REPORT Sunday 30th May 2021, 4:57pm
The What the Fork Monarchs showed their steel as they battled back from a 10 point deficit to share the spoils at the Media Prime Arena on a long and warm day in the North East.
In fact the feeling in the camp was maybe 'what could have been' after going into the last race all square and with the previously unbeaten Sam Masters and quick looking Richie Worrall heading to the tapes.
As it was home number 1 Charles Wright got his nose in front after a highly contested 1st corner and despite a sprited effort from Worrall Wright clinched the draw.
Worrall saying with a smile after 'For early in the season I'll take that, 2 draws. I felt quick in 15, I felt faster than Charles but he was doing some left turns on me so I went over and said you should have put your indicators on but to be fair I would probably have done the same. I felt quick I should have had him but that's speedway you win some you lose some'
The Monarchs had made the trip down the A1 looking to hit back from dropping points to the same opposition at home on Friday and started brightly Masters who was in imperious form all day rocketing from the tapes and Nathan Greaves battling well to keep Anders Rowe at the back so the Monarchs had the lead.
Heat 2 was shared at the second attempt after Jordan Jenkins had come off after a strong start for the Bears.
The home men would then take the lead with a heat 3 maximum despite the best efforts of Josh Pickering who made a slow start after battling clutch problems pre meeting.
Heat 5 saw Masters and Greaves take a maximum of their own before it looked like the wheels had fallen off for the Armadale men.
3 5-1 advantages in a row for the home men put them 10 up the most eventful of these being heat 8 when Jenkins burst from the tapes with Greaves in hot pursuit. At the back Anders Rowe rounded William Lawson and went after the front pair. Jenkins then hit a rut that had developed on the 2nd bend allowing Greaves and Rowe past. The home man keeping it wound on and blasting round Greaves to take the lead entering the last lap. Greaves unfortunately hitting the same rut that cost Jenkins earlier and coming down.
Masters was straight in as a tactical substitute in heat 9 and him and Worrall did the job reeling off a 5-1.
This started the comeback although not after 2 lengthy delays for track work as the warm weather made for a dust bowl at times.
Heat 12 looked key with the Monarchs probably underdogs being as their pairing of guest Jordan Palin and Kye Thomson had 1 point combined to their name at this point. Palin was away well though and when Thomson passed Jenkins for a vital 3rd it was game on.
Another Masters/Worrall maximum in heat 13 was followed by a share of the spoils in heat 14 meaning it was all square going into that vital heat 15 and that is how it would remain.
So the teams couldn't be separated after 15 heats on Friday and they also couldn't be separated after 30 today an enjoyable weekend against good opposition and it is fair to say Championship speedway is back!