REPORT Sunday 8th September 2019, 8:03pm
The Staggs Bar Monarchs duly completed their full complement of away defeats for the season when they went down 39-51 at Newcastle.
There was never much doubt about the outcome and the fact that we scored 39, embarrassingly enough one of our best away scores of the season, was due almost entirely to guest Richard Lawson and Josh Pickering.
Lawson was an absolute model of professionalism with fast starts and almost faultless riding all night. He had four wins in six starts, plus two seconds, one of these coming in the final race when he had a nibble at the start. The red lights came on, then went off again, and the race continued.
Josh has of course had some thrilling races round Newcastle in recent years and he added some more, especially heat 10. He swept round Clegg, ate up the ground on Steve Worrall and in spite of a lifting front wheel he pulled off a brilliant cutback to take the victory.
He had another great chase on Bjerre in heat 12 and was always worth watching.
That's not something we can say about the remainder of the side. Cameron Heeps had a very good win in his opening heat over Jorgensen but then tailed off alarmingly.
Once upon a time we could have looked to Ricky Wells for a good score here, and we still hope, but his form was again very poor. He retired from one heat and dropped behind his partner in his other three when he might more profitably have chased the race leader.
James Sarjeant's starting problems reappeared with three pulled back starts leading to one exclusion and one 15 metre ride. It wasn't a good night for James.
At reserve William Lawson managed a few on a track he knows well, including a defeat of blockbuster reserve Ostergaard, but Connor Coles was off the pace.
Diamonds scored well throughout the team, with every rider able to take a ride for the absent Matthew Wethers. They haven't had a great season but still have a cup final to look forward to.