MATCH REPORT: Monarchs delight with home win

Birmingham Monarchs took victory over Poole on Sunday in an Elite League Challenge.

The Monarchs were ahead from the off, a maximum advantage with Johnson defending against the ever pressing Harris in heat 1.

The next 3 heats were all level before the home side hit three consecutive advantages that gave the Monarchs more breathing space, a further 6-4 before the interval gave a 12 point lead, but not before the Poole riders tried hard to defend a shared heat. Zac White emerging the winner of that.

Poole claimed the inside grids after the break and held a share of drawn heats in the next five races, a tape exclusion for Winwood in the 11th meant Poole gained a one point advantage out of that, despite Ball taking a from-the-gate win.

Winwood and Paul Timms hit back with a maximum in the 15th to extend that advantage (82-67) before the home side claimed victory in the penultimate heat with a maximum advantage from Johnson/Ball only for the visitors to end the day with a maximum of their own from their top 2 scorers.

Poole arrived weakened and borrowed two home riders for the squad, whilst the home side included some of their Elite League squad riders.

Dawid Bas and Steve Harris were always a huge threat fr the visitors, whilst Pete Chant was always great entertainment and despite the Monarchs controlling the meeting, the racing was hotly contested by both sides.

For the Monarchs, Ricki Johnson was in superb form and finished unbeaten, with seven of the side winning at least one heat.

Ewan Hancox made his return from injury with a tentative, but solid, 6 points.

Ricki Johnson 15+1 (4), Jake White 15 (5), Scott Millward 14 (5), Mark Winwood 13 (5), Jamie Ball 10+2 (4), Jamie Whetton 9+2 (4), Paul Timms 8+1 (3), Zak White 7 (3), Ewan Hancox 6+1 (3).

Dawid bas 18 (5), Steve Harris 16+1 (5), Dean Hook 12+2 (5), Pete Chant 12 (5), Jay Briggs 7+2 (5), Frazer Garnett 7+1 (3), Steve Hodgkinson (guest) 7 (3), Jake Steel (guest) 3 (3).

This Sunday (14th), the Monarchs visit Ashmore Park the home of reigning champions Wednesfield Aces in Midland League action. Both teams have lost just one fixture all season so far.

Start time is 1pm for juniors, with main team action underway at 2pm.

Monarchs youngsters travel to Manchester on Saturday for round 3 of the BYJL, with Connor Steel and Dylan Hawtin joint 4th in the U10s.

Training continues every Tuesday and Thursday from 6pm for all abilities. All welcome.