In-form Josh Pickering top (pictured) scored with 13 points while Kye Thomson and Sam Masters powered to 12 points as What the Fork Monarchs beat Berwick Bandits 50-40 in a hard-fought SGB Championship clash at Armadale.

Berwick, with debutant Kasper Andersen top scoring with 12 points, were only four points adrift with two heats remaining.

Pickering said: “We did what we have to do. Berwick have a team who all do well., They are a strong team so it’s good to get the three points.”

Monarchs were grateful to have Thomson to cover heats which looked vulnerable and to make up for a couple of uncharacteristic blunders by the home stars.

Masters touched the tapes in Heat 13 and couldn’t pick up anything off a 15-metre handicap and in heat 11 Richie Worrall had come to the tapes without a chain guard and eventually suffered a two-minute exclusion. Worrall was unable to make anything of his 15 metre handicap.