Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Justin Sedgmen||2||3||1||0||6||0|
|2. Lasse Fredriksen||E||0||0||0||0||0|
|3. Kye Thomson||3||2||2*||2*||0||9||2|
|4. Paco Castagna||0||0||3||3||6||0|
|5. Josh Pickering||1||2||3||3||1||2||12||0|
|6. Dayle Wood||F||0||0||0||0|
|7. Bastian Borke||0||2||0||1||0||3||0|
Team Manager: Dave Peet
|1. Ryan Douglas||3||3||2||2*||3||13||1|
|2. Connor Mountain||1||1||3||1*||6||1|
|3. Simon Lambert||2||1||3||1||7||0|
|4. Jake Allen||1*||3||2*||6||2|
|5. Michael Palm Toft||3||2||1||3||1||10||0|
|6. Nathan Ablitt||1||1*||0||1*||3||2|
|7. Drew Kemp||3||2*||2*||0||2||9||2|
Fans of the Stellar Monarchs have had to take it on the chin rather a lot this season, and once again in the first home Playoff the collective chins took a walloping as Monarchs went down by 36-54 to a very solid Scunthorpe side, exactly the same score as on their earlier visit in the Championship.
It's a chastening thought that Scunthorpe themselves lost on their own track by 10 points just 24 hours earlier to Poole – and that very team will be the visitors for the last match of the Armadale season next Friday.
Team manager Alex Harkess said "I hoped beforehand that we could raise our game for the Playoffs, and that maybe Scunthorpe would be a little subdued after their home defeat. Wrong on both counts. There were some exciting moments but our performance overall was very disappointing".
In truth it was one way traffic most of the night. The Scorpions took 6 heat advantages in the first 8 races, with only Kye Thomson and guest Justin Sedgmen winning races for Monarchs. By heat 8 (in which Drew Kemp displayed his passing skills) the score was 16-32 and the outcome was pretty much settled.
Thankfully Monarchs did not throw in the towel and in heat 9, Thomson and Castagna took a comfortable 5-1 over Michael Palm Toft. Amidst the carnage of his team's hopes, Thomson actually had a pretty good night, and Castagna started to come good after two poor rides to begin with.
After a 1-5 reverse in the next race, we then were treated to some thrilling racing by Monarchs' captain Josh Pickering who had started the meeting slowly by his standards. In heat 10 he turned on one of his trademark chases and remarkably managed to burst past Ryan Douglas, entering the third corner of lap three at tremendous pace but holding on to win a great heat.
There were no shortage of opportunities for a tactical sub and Alex Harkess popped Josh into heat 12 along with Kye. They responded with a 5-1, Josh this time winning from the front and Kye completing his programmed rides on paid 11 from 4.
Once again though Scunthorpe responded to a maximum reverse with one of their own as Douglas watched the back of Palm Toft and this time held off Pickering in heat 13.
Heat 14 was another excellent race with Paco Castagna displaying his overtaking skills, passing first Ablitt and then cutting inside Kemp for a great win in what has been his favourite heat this season. If only he could do it all the time.
Josh put on another committed chase in the final heat, passing Palm Toft but just failing to get to Douglas again.
It was a well deserved win for the Scorpions obviously and another disappointing night for several of the Monarchs. Lasse Fredriksen has struggled since his return from injury and not reached his pre-injury form, while Bastian Borke has shown only flashes of ability and has often struggled to gate on equal terms.
Wednesday 20th September 2023, 9:32pm
The Stellar Monarchs have still to commence their home programme in their Championship Playoff group due to last week's postponements but they try again to host Scunthorpe on Saturday evening at 7pm.