REPORT Tuesday 3rd August 2021, 10:16pm
The What the Fork Monarchs started well before fading late ultimately leaving Plymouth's Coliseum empty handed as the hosts ran out 50-40 victors.
With conditions changing as the night went on the home men definitely adjusted better and with Alfie Bowtell putting in a man of the match performance from reserve it is a night just to dust themselves down and move on for the Armadale men who now head for Poole on Wednesday night.
One Monarch who did acquit themselves well was Kye Thomson the Aussie improving as the night went on finishing with 7 points these all coming after a first race fall. Thomson saying after 'it was pretty difficult we held on for a long time but it ended up getting away and it was their night. The light and the tapes were going up a bit inconsistent so I struggled with that. My first one I thought there was going to be a crash so that caused me to come off but I finished strong personally it's just a shame we couldn't at least get a point.'
The Monarchs got of to a dream start with Sam Masters and William Lawson roaring from the tapes for a maximum.
Nathan Greaves won heat 2 at the 3rd attempt and after a 15 minute delay for track work as the riders didn't look particularly happy with conditions particularly the 1st bend and with the majority of the dirt being pulled from the track at this point gating was key.
That is not to say there was not some exciting racing as heat 3 saw Josh Pickering pass Zane Keleher for the lead, Keleher trying to pin Pickering down on the 1st bend almost causing both to come off and unsettling Thomson who came down in 3rd.
Heat wins for Sam Masters and Richie Worrall in 2 of the next 3 races maintained the visitors lead at 4 going into heat 7 but this is where the home men started to turn the screw.
Key to this was undoubtedly Bowtell as he held Pickering off for 3rd in heat 7 for a home 4-2 then winning heat 8 as a reserve switch, with teammate Jason Edwards joining him at the front the Gladiators had their first lead.
The Monarchs did draw level in heat 12 with Thomson taking a good win, Nathan Greaves riding well to keep Ben Cook at the back also.
Any hopes this would lead to a big finish for the Armadale men were short founded as Bjarne Pedersen who was impressive throughout roared to a heat 13 win and with returning Jason Crump in 3rd the home men had the lead again.
Heat 14 looked like a chance for the Monarchs as they exited the 2nd bend in front, Greaves was perhaps slightly guilty of staying mid track on bends 3 and 4 this to take nothing away from Keleher though who swept past the field with an outrageous inside swoop, teammate Bowtell must have taken note as he repeated the trick a lap later for a home 5-1.
This meant the best the Monarchs could hope for was a consolation point with a last heat share of the spoils required for this. Again though it was the Gladiators who shot from the tapes and while both Masters and Richie Worrall tried manfully to overthrow Keleher it was not to be, Masters bike then giving up the ghost on the 3rd lap to seal the Monarchs gate and send the home fans away happy.