SIXTEEN TO DEFEND IN NORFOLK
Having given themselves a sixteen point cushion to take into Wednesday's second leg of the SGB Premiership play-off final the 'Volvo Cars' Poole Pirates know that there is still plenty of work to do before they can have anything to celebrate.
Whilst the record books show that no team has reeled in a sixteen point first leg deficit to win a top flight play-off, the King's Lynn Stars have a very impressive record round the Adrian Flux Arena this season and from their last seven home meetings have only failed to win by less than sixteen on one occasion.
Within that seven match sequence includes a 58-32 drubbing of the Pirates on August 29th including a paid 9 contribution from Dane Michael Palm-Toft. The Stars' reserve has been ruled out of Wednesday's concluding leg due to the hand injury he sustained in heat 12 of Monday's battle at Poole. The Stars have drafted in former Pirate Kyle Howarth to cover.
Other than that the two sides will be unchanged from the first leg which saw Poole get off to the perfect start, dropping just two points across the first five heats before the Stars staged a mid-meeting recovery that trimmed the deficit to 8 points.
But the loss of Palm-Toft hit the Stars hard and the Pirates capitalised to restore a 16 point advantage over the final four heats.
Poole though can reflect on the fact that earlier in the season the Stars needed a last heat decider to claim a slender league win and if things go that way tomorrow then it will be the Pirates celebrating what will be the clubs's 10th league title, the 8th under play-off regulations.
Stars: 1. Robert Lambert (Capt); 2. Erik Riss; 3. Ty Proctor; 4. Thomas Jorgensen; 5. Adam Ellis (Guest); 6. Kyle Howarth (Guest); 7. Simon Lambert
Pirates: 1. Chris Harris; 2. Josh Grajczonek (Capt); 3. Kacper Woryna; 4. Nicolai Klindt; 5. Nick Morris (Guest); 6. Richie Worrall; 7. Frederik Jakobsen.
Wednesday's meeting will be broadcast live on TV by BT Sport and there will be heat by heat commentary on BBC Radio Solent.
up to and including 27th September