NEXT ACTION: PIRATES v BEES - CHALLENGE
After gaining 6 SGB Premiership points over the Easter period the VOLVO CARS POOLE PIRATES take a break from league combat when they welcome old adversaries Coventry Bees to Wimborne Road on Wednesday night (19th April, 7.30pm).
A winter of off-track issues for the long-standing Midland club left them without a home for the 2017 season with the Bees making the agonising decision to place their licence on hold. But with a fixture list already having been drafted with the Pirates originally scheduled to host the Bess this week, Poole boss Matt Ford offered to honour the date.
"Coventry are too famous a club to allow the name to disappear from the calendar and whilst there are hopes for the Bees to rise again I was determined to try and keep their name alive and that is why I am happy to stage this challenge fixture. With many teams having already compiled their sides for the season, some riders were left without top flight berths and this will provide an opportunity for an extra pay day for them."
The Bees will arrive in Dorset with Chris Harris added to their number despite the Cornishman having moved clubs to Rye House this season. "Bomber is very much associated with Coventry" added Ford, "and when it was evident that Kenneth Bjerre would not be able to ride in this match the perfect replacement for him was Bomber and I am sure that many will be grateful to have the chance to see Chris at Wimbone Road as he is always an exciting rider to watch here.
Besides former British champion Harris, the Bees will also have the reigning British champion in Danny King heading their assault along with the current British U21 champion Josh Bates, whose title goes on the line next week when Poole stages the British U21 final.
Jason Garrity, who stepped into the breach at the eleventh hour for Poole for their Good Friday away trip at Somerset, will be looking for some better fortune after failing to score at the Oak Tree and there will also be the chance for Stefan Nielsen to put himself in the 'showroom' as he still seeks a berth for 2017.
The Bees will be completed by Lasse Bjerre and James Sarjeant as the Pirates themselves are expected to back to full strength after James Shanes missed the trip to Swindon last Sunday due to his involvement in the European Grasstrack semi-final meeting at Balkbrug, Netherlands. The current European champion scored 17 points to finish second behind maximum man Jannick de Jong.
Wednesday teams from
Poole: Hans Andersen (Capt), Jack Holder, Krzysztof Kasprzak, Lewis Kerr, Brady Kurtz, Nicolai Klindt, James Shanes Team manager Neil Middleditch
Coventry: Lasse Bjerre, Jason Garrity, Chris Harris, Danny King (Capt), Stefan Nielsen, Josh Bates, James Sarjeant Team manager Alun Rossiter
Final Standings (champions to be determined via play-offs)