Team Manager: Alex Harkess
|1. Rider Replacement - Rider Replacement||0||0|
|2. Lasse Fredriksen||0||0||2||1||3||0|
|3. Kye Thomson||0||0||2||1*||0||3||1|
|4. Paco Castagna||2||3||1||1*||1||8||1|
|5. Josh Pickering||1||3||3||3||3||1||1||15||0|
|6. Dayle Wood||FD||F||0||0||0|
|7. Bastian Borke||2||2*||1*||0||2||0||7||2|
Team Manager: Danny Ford
|1. Richard Lawson||3||2||2||2*||2*||11||2|
|2. Anders Rowe - Rider Replacement||0||0|
|3. Ben Cook||1||1*||0||2||1|
|4. Zach Cook||3||2||3||R||3||11||0|
|5. Steve Worrall||0||3||3||3||3||12||0|
|6. Kyle Newman||2*||3||2*||0||2||3||2*||14||3|
|7. Joe Thompson||1||1||1*||0||1*||4||2|
The final meeting of the season at Armadale featured some of the most exciting racing of the season, and although the Stellar Monarchs went down eventually to another heavy 36-54 defeat, their performance was much more lively than other recent meetings.
Poole Pirates gave a highly professional performance and by finishing with three 5-1 results they once again turned the screw on the Monarchs.
The end of season interviews were well received by the Armadale supporters but the most significant one came from the Monarchs' captain Josh Pickering who shed some tears in an emotional speech as he told the fans that it was time for him to move on. After his seven seasons at Armadale he described the Monarchs as "The best club in the world" but he added "I have seen other riders progress who I think I am as good as, and I must follow the same path and see what I can achieve."
He received a warm reception for his comments and we will follow up on this story in the days to come. Returning to tonight's match, there was some tremendous racing and for much of the night Monarchs kept things close. Team manager Alex Harkess said "Up until heat 12 we were making a real fight of it. The lads were really trying hard and there was some great racing. If we had had a number one scoring double figures it could have been a much closer match, that was the problem we had."
Pickering himself won four heats, including a sensational heat 7 in which he touched the tapes before storming through off 15 metres to pass both the Cook boys, Ben on lap one and Zach just after.
His next heat was also a win from the back, tearing past the impressive Kyle Newman just as race leader Zach Cook's bike failed, and he followed an earlier win over Steve Worrall by also beating Richard Lawson.
However Poole's top duo of Worrall and Lawson did score 5-1 advantages in heats 13 and 15 in spite of Pickering's best efforts, with Lawson delivering a masterclass in intelligent team riding .
There were thrills too from Bastian Borke, unlucky not to win heat 2 when he gated only for Dayle Wood to fall and stop the race. He took second in the rerun and followed that with a paid win from the back in his next race.
The Dane's ride in heat 11 was sensational as he passed Thompson and Richard Lawson, no less, only to just avoid running into the fence and drop to the back again. One of the most exciting last places seen at the track. Bastian finished on paid 9, was worth more and fully earned his heat 15 ride.
There was a particularly good race from Lasse Fredriksen as he barged through to second place in heat 8, and Paco Castagna turned in some exciting racing too, including a win over Richard Lawson.
However there was no denying Poole's excellence and they stood up to everything Monarchs threw at them, deserving their victory. Lawson and Worrall were a tremendous top two, Zach Cook was outstanding and Kyle Newman again displayed his recently discovered liking for Armadale. He is some reserve.
Amidst recognition that it has been a very difficult season, there were some positive comments about participation in 2024, but again more to follow in the days to come.
Thursday 28th September 2023, 10:38am
The Stellar Monarchs race their final match for this season when Poole Pirates visit in the last match in Group A of the Championship Playoffs. Poole have already qualified from the group but the Monarchs will relish the opportunity to finish with an improved display against the best all-round team in the division.