REPORT Sunday 11th August 2019, 8:19pm
An utterly dominant 18 point maximum by number 1 Sam Masters was all in vain for the Staggs Bar Monarchs as they went down 49-41 to the Sheffield Tigers at Owlerton meaning another pointless day on their travels.
Masters was in imperious form never being headed by an opponent after the second bend but the back up just wasn't there and time is now running out of the Monarchs are to mount any potential playoff push.
That is now a remarkable 20 unbeaten heats out of 21 for Masters since his return to the Monarchs with the Aussie saying after ''There's not much more I can do but we all tried, I was watching everyone and we were all trying our hardest. We probably get a point if Ricky (Wells) doesn't break a chain in one and 2 races are pulled back when we are on advantages but it is what it is
''The track was actually really hard work it wasn't super fun but I got 18 so I can't complain. It would have been a lot better if we could have least got a point of it.
''I'm really enjoying being back and hopefully I can keep it going as I really want us to make the playoffs''
As Masters alluded to the Monarchs could point to a dose of bad luck twice being on heat advantages only for a home rider to come down then the sole Tiger winning the re-run then in heat 10 Wells suffering a broken chain while in a comfortable second. However the chances were still there for the visitors to claim at least a point and there was a great sense of disappointment in the camp this wasn't achieved as a minimum.
Early signs were positive for the Monarchs with Masters and then Willie Lawson taking the checkered flag in the first two heats but with their partners at the back no advantage could be gained.
The home men would then take a lead they would never relinquish in heat 3 with debutants former Monarch Justin Sedgmen and Todd Kurtz romping from the tapes to take a 5-1. This being backed up by a 4-2 in the next race and it was tactical time for the Monarchs.
This came in heat 6 with Masters winning from the tapes guest Ben Barker coming in 3rd to bring the Monarchs back within 4 but this was as close as it was to get the rest of the way.
Sedgmen and Kurtz were in fine form in their debuts totaling 19 between them and with Zaire Kennedy firing reserve with 10 also it was a solid effort by the home men.
Kennedy showed his pedigree in a re-run heat 7, the first running had seen the Monarchs on a 5-1 when Kyle Howarth who struggled with conditions throughout came down while in third. Kennedy grabbed his second chance gating in second behind Josh Pickering and ahead of a somewhat unfortunate but still largely ineffective Ricky Wells. Kennedy wasn't done yet though cutting under Pickering of the 4th bend to hit the front.
This was to be the story of Wells and the Monarchs night this being compounded when the former Sheffield number 1 ground to a halt while in an easy 2nd place in heat 10 gifting the home side a 5-1 and all but sealing the victory.
The Monarchs did battle manfully over the next few heats but another disastrous Wells outing and home maximum in heat 14 meant the Armadale men required a 5-1 of their own in the last race to clinch a point. Masters again was away well and hit the front but home captain Danny King rode a smart 1st and 2nd bend to get in front of Pickering and that was that.
The Monarchs now move on to Somerset on Wednesday knowing that it is win or bust if they are to have any chance of silverware this season.