0||0||0|
|7. Max Clegg||1||0||0||0||1||0|
Team Manager: Peter Schroeck
|1. Sam Masters||2||3||3||3||E||11||0|
|2. Henry Atkins||0||0||1*||1||2||1|
|3. Lewis Kerr||3||3||3||3||12||0|
|4. Jordan Jenkins||0||1||1||3||FD||5||0|
|5. Scott Nicholls||3||2||3||1||9||0|
|6. Cameron Heeps||3||1*||2||0||1||7||1|
|7. Luke Killeen||2*||1||2*||1||6||2|
The Stellar Monarchs were well beaten at home tonight by the very strong Oxford side who took the lead in heat 2 and never looked like relinquishing it. They ran out winners by 52-37 and that was with the Monarchs' score boosted by a heat 15 5-1, once the destination of the points was well and truly decided.
Home team manager Alex Harkess said "It was very disappointing but that's where we are at the moment. We got the best possible start and it just went downhill from there. We couldn't win races and didn't look like winning one until heat 8. You can't win matches if you don't win races."
It was a patched up Monarchs team of course, with Craig Cook, Paco Castagna and Lasse Fredriksen all missing, but there is no point pretending that these three could have turned it around against such an excellent team as Oxford, impressive right through from the dominant Sam Masters to their lively number 7 Luke Killeen.
Oxford were better in all departments but the biggest differential was in the reserve berths, Cheetahs outscoring Monarchs by 13-1 at 6 and 7. Max Clegg who is replacing Lasse Fredriksen just hasn't been able to bridge the gap between a top National League rider, and Championship level.
Monarchs did start with a 4-2 when Richie Worrall got away with a very sharp start which Sam Masters obviously thought was a bit too sharp! With Drew Kemp third, the two guests had given Monarchs the lead.
Heat 2 though was a disappointing 1-5 in spite of Max Clegg's attempts to catch Killeen, and there were three more race wins for the visitors before Worrall again took the chequered flag after an excellent victory over Scott Nicholls.
Drew Kemp won heat 8 and at that point Monarchs were not completely out of it at 21-27, though it's doubtful if anyone seriously thought the home men could turn it around. The next race proved to be a disaster though with first Kye Thomson (rearing up and coming off the back of his machine) then in the rerun Bastian Borke (at the first turn) both falling and being excluded. Oxford had been on a 5-1 when Kye fell anyway, but the 5-0 made Cheetahs' lead look unassailable.
They added four further 4-2s before Monarchs 5-1 finale. Josh Pickering's race win was only the fourth home man to take the flag. Masters was excluded from this heat for a second starting gate offence, though replays did show that in fact Worrall was first to move.
There were some entertaining tussles along the way, with Lewis Kerr's passing and re-passing duel with Worrall in heat 12 maybe the heat of the night, though Richie had a similar tussle with Cameron Heeps in the rerun last heat.
Kerr gave his best ever Armadale display with a full 12 point maximum. He's only supposed to be the Cheetahs' third rider but he was right up there tonight with Masters and Nicholls. Jenkins, Heeps and Killeen were also well amongst the points and Monarchs had absolutely no answer.
Thursday 17th August 2023, 10:42am
The Stellar Monarchs are still in the fight for a Playoff place and have their next opportunity to pick up some vital points when star-studded Oxford Cheetahs come to Armadale in a Championship match on Friday (7:30pm).