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8th September 2017

Contrasting fortunes confronted both of Monday night's teams on their way to SGB Premiership Play-Off semi-final, but they will have the same focus when Poole and Swindon go head to head in this first leg.

The Volvo Cars Poole Pirates endured an unprecedented five-successive home defeats, between 26th June and 10th August, which included one against Swindon who were in the throes of creating a record 17-match unbeaten sequence.

The Pirates though defied the fears of club promoter Matt Ford who questioned their ability of "being able to win another fixture" by being triumphant in six of their final seven league matches to secure the club's place in their 13th play-off series since the scheme was introduced in 2002 and their 8th successive appearance.

The Robins however arrive at Wimborne Road having suffered defeats in their final two league encounters, but dominated the league on their way to their 8th play-off season.

The two clubs first met in play-off combat in 2012 when Swindon ran out 95-89 winners in the final, the following season Poole defeated Swindon in the semi-finals (97-90) before going on to beat Birmingham in the final.

That 2012 Robins success was under the captaincy of current Poole skipper Hans Andersen, who had previous been a top flight champion in 2006 with Peterborough and is therefore keen to make it a hat-trick of titles this time around.

" Just a few weeks ago people were questioning our ability to make the cut this year but we have pulled together as a team following the changes that Matt made and I believe that has helped the spirit within the team. We have shown that we can go out there and win races and personally having missed out on the play-offs last year because of injury I am so determined to try and get Poole to another final. We begin all-square again against Swindon and I can't see any reason that if we find our best form why we can't beat them on aggregate over the next 30 heats."

Club owner Matt Ford is looking forward to the intriguing contest against Swindon admitting "I am delighted that the lads proved me wrong when I questioned their ability to even win another meeting let alone make the play-offs. They have shown great character to bounce back. It was no surprise to me that Swindon chose us as their semi-final opponents and we probably do begin as underdogs but that is fine by me. I am sure Rosco needs no reminding what the underdogs did in 2010".

Raceday Update: Bradley Wilson-Dean has been withdrawn from the Swindon side feeling the effects of his wrist injury during his racing return on Sunday at Peterborough.  Wilson-Dean's place in the side will be filled by Kyle Newman

Teams (from)

Poole - H.Andersen (capt), J.Holder, E.Kennett, B.Kurtz, T.Lahti, J.Shanes, P.Starke - Team manager Neil Middleditch

Swindon - D.Bellego, J.Doyle (capt), A.Ellis, N.Morris, T.Musielak, M.Davey (Guest), K.Newman (Guest for B.Wilson-Dean) - Team manager Alun Rossiter

League table

Pos  Club  M W D L 4W 3W D 1L L Pts
1 Swindon 28 11 1 2 5 3 0 3 3 66
2 Wolverhampton 28 13 0 1 4 1 0 5 4 63
3 Belle Vue 28 10 1 3 3 4 0 3 4 58
4 Poole 28 8 0 6 3 2 3 2 4 50
5 Rye House 28 12 0 2 1 2 0 2 9 48
6 Somerset 28 7 1 6 0 3 0 1 10 32
7 King's Lynn 28 5 0 9 1 3 0 1 9 29
8 Leicester 28 6 1 7 0 1 1 3 9 27

Final Standings (champions to be determined via play-offs)

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