RESULT: POOLE v SOMERSET
The VOLVO CARS POOLE PIRATES saw off a mid-meeting spirtited display from top-flight newcomers Somerset to claim their second Premiership league win.
In front of good-sized Bank Holiday crowd the Pirates eventually opened with a 5-1 after three attempts to get a heat one verdict. At the first time of asking guest Nick Morris and Rohan Tungate tangled on the first turn causing an all-four re-run in which Poole were sitting on an early 5-1 when former Pirate Paul Starke went under Morris on the third turn. Morris fell and Tungate couldn't avoid running into the grief-stricken Swindon rider.
Referee Craig Ackroyd ruled that Starke's move was the primary cause of the second stoppage leaving Tungate to fight a forlorn lone-battle. After a shared second heat the Pirates doubled their advantages through Kurtz and Kerr before James Shanes rode a good race to put pressure on Graversen, who had been rounded by Pirates skipper Hans Andersen. That prompted Rebels manager Garry May into nonimating Starke as a tactical ride but the K-force of Kurtz and Kerr combined again for an emphatic 5-1 response.
Heat 6 was a thrill a second as positions changed within nearly every wheel rotation, Grajczonek, after a dismal opening ride, not worried about what was unfolding behind him. Morris and Allen were battling furiously, Holder wanted some of the action and then Morris packed up. That seemed to make Holder even more determined and he spectacularly lined up Allen off the final turn to prevent the visitors banking maximum points.
They did however claim such a score in each of the next two heats, to suggest that they were in no mood to give up without a fight. Andersen's efforts to try and pass Wright weren't quite clean enough as he clipped Wright's wheel on the way by and earned a disqualification and unfortunately for the Pirates Klindt had no answers in the heat 7 re-run. Starke and Allen, the latter as a reserve change, paired up for the heat 8 version and Holder had chain problems on the way to tapes forcing him to switch to a Kurtz-machine. May's tactics were spot on this time and all of a sudden the Pirates lead had been trimmed to 4.
A fine win for Kurtz, with Grajczonek splitting him up from Kerr, allowed Poole to extend to 6 points and that remained the difference after 10 heats.
Poole then turned on the power and with back to back 5-1's quickly put the result beyond the reach of the Rebels, but the highlight of the early afternoon was still to come as in a re-started heat 14 after further first bend frenzy, Brady Kurtz produced the most memorable of rides. Pitched at the back having gone high and wide around the first arc Kurtz blitzed his way to the front in superb fashion. the like of which hasn't been since Darcy Ward's days with the Pirates. It was Kurtz's 8th consecutive Premiership league race win - from just 8 starts - but he couldn't quite deliver on a second maximum after missing out at the start in heat 15, the Rebels closing with a consolation heat advantage. Hougaard got the better of race Denmark, beating Andersen and Grajczonek won the Aussie challenge at the expense of Kurtz.
N. Morris 3,R,2,3=8
J. Holder 2',2,0,1'=5+2
L. Kerr 2',2',1,2'=7+3
B. Kurtz 3,3,3,3,0=12
H. Andersen 3,Dq,3,2',2=10+1
N. Klindt 3,1,2',3,1=10+1
J. Shanes 0,1,1=2
R. Tungate 1,R,1,1=3
P. Starke Dq,1,3,0=4
C. Wright 0,2',0,1=3+1
P. Hougaard 1,3,3,2,3=12
J. Grajczonek 0,3,2,R,1=6
J. Allen 2,1,2',0=5+1
J. Graversen 1',2,0,0=3+1
Ht 1 N. Morris J. Holder R. Tungate P. Starke(D/Q) 5-1 (5-1) (59.31)
Ht 2 N. Klindt J. Allen J. Graversen J. Shanes 3-3 (8-4) (59.35)
Ht 3 B. Kurtz L. Kerr P. Hougaard C. Wright 5-1 (13-5) (59.78)
Ht 4 H. Andersen J. Graversen J. Shanes J. Grajczonek 4-2 (17-7) (61.06)
Ht 5 B. Kurtz L. Kerr P. Starke (TR) R. Tungate (Rtd) 5-1 (22-8) (60.16)
Ht 6 J. Grajczonek J. Holder J. Allen N. Morris (Rtd) 2-4 (24-12) (61.44)
Ht 7 P. Hougaard C. Wright N. Klindt H. Andersen(D/Q) 1-5 (25-17) (61.12)
Ht 8 P. Starke J. Allen J. Shanes J. Holder 1-5 (26-22) (61.53)
Ht 9 B. Kurtz J. Grajczonek L. Kerr J. Graversen 4-2 (30-24) (60.78)
Ht 10 P. Hougaard N. Morris J. Holder C. Wright 3-3 (33-27) (61.4)
Ht 11 H. Andersen N. Klindt R. Tungate P. Starke 5-1 (38-28) (60.75)
Ht 12 N. Klindt L. Kerr C. Wright J. Allen 5-1 (43-29) (61.28)
Ht 13 N. Morris H. Andersen R. Tungate J. Grajczonek (Rtd) 5-1 (48-30) (61.38)
Ht 14 B. Kurtz P. Hougaard N. Klindt J. Graversen 4-2 (52-32) (61.18)
Ht 15 P. Hougaard H. Andersen J. Grajczonek B. Kurtz 2-4 (54-36) (61.93)
Referee Craig Ackroyd
Gates: Poole win toss and take gates 1&3. Somerset 1&3 in heat 15
POOLE 3 league points SOMERSET 0 league points
.Rider of the Night: Brady Kurtz
Season Starts March 2018 (for 2017 table click here)