REPORT Tuesday 10th August 2021, 9:25pm
The What the Fork Monarchs staged a late rally at Kent tonight to take a point on our first ever appearance at the track. We trailed all the way but exactly as at Poole last week, a final heat 5-1 was enough to get the point in a 43-46 loss.
Monarchs' boss John Campbell said "Other than Sam our big guns didn't win enough races. But even with that we should have done better – we had Nathan Greaves falling in point scoring positions, Josh Pickering likewise and Kye Thomson having an engine failure at the start of heat 7. Too many points lost. Kye though did have a good meeting otherwise, he looked very quick.
"As he left the stadium just after heat 15, Len Silver said to me 'I'm glad we managed to squeeze in heat 15 before the deadline because I knew you'd get a 5-1 and I didn't want you to go home empty-handed!"
It's the Kings first year in the Championship and their win tonight takes them above Birmingham at the lower end of the table, while Monarchs missed a chance to go level on points with Glasgow at the top.
The home side lost Dan Gilkes in a heat 2 tumble, which might have been a big problem for them, but they still did enough to cover with their other reserve Jake Mulford outscoring Nathan Greaves.
Kent took an opening heat 4-2 and led all the way. Gilkes was ruled out of the match in heat 2 but Monarchs still didn't share the heat as Luke Crang was excluded for not having a dirt deflector on.
We shared the next three heats then lost two 4-2s and by heat 7 we trailed 24-17 and only Sam Masters (heat 5) had won a heat.
Kye Thomson then won heat 8 in his rider replacement ride for William Lawson, but by heat 11 Kent led 37-28 after both Pickering and Greaves had taken tumbles.
We recovered ground with Masters winning his tactical sub ride in heat 12 backed by Kye Thomson for a 5-1, but when we lost a 4-2 in heat 14 it left us needing an advantage to take a point. This was achieved in style by Masters and Thomson with a 5-1 over the previously unbeaten Troy Batchelor.