RESULT: POOLE v SWINDON
Poole succumbed to a home SGB Premiership league defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Swindon, missing out on a last heat decider.
Having clawed back a mid-meeting 14 point deficit the Pirates needed a heat advantage in the final showdown if they were to yield any league points from this Bank Holiday affair. Facing Jason Doyle and Nick Morris, two riders who had achieved seven race wins between them and both of whom had looked very fast throughout, the prospect looked bleak for the Pirates.
Skipper Hans Andersen however lowered his counterpart colours (Doyle) for the only time in the match, leaving the Poole fans on the edge of their seats urging Brady Kurtz to try and improve on his fourth place. But Doyle and Morris were content to cover all angles and ensure they would Wimborne Road with a well-deserved match win under the belts.
The Robins were in a different class to the Pirates in the early stages, adapting to track conditions quicker than Poole and leading the way consistently to the first turns. With three comfortable 5-1 advantages in the space of the first 5 heats Swindon hit Poole hard and the left the home fans bewildered as to how easy the Robins were making it.
Team manager Neil Middleditch gambled by nominating Kasprzak as a tactical rider in heat 6 - gambling because the Pole had been totally ineffective in heat 1 and crawled round for three laps before turning into the pits on the final circuit. It was another slow start from the Pirates' number one but this time he managed to work a way into second place and help Poole claw two of the early deficit back. But the Robins came up with the best response…another heat gain in race 7 a result that undermined the determined efforts of skipper Andersen who was all over British U21 runner-up Adam Ellis as David Bellego continued his rich vein of form.
Holder and Klindt gave the home support something to get excited about as they paired up for maximum points, Klindt having come in for fellow reserve James Shanes.
Nick Morris maintained his unbeaten performance with win number three but Kurtz and Kerr plugged the minor placings to prevent Poole slipping any further adrift. Holder and Kasprzak then fired home a vital 5-1 over Ellis and the fallen Bellego, two heats later Neil Middleditch speculated again by making that Shanes/Klindt switch for a second time. It was risky for it meant Shanes was still shy of his mandatory three rides but the Poole team manager saw the first phase of his cunning plan work as Klindt and Kerr combined for a 5-1 at the expense of the stubborn Ellis.
Trailing now by 2 points the Pirates just could not afford any further concessions but Kasprzak relinquished third place when he pulled up early in heat 13 to give the Robins a 4-2 as Andersen couldn’t catch the fast Doyle.
With Shanes taking his final ride in heat 14 the Poole youngster kept the Pirates' fans hopes of a Great Escape alive as he clung on to third place, supporting Kurtz's race victory that set the scores at 42-44.
With Doyle on a maximum and looking unstoppable, Andersen stepped up, yet again, and out-trapped him which meant the Pirates could pull off the victory steal if Kurtz could find a way into third place. But Morris and Doyle proved to be adequate road blocks and settled for the heat share which gave them the match.
K. Kasprzak R,4,2',R=6+1
J. Holder 1,1',2',3=7+2
L. Kerr 0,1',1',2'=4+3
B. Kurtz 1,2,2,3,0=8
H. Andersen 1,1,2,2,3=9
N. Klindt 3,0,3,1',3=10+1
J. Shanes 0,0,1=1
J. Doyle 3,3,3,3,1'=13+1
B. Wilson-Dean 2',F,1,0=3+1
A. Ellis 2',2',1,1=6+2
D. Bellego 3,3,F,2=8
N. Morris 3,3,3,1,2=12
E. Grondal 1',0,0,0=1+1
Z. Wajtknecht 2,2',0,0=4+1
Ht 1 J. Doyle B. Wilson-Dean J. Holder K. Kasprzak (Rtd) 1-5 (1-5) (60.78)
Ht 2 N. Klindt Z. Wajtknecht E. Grondal J. Shanes 3-3 (4-8) (62.12)
Ht 3 D. Bellego A. Ellis B. Kurtz L. Kerr 1-5 (5-13) (60.91)
Ht 4 N. Morris Z. Wajtknecht H. Andersen J. Shanes 1-5 (6-18) (60.12)
Ht 5 J. Doyle B. Kurtz L. Kerr B. Wilson-Dean (Fell) 3-3 (9-21) (60.74)
Ht 6 N. Morris K. Kasprzak (TR) J. Holder E. Grondal 5-3 (14-24) (61.15)
Ht 7 D. Bellego A. Ellis H. Andersen N. Klindt 1-5 (15-29) (61.07)
Ht 8 N. Klindt J. Holder B. Wilson-Dean Z. Wajtknecht 5-1 (20-30) (60.94)
Ht 9 N. Morris B. Kurtz L. Kerr E. Grondal 3-3 (23-33) (60.69)
Ht 10 J. Holder K. Kasprzak A. Ellis D. Bellego (Fell) 5-1 (28-34) (61.15)
Ht 11 J. Doyle H. Andersen N. Klindt B. Wilson-Dean 3-3 (31-37) (60.31)
Ht 12 N. Klindt L. Kerr A. Ellis E. Grondal 5-1 (36-38) (61.12)
Ht 13 J. Doyle H. Andersen N. Morris K. Kasprzak (Rtd) 2-4 (38-42) (60.37)
Ht 14 B. Kurtz D. Bellego J. Shanes Z. Wajtknecht 4-2 (42-44) (61.16)
Ht 15 H. Andersen N. Morris J. Doyle B. Kurtz 3-3 (45-47) (60.78)
Referee Paul Carrington
Gates: POOLE won toss and chose gates 1&3 in heat 1. SWINDON took gates 1&3 in heat 15
Rider of the Night: Hans Andersen
Season Starts March 2018 (for 2017 table click here)