Birmingham Brummies 40:50 What The Fork Monarchs

What the Fork Monarchs picked up their first win on the road this season with a dominant end to the match earning them to a ten-point win at Birmingham Brummies to gain a potentially crucial four league points.

Gating was key it was the Monarchs who proved stronger down the stretch taking heat maximums in each of the last three heats to come out on top in what had been a ding-dong battle.

Monarchs’ captain and No 1 Sam Masters (pictured by Nigel Duncan) proved inspirational with a 14-point haul and the Australian said: “It was good for the boys and the team to get the four points. Birmingham are struggling so we did our job.

“We had a bit of a slow start to the season but hopefully that is on a roll now and we can head for the play-offs that’s the aim.”

Monarchs started well and built a four-point lead after four heats with race wins for Masters, guest Jason Edwards and Josh Pickering among them.

Masters tasted defeat for the only time on the night in Heat 5 and when the home men rocketed from the tapes in the next race for a 5-1 the Brummies had their first lead.

However, Monarchs returned the favour in the next heat with Kye Thomson showing no ill effect from his crash at Glasgow Tigers on Saturday and was well-backed by former Birmingham man Paco Castagna.

The lead swung once again three races later as the same Monarchs pair were left stranded at the start as Brummies top scorer Stefan Nielsen and guest Ricky Wells, a former Edinburgh rider, took advantage. It looked like the match may be slipping from the Monarchs.

However, with Masters and Pickering both in fine form and due to partner in Heats 13 and 15 there was still belief that the Monarchs could finish the job. Both races had a similar pattern, Masters rocketing from the start and Pickering battling round the outside to join his captain up-front.

In-between this heat 14 was a major boost to the Monarchs as Edwards, who yet again showed why he is one of the hottest prospects in British speedway with a double-digit score, held off a strong challenge from James Shanes early in the encounter to back up Castagna for what at the time was a match clinching 5-1.

This meant the only drama in Heat 15 was if the Monarchs would get maximum points for a six-plus point win and Masters and Pickering made no mistake, the latter producing the ride of the night to send the Monarch home happy with a massive result in their hunt for the play-offs.

Birmingam Brummies 40: Wells 7+2, Nielsen 10+1, Sedgmen 7+1, Morris 7, Brennan 4, Shanes 5+2, Pearson 0

What the Fork Monarchs 50: Masters 14, Fredriksen r/r, THomson 6+1, Castagna 8+1, Pickering 10+2, Hook 2, Edwards 10+2