REPORT Friday 16th July 2021, 11:16pm
The What the Fork Monarchs scored 58 points for the second successive match and had little difficulty seeing off the challenge of Newcastle, who had managed a much better score on their earlier Knockout Cup visit.
Nathan Greaves missed the match after crashing at a Team GB session the day before, which allowed extra rides for Josh Pickering and Kye Thomson, ensuring four massive scores at the top of the scorechart – Pickering and Sam Masters recorded five ride paid maximums and Richie Worrall would also have had a full score but for miscounting the laps in heat 4.
At no. 7 the increasingly confident-looking Kye Thomson piled up 15 plus 2 bonus from 7 rides, his highest yet.
Monarchs captain Sam Masters said "Big scores for all the boys and we need that confidence boost for a busy month coming up. We need to be on our game and we all are!"
Only William Lawson of the regular team members didn't enjoy a points spree, finishing with a disappointing two-point score.
The only Newcastle rider to take the chequered flag was reserve James Wright in heat 14, in which a neat inside line on the opening bends saw him overhaul Thomson and pull away.
The main entertainer for the Diamonds was Ben Barker, who was looking lively – his only flaw was that he wasn't gating. He certainly gave Sam Masters a tough race in heat 15, one of the best of the night, and in every heat Ben gave it his all.
The best move though has to go to the amazing Pickering once again, when he trailed Mountain and Wright in heat 8. There seemed to be no room but he pulled off a sensational outside pass of both Diamonds.
It's the big match against League leaders Glasgow next Friday, and while Greaves should be back, Monarchs will no longer have the benefit of Thomson at reserve.