RESULT: PIRATES V ACES
Having seen four points wiped off their account following the early announcement in the day that Rye House's promotion had been annulled, the Volvo Cars Poole Pirates had more work to do to try and secure a play-off place.
They wasted very little time in setting about Belle Vue, the side affected the most by the points reductions as they lost six point having won against the Rockets both home and away.
Poole rattled off four straight heat advantages, their best start to a meeting since they hosted Leicester on 4th August 2016 and the Aces knew that they had to be sharper at the starts, as Craig Cook proved in heat 5 when he made an absolute flier, having been given room to roll before the tapes rose. He may have conned the referee that time but he was to suffer two disqualifications, as the meeting wore on and his team-mate for the night, guest Scott Nicholls also caught the handicap bug as he was sent back in heat 10.
It was Nicholls who featured in the Pirates' first heat defeat, the former Pirate holding out Linus Sundstrom in heat 7 and Dan Bewley was untroubled by Poole's debutant Frederik Jakobsen, who had started his Pirates' career with a victory in heat 2, after being involved in a four rider first turn pile-up first time of asking, from which all riders were able to walk away and take their positions in the restart.
Poole answered the Aces with a swift 4-2 in heat 8, guest Nico Covatti making an excellent gate and speeding off in the distance, clear of Bewley who had Grajczonek in close pursuit to deal with.
Deployed as a tactical substitute Cook roared into the tapes and was sent back a distance and in the re-start all eyes were on Fricke and Woryna who were out front with Woryna looking for opportunities to get by. Cook was slowly gaining on Worrall and moments after Woryna had failed to navigate the first turn on the final lap and took an awkward fall Cook was poised to pass Worrall, although the move failed to come off, and the Aces had to settle for a 4-2 advantage.
A heat later came Nicholls' infringement allowing Kurtz and Grajczonek to fire home a 5-1 and things got even better for the Pirates in heat 11 when, after Damian Drozdz spectacularly flipped his machine entering the pit turn to earn a disqualification, Cook was again placed on the naughty step, 15 metres behind the scratch line, for anticipating the start. He was making ground up much faster this time and slipped coolly round Jakobsen before just clipping Sundstrom and taking a fall, resulting in a straight 5-0 score to the Pirates.
Covatti again proved his worth with a tapes to flag win in heat 12 with Jakobsen, deputising for Woryna gaining a third place that gave Poole a 19-point lead and time running out for the Aces to try and gain a point.
Cook was ruled out by the doctor from heat 13 and Kurtz was quick to see off any challenge from Fricke after an even start that had Sundstrom well positioned round the first turn. Despite nothing to race for, save self-pride the Aces provided the last two race winners on the night, Nicholls in a shared heat 14 and then Fricke in heat 15 making it 2-1 to him in his personal battle with Kurtz.
BELLE VUE 35
Ht 1: J.Grajczonek, C.Cook, B.Kurtz, J.Etheridge (RR) 4-2 4-2 [59.34]
Ht 2: F.Jakobsen, N.Covatti, J.Etheridge, D.Drozdz (Fell) 5-1 9-3 [60.38]
Ht 3: R.Worrall, S.Nicholls, K.Woryna, D.Bewley 4-2 13-5 [60.78]
Ht 4: L.Sundstrom, M.Fricke, N.Covatti, D.Drozdz 4-2 17-7 [60.15]
Ht 5: C.Cook, K.Woryna, R.Worrall, J.Etheridge (RR) 3-3 20-10 [59.39]
Ht 6: M.Fricke, J.Grajczonek, B.Kurtz, D.Drozdz (RS) 3-3 23-13 [59.78]
Ht 7: S.Nicholls, L.Sundstrom, D.Bewley, F.Jakobsen 2-4 25-17 [60.06]
Ht 8: N.Covatti, D.Bewley (RR), J.Grajczonek, D.Drozdz 4-2 29-19 [60.13]
Ht 9: M.Fricke, R.Worrall, C.Cook (tapes hcap), K.Woryna (Fell d/q) 2-4 31-23 [AWD]
Ht 10: B.Kurtz, J.Grajczonek, D.Bewley, S.Nicholls (tapes hcap) 5-1 36-24 [60.59]
Ht 11: L.Sundstrom, F.Jakobsen, C.Cook (tapes hcap), D.Drozdz (Fell d/q) 5-0 41-24 [awd]
Ht 12: N.Covatti, J.Etheridge, F.Jakobsen (RS), D.Bewley (Rtd) 4-2 45-26 [61.15]
Ht 13: B.Kurtz, M.Fricke, L.Sundstrom, J.Etheridge (RS) 4-2 49-28 [60.75]
Ht 14: S.Nicholls, R.Worrall, F.Jakobsen, D.Drozdz 3-3 52-31 [61.43]
Ht 15: M.Fricke, B.Kurtz, S.Nicholls, N.Covatti 2-4 54-35 [61.03]61.03
League Points POOLE 3 BELLE VUE 0
Referee Dave Robinson
Gates: BELLE VUE deferred choice of gates POOLE chose 1&3 BELLE VUE took gates 1&3 in heat 15
up to and including 19th July