RESULT: POOLE v WOLVERHAMPTON
Poole fans sent their collective birthday wishes down to the Gold Coast but the best present of all for Darcy Ward will have been the news that his beloved Poole Pirates ended Wolverhampton's unbeaten start to the season, with a 51-39 victory.
Ward's compatriots Chris Holder and Brady Kurtz found themselves on the wrong end of a 5-1 in the opening heat as an already tough prospect became distinctly harder, but the resilience of the make-shift Pirates would have made Ward proud, as too would the move of the night performed by Pirates' skipper Hans Andersen.
Having turned round that early deficit, through a more accomplished ride by Kurtz in heat 2 supported by a very impressive outing by stand-in reserve Charles Wright, the Pirates found themselves heading into heat 10 holding a nervy four point lead courtesy of two 4-2 advantages, Kurtz featuring in both, sprinkled in between a number of shared heats.
The Wolves pairing of Lindgren and Masters were playing their part in trying to square the meeting with some team-riding but Andersen carefully lined up his move, found the turbo drive and blasted through at exactly the right time, stunning his opponents and rising the grandstand to their feet. For a moment there was even hope of even better outcome as a gallant effort by Josh Auty, who was guesting for Adam Ellis, to break his duck just didn't quite come off.
Andersen, the new Poole hero admitted "I knew I had the speed under me I just needed to find the right time to make the move and when I did it came off perfectly. They gave us another very tough meeting and so we are happy to have got the win, it could easily have slipped away from us tonight."
After Holder had ensured another shared heat in the next race it was Kurtz and Wright again providing some huge relief to the patient Poole fans when they combined for a 5-1 in heat 12 to put the biggest margin of the night between the two sides, up to that stage.
Yet another 5-1 came in the penultimate race as Buczkowski's solid night of scoring continued and he was supported by Kurtz who was completing a very busy night of seven rides. But still the action wasn't over as rider of the night Hans Andersen delivered another excellent passing move to win heat 15 avenging on Kylmakorpi, the rider that had stood between him and a maximum after a heat 13 defeat.
And the final message of the night from the busy Kurtz simply stated "I am confident that there is still a lot more to come from Poole this season!"
C. Holder 1,3,R,3,2,0=9
R. Replacement =0
J. Auty 0,0,0=0
K. Buczkowski 2,3,3,1,3=12
H. Andersen 3,3,3,1',3=13+1
B. Kurtz 0,3,1,3,0,3,2'=12+1
C. Wright 2',1',0,2'=5+3
F. Lindgren 3,2,2,0,1'=8+1
S. Masters 2,2,1',1'=6+2
M. Bech 1',2,1',0=4+2
J. Thorssell 3,1',2,1=7+1
J. Kylmakorpi 2,1',2,3,2=10+1
M. Clegg 0,0,0=0
K. Howarth 1,FD,2,0,1=4
Ht 1 F. Lindgren S. Masters C. Holder B. Kurtz 1-5 (1-5) (59.63)
Ht 2 B. Kurtz C. Wright K. Howarth M. Clegg 5-1 (6-6) (59.94)
Ht 3 H. Andersen J. Kylmakorpi M. Bech J. Auty 3-3 (9-9) (59.96)
Ht 4 J. Thorssell K. Buczkowski C. Wright K. Howarth (Fell d/q) 3-3 (12-12) (60.56)
Ht 5 C. Holder S. Masters B. Kurtz M. Clegg 4-2 (16-14) (59.72)
Ht 6 K. Buczkowski F. Lindgren J. Kylmakorpi J. Auty 3-3 (19-17) (60.28)
Ht 7 H. Andersen M. Bech J. Thorssell C. Holder (Rtd) 3-3 (22-20) (60.81)
Ht 8 K. Buczkowski K. Howarth S. Masters C. Wright 3-3 (25-23) (60.34)
Ht 9 B. Kurtz J. Thorssell K. Buczkowski K. Howarth 4-2 (29-25) (59.97)
Ht 10 H. Andersen F. Lindgren S. Masters J. Auty 3-3 (32-28) (61.09)
Ht 11 C. Holder J. Kylmakorpi M. Bech B. Kurtz 3-3 (35-31) (60.5)
Ht 12 B. Kurtz C. Wright K. Howarth M. Clegg 5-1 (40-32) (61.03)
Ht 13 J. Kylmakorpi C. Holder H. Andersen F. Lindgren 3-3 (43-35) (60.78)
Ht 14 K. Buczkowski B. Kurtz J. Thorssell M. Bech 5-1 (48-36) (61.15)
Ht 15 H. Andersen J. Kylmakorpi F. Lindgren C. Holder 3-3 (51-39) (60.81)
Referee Dave Watters.
Gates: Poole win toss and take 1&3 Wolves take 1&3 in heat 15
Poole 3 league points Wolverhampton 0 league points
up to and including 27th September