Our brightest moment - the heat 8 5-1 Image Credit: Ron MacNeill

Ten point loss on Tyneside

REPORT Sunday 21st April 2019, 9:42pm

by Mike Hunter

The Staggs Bar Monarchs went down by 10 points in their first Shield away match, missing out on a possible point when they lost a heat 15 5-1.

We had our moments during the evening but can't have any complaints about the result, we didn't do enough and provided only three race winners.

Perhaps our most noteworthy performer was no. 7 Luke Ruddick with 4 + 3 bonus, gained with some decent gating and competitive racing. He was involved in a welcome 5-1 in heat 8 behind Justin Sedgmen who won the heat in a quick time on a night when he did little else right.

Ricky Wells scored steadily and won heat 5 from Bjerre and Wethers - the only points Matthew dropped in 5 rides! Ricky later had an interesting tussle with Thomas Jorgensen (heat 11) which ended with the Dane sliding into the fence. Jorgensen was excluded but the heat awarded to race leader Max Clegg, another strong contributor to the Diamonds' cause. It is a sobering thought that Matthew and Max won three heats apiece - the same as the complete Monarchs' team.

For Cameron Heeps, so good in all of our matches so far, gating was a problem and he had to work very hard for his 7+1.

The best heats of the night featured Josh Pickering which won't surprise anyone. He spun off on the first corner of heat 3 but was thankfully unhurt, and recorded our third and final heat win in heat 10. His most thrilling ride was heat 12 in which he frantically chased the team riding Clegg and Bjerre, splitting them on the last turn with one of the widest corners that anyone can ever have ridden there.

Joel popped up in front of heat 7 but could not hold it, and generally scored steadily enough. Finally William Lawson picked up 3+1 but can't have had any complaints when Luke was given his final ride.

One way or another, we were only four behind when we reached heat 13, and that race took four attempts to start. We shared it, and Joel took a second in heat 14 leaving us needing a shared last race for a point. In that though, Ricky and Josh were well beaten by Worrall and Wethers.