The team celebrate with the fans Image Credit: Peter Hill

Monarchs Dull Diamonds Shine

REPORT Sunday 17th April 2022, 8:10pm

by Graham Muncie

The What the Fork Monarchs took a giant step towards the quarter finals of the KO Cup running out 49-41 victors at Brough Park against Newcastle on Sunday evening.

A strong start was backed up by consistent heat wins throughout meaning the result was never really in doubt and Monarchs new boy Lasse Fredriksen winner of heat 1 said after 'It was a good win, last night was a tough one so it was good to get a win tonight. I like coming to new places and I want to beat everyone so to get the heat win was good as well. We move onto Friday now and we need to complete the job and beat Newcastle again.'

Fredriksen set the Monarchs on their way rocketing from the start to win heat 1, with teammate Sam Masters joining him at the front the Monarchs had a dream start.

Further heat advantages in heats 2 and 4 sandwiched a home 5-1 meaning the advantage was still 4.

The home men were solid throughout particularly in the middle order with James Wright, Max Clegg and Paul Starke keeping them in the encounter with 5 heat wins between them.

Heat 10 would be the crucial one, the Monarchs advantage was still 4 at this stage and with the Diamonds having a strong looking pairing of Chris Harris and Matthew Wethers against the previously ineffective Paco Castagna and Kye Thomson the thoughts were this could be the home side's way back in. As it was though it was Castagna who hit the front out the 2nd bend and with Thomson battling his way into 2nd it was the second heat maximum of the night for the visitors and an 8 point lead.

This lead would be maintained the rest of the way with the only very slight disappointment being that Monarchs captain Masters could not complete his maximum in heat 15 the Australian being headed by home man Clegg.

Still this didn't take the shine off a thoroughly professional performance that must make the Monarchs favourites to progress with Friday's second leg at Armadale to come.

Newcastle Diamonds 41: Chris Harris 5+1, Matthew Wethers 4, James Wright 10, Max Clegg 10+3, Paul Starke 9, Lee Complin 3, George Congreve 0

What the Fork Monarchs 49: Sam Masters 13+1, Lasse Fredriksen 5, Paco Castagna 6+1, Kye Thomson 7+1, Josh Pickering 9+1, Jacob Hook 2+1, James Sarjeant 7