RESULT: POOLE v SOMERSET
The pages of the record books were well thumbed as statisticians looked to find the last time that a Poole side had lost four consecutive league matches in a row - a fact that dates back some 35 years, but with Somerset becoming the fourth side to raid the Pirates ship in as many home meetings, Poole have now suffered such a bad sequence of results three times in their history.
Poole boss Matt Ford saw up close and personal his charges hauled back after a bright start as he stepped in as team manager in place of the unavailable Neil Middleditch. Leading by four points after the very positive opening which included debutant Edward Kennett signalling his return to Wimborne Road with an impressive race victory, a conceded 5-1 at the hands of two former Pirates Josh Grajczonek and Lewis Kerr squared proceedings before Somerset sneaked into a lead of their own after Kennett's second outing failed to match that of his first.
Richie Worrall, revelling in the conditions that stormed to a second personal race win in heat 8 and with James Shanes hanging in for a valuable point parity was restored.
Another Kennett victory , impressive again as he ousted unbeaten Grajczonek was backed up by Holder and Poole were to extend their lead through Andersen and Worrall offering the prospect of ending the home form drought.
Immediately after the break Somerset made their intentions clear as they chipped away at Poole's six point lead and then in the dramatic heat 12 the meeting swung the Rebels way.
Jack Holder's attempt to pass Jake Allen on the back straight ended with the Pirates' disqualification leaving Paul Starke to stage a lone battle in the re-run. Making up considerable ground he attempted to line-up a pass on Charles Wright as they entered the third turn of lap 3 but the timing was all wrong and Starke charged into his former team-mate as both riders fell heavily.
Thankfully there was no lasting damage but the awarded 0-5 apart from edging Somerset into an one-point lead. Andersen couldn't get by his rival number one, Richard Lawson and Lahti found all his efforts countered by Grajczonek in heat 13 leaving Poole needing two heat gains from the final two heats of the night.
An excellent ride by Starke to get by the hitherto pointless Hougaard gave some encouragement but somehow Kennett couldn't find a route through as the Pirates had to settle for third place, leaving Poole a point adrift.
Worrall was superb in heat 15 to get by Lawson and for his fourth unbeaten ride of the night but Andersen couldn't hold out in third place when Grajczonek turned on the power and for the first time since a sequence of defeats between June 30th and 21st July, Poole had failed to win a league match in four consecutive home starts.
Next up at Wimborne Road are league leaders Belle Vue (August 2nd) before which the Pirates set sail on the travels stopping at Swindon on Thursday (27th July) and Belle Vue on Monday (31st July).
H. Andersen 1,2,3,2,0=8
R. Worrall 3,1',3,2',3=12+2
J. Holder 1,2,1,FD=4
E. Kennett 3,0,3,1=7
T. Lahti 0,2,0,0=2
P. Starke 2,1',2,FD,3=8+1
J. Shanes 1',1,1=3+1
R. Lawson 2,3,3,3,2=13
C. Heeps 0,1,0=1
C. Wright 2,3,1,2'=8+1
P. Hougaard 0,0,0,2=2
J. Grajczonek 3,3,2,1,1'=10+1
J. Allen 3,0,0,3=6
L. Kerr R,2',2,1,0=5+1
Ht 1 R. Worrall R. Lawson H. Andersen C. Heeps 4-2 (4-2) (60.85)
Ht 2 J. Allen P. Starke J. Shanes L. Kerr (Rtd) 3-3 (7-5) (61)
Ht 3 E. Kennett C. Wright J. Holder P. Hougaard 4-2 (11-7) (61.41)
Ht 4 J. Grajczonek L. Kerr J. Shanes T. Lahti 1-5 (12-12) (61.62)
Ht 5 R. Lawson J. Holder C. Heeps E. Kennett 2-4 (14-16) (61.5)
Ht 6 J. Grajczonek H. Andersen R. Worrall J. Allen 3-3 (17-19) (60.82)
Ht 7 C. Wright T. Lahti P. Starke P. Hougaard 3-3 (20-22) (61.79)
Ht 8 R. Worrall L. Kerr J. Shanes C. Heeps 4-2 (24-24) (61.38)
Ht 9 E. Kennett J. Grajczonek J. Holder J. Allen 4-2 (28-26) (61.19)
Ht 10 H. Andersen R. Worrall C. Wright P. Hougaard 5-1 (33-27) (61.69)
Ht 11 R. Lawson P. Starke L. Kerr T. Lahti 2-4 (35-31) (61)
Ht 12 J. Allen C. Wright P. Starke (Fell d/q) J. Holder (Fell d/q) 0-5 (35-36) (Awd)
Ht 13 R. Lawson H. Andersen J. Grajczonek T. Lahti 2-4 (37-40) (61.63)
Ht 14 P. Starke P. Hougaard E. Kennett L. Kerr 4-2 (41-42) (62.25)
Ht 15 R. Worrall R. Lawson J. Grajczonek H. Andersen 3-3 (44-45) (61.91)
Gates: SOMERSET won toss and chose gates 1&3 in heat 1. Poole took gates 1&3 in heat 15
Poole 0 league points SOMERSET 3 league points
Rider of the Night: Richie Worrall
Pictures by Dave Fairbrother and Taylor Lanning
Season Starts March 2018 (for 2017 table click here)