PIRATES v ROCKETS PREVIEW
POOLE welcome back Australian youngster BRADY KURTZ for their home meeting this week when they host the visit of the Rye House Rockets.
And, in a quirk of fate Thursday's encounter will now see the debut for the Rockets' pre-signing deadline addition Krzysztof Kasprzak. Having started the campaign as the Pirates' number one, Kasprzak suffered a string of disappointing performances in a 13-match stint that had been interrupted through a collarbone after 9 of those. But with only one double figure score during that spell his sub-par performances cost him his place in the Poole side.
With his average slumping to just 5.51 he became an irresistible target for the Rockets as they could accommodate him at reserve. It was in July 2004 when Poole fans would have last seen the former world number 2 in a reserves jacket at Wimborne Road, although he did occupy the number 7 berth for the Pirates in September of that year when the Pirates visited Belle Vue.
For Kurtz it is a return to Poole colours having missed the previous 8 meetings and with the Pirates in a sequence of no league points from 5 matches and facing an unprecedented five consecutive home league defeats the stage could not have been set any better for another intriguing fixture, as both Kasprzak and his replacement, Edward Kennett will be facing former team-mates.
Kennett will come up against Wimborne Road big-hitter Chris Harris and the vastly experienced Stuart Robson and 7-time British champion Scott Nicholls, whilst the man that replaced him, Ben Barker, is always a showman when out on track. Completed by Ricky Wells and Ben Morley the Rockets still have aspirations for the final play-off place which the Pirates currently hold.
Poole - Hans Andersen (capt), Jack Holder, Edward Kennett, Brady Kurtz, Timo Lahti, James Shanes, Paul Starke - Team manager Neil Middleditch
Rye House - Ben Barker, Chris Harris, Scott Nicholls (capt), Stuart Robson, Ricky Wells, Krzysztof Kasprzak, Ben Morley - Team manager Peter Schroek.
Final Standings (champions to be determined via play-offs)