RESULT: Edinburgh Monarchs v Poole Pirates


Poole saw their last ever league meeting at the Armadale Stadium end in huge disappointment as they came away pointless, suffering a 49-41 defeat at the hands of the Edinburgh Monarchs, who are expected to move to a new community stadium in 2023.

The Pirates were the first to break the deadlock in this, their penultimate away league match of the season, after a string of shared heats flooded the first four races, when Steve Worrall and first-time out faller Drew Kemp combined to finish either side of Kye Thomson in heat five, Worrall previously having inflicted a rare Armadale defeat on Sam Masters in the opener.
With Ben Cook and Richard Lawson prepared to share the sixth heat some distance behind Sam Masters, the Pirates then saw their lead wiped out when Josh Pickering made it a second win in two and promising reserve Jacob Hook beat Zach Cook who was finding points impossible to come by from his new number four berth. But the Pirates broke away again instantly when Drew Kemp produced a winning ride over the hitherto pointless James Sarjeant and Nathan Ablitt, for the third time in as many starts made it a third place to register his best performance in Poole colours. That placed Poole two up at 25-23 with over half the races completed but two heats later those scores were back level, Masters beating King and Hook getting the better of Ben Cook, those two both being introduced to the heat by their respective managers as reserve switches, Fredriksen giving way for the home side and Zach Cook sitting it out in favour of his brother. For the first time in the meeting the Monarchs found themselves ahead after Pickering and Sarjeant prevailed over Worrall and Kemp respectively, but their advantage was to be short-lived.
The meeting hadn't seen a maximum heat advantage to either side, and there hadn't been a race when such an outcome looked likely, but skipper King and Ben Cook changed all that in heat twelve to, not only wipe out Edinburgh's lead, but to restore the two point advantage in their favour. Having waited all that time for a side to produce the first and second finishers, the meeting then made a dramatic turn as the Monarchs hit back-to-back 5-1's going from two down to six up in the space of eight laps of racing, the big damage coming when 'Paco' Castagna, just a point to his name prior to heat fourteen, conspired with Hook to head home the Cook brothers. That left the Pirates needing to avoid a heat loss to claim a consolation away point, the win having been stretched too far from their grasp. It began positively for the Pirates as Worrall and King were first to show but a brilliant ride by Sam Masters saw him wrestle the lead from Worrall and with Pickering getting into third place the final score reflected a flattering eight point winning margin for the successful Monarchs, boasting their play-off hopes as the Pirates saw their chances of snatching a top two place become that much harder as they now trail the current incumbents, Glasgow, of that automatic semi-final qualification by six points.

S.Masters 2,3,3,2',3=13+1 (5)
L.Fredriksen 1',0,0,RS=1+1 (3)
K.Thomson 2,2,3,1=8 (4)
M.Castagna 1',0,0,3=4+1 (4)
J.Pickering 3,3,3,3,1=13 (5)
J.Hook 3,1,1,RS,0,2'=7+1 (5)
J.Sarjeant 0,0,2,1,RS=3 (4)
S.Worrall 3,3,2,1,2=11 (5)
D.Kemp FD,1,3,0=4 (4)
D.King 3,2,2,3,0=10 (5)
Z.Cook 0,0,RS,0=0 (3)
R.Lawson 2,1',2,0=5+1 (4)
B.Cook 2,2,1',0,2',1=8+2 (6)
N.Ablitt 1',1',1,RS=3+2 (3)
Ht 1:  S.Worrall, S.Masters, L.Fredriksen, D.Kemp [fell exc] 3-3 3-3 [57]
Ht 2:  J.Hook, B.Cook, N.Ablitt, J.Sarjeant 3-3 6-6 [57.5]
Ht 3:  D.King, K.Thomson, M.Castagna, Z.Cook 3-3 9-9 [57.2]
Ht 4:  J.Pickering, R.Lawson, N.Ablitt, J.Sarjeant 3-3 12-12 [57]
Ht 5:  S.Worrall, K.Thomson, D.Kemp, M.Castagna 2-4 14-16 [57.3]
Ht 6:  S.Masters, B.Cook, R.Lawson, L.Fredriksen 3-3 17-19 [57.6]
Ht 7:  J.Pickering, D.King, J.Hook, Z.Cook 4-2 21-21 [56.9]
Ht 8:  D.Kemp, J.Sarjeant, N.Ablitt, L.Fredriksen 2-4 23-25 [59]
Ht 9:  K.Thomson, R.Lawson, B.Cook, M.Castagna 3-3 26-28 [58.4]
Ht 10:  S.Masters, D.King, J.Hook, B.Cook 4-2 30-30 [57.6]
Ht 11:  J.Pickering, S.Worrall, J.Sarjeant, D.Kemp 4-2 34-32 [58.8]
Ht 12:  D.King, B.Cook, K.Thomson, J.Hook 1-5 35-37 [58.9]
Ht 13:  J.Pickering, S.Masters, S.Worrall, R.Lawson 5-1 40-38 [58]
Ht 14:  M.Castagna, J.Hook, B.Cook, Z.Cook 5-1 45-39 [59.1]
Ht 15:  S.Masters, S.Worrall, J.Pickering, D.King 4-2 49-41 [57.9]
REFEREE:  Wayne Jarvis 
EDINBURGH won toss and chose gates 1&3 | POOLE choose gates 2&4 in heat 15  
League Points: EDINBURGH 3 POOLE 0
Photo: Taylor Lanning

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