NEXT ACTION: POOLE v WOLVERHAMPTON (SHIELD)
Volvo Cars Poole Pirates will have to overturn a 10-point first leg deficit if they are to collect the first piece of silverware of the new season.
The Pirates did well to keep Wolverhampton well within their sights for much of Monday night's first leg at Monmore Green but three heat advantages from the home side in the final stages of the meeting, including on-the-bounce 5-1 scores in 14 and 15, were enough to give the 2016 league champions their double figure lead.
If the Dorset side is to claim aggregate victory then they will be looking for a more consistent performance from their six-man team as they continue to operate rider replacement to cover for injured Kyle Newman, and key to their chances could be the form of number one Krzysztof Kasprzak who failed to win a race at the Green on Monday, although last Friday in the aborted Darcy Ward Invitational he looked to be back to his best winning impressively in both his outings .
Poole boss Matt Ford is putting no pressure on his team but admits "I would dearly love to retain the Shield but recognise that Wolves have a decent side and it is not going to be easy to pull back 10 points. Monday night just slipped away from us at the end but that said there is room for improvement from several quarters in our side and it is well set-up to be an intriguing encounter."
Wolves are awaiting news on the possible return of Adam Skornicki to their side but if he hasn't sufficiently recovered from his shoulder injury then like Poole, the visitors will operate rider replacement again.
Admission prices for this meeting have been slashed through a gesture of goodwill between the Poole management and Darcy Ward after last Friday's ended in disappointment for all. Adult prices have been reduced to £12 with all children admitted free of charge.
Volvo Cars Poole Pirates: Hans Andersen (capt), Jack Holder, Krzysztof Kasprzak, Brady Kurtz, Rider Replacement for Kyle Newman, Nicolai Klindt, James Shanes Team manager Neil Middleditch
Parrys International Wolves: Kyle Howarth, Freddie Lindgren (capt), Sam Masters, Adam Skornicki (if fit, or rider replacement), Jacob Thorssell, Max Clegg, Nathan Greaves Team manager Peter Adams
Final Standings (champions to be determined via play-offs)