What the Fork Monarchs were beaten 50-40 by SGB Championship leaders Poole Pirates despite skipper Sam Masters (pictured) collecting his highest single meeting points score of 19.

Now, Monarchs will need to improve in their remaining fixtures if they want to clinch a place in the end-of-season play-offs.

The writing was on the wall as the home side went six points behind by Heat 4. They shared the next two heats,

Monarchs then fought back to level, taking 5-1s in Heats 7 and 9. However Poole regained the initiative and were comfortable winners.

With injured Richie Worrall still missing and the proposed guest Nick Morris ruled out after crashing the night before. the sterling efforts of the home top three (Masters, Josh Pickering and Kye Thomson) were never going to be enough without a notable contribution from the lower part of the team.

That sadly was not forthcoming and Masters admitted “They (Poole) are not only the form team in the league, but they are really good here at Armadale.

“Also we didn’t have Richie who is one of the best riders on this track. If we’re using rider replacement and some riders aren’t on, it’s tough. We all tried hard but it wasn’t enough.”

Edinburgh Monarchs (40): Sam Masters 19+0, William Lawson 2+0, Kye Thomson 9+2, Josh Pickering 8+2, Richie Worrall 0+0, Drew Kemp 0+0, Nathan Greaves 2+0

Poole Pirates (50): Rory Schlein 9+1, Benjamin Basso 5+1, Stevie Worrall 11+1, Stefan Nielsen 2+1, Danny King 7+1, Ben Cook 5+1, Danyon Hume 11+0