RESULT: POOLE v WOLVERHAMPTON
The Volvo Cars Poole Pirates ended their six-match loss sequence which included five home losses, but beating the club they last won against, Wolverhampton.
With their first league points of August posted the Pirates weren't entirely convincing and the visitors were able to claim the consolation league point for an away loss by less than six points, staging a comeback from a 10-point deficit after eight heats.
The Pirates started extremely positively, with back to back 5-1's, their best start to a meeting since Wolverhampton were in town in last season's play-offs, but Poole had no response to Jacob Thorssell and Rory Schlein in heat 3 as one of those 5-1's were wiped out.
A battling effort by James Shanes enabled Poole to increase the advantage as he worked tirelessly for the point to support Andersen's easy win but again Wolverhampton countered against the Lahti/Kennett pairing this time with a 4-2.
Fresh from their opening 5-1, Aussies Brady Kurtz and Jack Holder were split by Schlein in heat 6 before a good recovery from Paul Starke, having lost a scoring position to Thorssell, enabled him to play his part in another Andersen-led 4-2 advantage. A third straight 4-2 went Poole's way with Shanes again providing the entertainment with an excellent ride.
Wolverhampton found themselves in the tactical zone and Timo Lahti and Edward Kennett were both heading for the same piece of track to try and deny Thorssell the double glory, but Lahti's move served only to down his partner and earn a disqualification. It was too big a task for Kennett in the re-run to deny Thorssell the win, his second place just mitigating the damage. Thorssell made it on-the-bounce race wins when he became the first rider to deny Kurtz a win but Holder managed to fend off the strong interests from Schlein to protect Poole's five point lead (34-29)
After the interval Wolves hit Poole hard with Howarth benefitting from a flying start and Lindgren working a way by the lifting Andersen. The response from the Pirates was a swift gate by Lahti and a concerted ride yet again from Shanes who grabbed the point.
There was a risk of the meeting slipping through the Pirates grasp when Andersen, upsides of Kurtz in the first half lap of heat 13 suffered a retirement and Lindgren managed to take full advantage and lead his counterpart number one home, trimming Poole's lead to just a single point.
Rain began to fall ahead of heat 14 which was called back after Thorssell impeded Kennett on the home straight forcing the Poole man to take evasive action. Referee Stuart Wilson instructed the Swede to remain in the pits for the re-run and Kennett and Starke were too strong for Greaves to ensure the Pirates wouldn't lose this match. Amidst worsening conditions Thorssell got clear in heat 15 and held out Holder whilst Lindgren overcame Kurtz as the visitors did enough to gain that consolation.
B. Kurtz 3,3,2,2,0=10
J. Holder 2',1,3,1',2=9+2
T. Lahti 0,2,XD,3=5
E. Kennett 1,0,2,3=6
H. Andersen 3,3,1,R=7
P. Starke 3,1,0,2'=6+1
J. Shanes 2',1,1,1=5+1
F. Lindgren 1,3,2',3,1=10+1
K. Howarth 0,1,2,3,1=7
R. Schlein 2',2,2,0,2=8+1
J. Thorssell 3,0,6,3,XD,3=15
R. Replacement =0
E. Perks 0,0,0,0=0
N. Greaves 1,2,0,1,1=5
Ht 1 B. Kurtz J. Holder F. Lindgren K. Howarth 5-1 (5-1) (60.47)
Ht 2 P. Starke J. Shanes N. Greaves E. Perks 5-1 (10-2) (61.72)
Ht 3 J. Thorssell R. Schlein E. Kennett T. Lahti 1-5 (11-7) (60.5)
Ht 4 H. Andersen N. Greaves J. Shanes E. Perks 4-2 (15-9) (61.72)
Ht 5 F. Lindgren T. Lahti K. Howarth E. Kennett 2-4 (17-13) (61.06)
Ht 6 B. Kurtz R. Schlein J. Holder E. Perks 4-2 (21-15) (60.87)
Ht 7 H. Andersen R. Schlein P. Starke J. Thorssell 4-2 (25-17) (60.75)
Ht 8 J. Holder K. Howarth J. Shanes N. Greaves 4-2 (29-19) (61.13)
Ht 9 J. Thorssell (TR) E. Kennett N. Greaves T. Lahti(D/Q) 2-7 (31-26) (61.1)
Ht 10 J. Thorssell B. Kurtz J. Holder R. Schlein 3-3 (34-29) (61.03)
Ht 11 K. Howarth F. Lindgren H. Andersen P. Starke 1-5 (35-34) (60.62)
Ht 12 T. Lahti R. Schlein J. Shanes E. Perks 4-2 (39-36) (60.56)
Ht 13 F. Lindgren B. Kurtz K. Howarth H. Andersen (Rtd) 2-4 (41-40) (61.32)
Ht 14 E. Kennett P. Starke N. Greaves J. Thorssell(D/Q) 5-1 (46-41) (63.16)
Ht 15 J. Thorssell J. Holder F. Lindgren B. Kurtz 2-4 (48-45) (63.25)
Referee Mr S Wilson
Gates: WOLVERHAMPTON won toss and chose gates 1&3 in heat 1. POOLE took gates 1&3 in heat 15
POOLE 3 league point WOLVERHAMPTON 1 league point
Rider of the Night James Shanes
Season Starts March 2018 (for 2017 table click here)