WOLVERHAMPTON 44 PIRATES 48
VOLVO CARS POOLE PIRATES staged an intense fightback after trailing by 10 points within 5 heats to end Wolverhampton's long unbeaten home spell.
Two home 5-1's in the first two races in which under-the-spotlight Krzysztof Kasprzak appeared in suggested the Pirates were staring a heavy defeat in the face but a horror crash for opening heat winner Kyle Howarth, from which he miraculously appeared to escape from with just heavy concussion, effectively opened the door a bit for a Poole revival. Through captain Hans Andersen, and James Shanes, nursing the effects of a hand injury sustained when his bike packed up in heat 2, the Pirates held on to a 4-2 as Thorssell was handicapped after returning to the pits with insufficient time remaining on the clock.
Kasprzak and Lahti conceded their second 5-1 reverse of the night signalling the use of Hans Andersen as a tactical. Starke's pursuit of race leader Lindgren was astutely arrested when on final lap it proved to be aforlorn chase, the reserve allowin his skipper to ease by ensure Poole outpointed the Wolves by 5-3. A result that sparked a dramatic revival.
Richie Worrall produced a splendid heat 7 win holding on well under pressure from Thorssell who had eased his way by Holder (third) a little earlier in the race and then debutant Timo Lahti collected his first Pirates' race win and had valuable backing from Paul Starke. That earlier 10 point deficit was totally wiped out when Andersen was sublime and Starke again proving to be a main-stay of the recovery by giving backmarker Schlein no hope of scoring.
Incredibly a 5-1 from the cruising Holder and battling Worrall steered Poole ahead by four points, the Poole boys conquering over Greaves and an out-of-sorts Lindgren.
Having done the hard work there was a flicker of suggestion that Poole might see it count for little when Kasprzak rode out partner Lahti on turn four of the opening lap of heat 11 whilst Thorssell led comfortably. The move allowed Max Clegg in for a score but Lahti did well to squeeze back into third on the run to the line and maintain that advantage.
A splendid overtake by Schlein prevented Poole from building on that as he swooped by early leader Jack Holder and then suddenly with a Swedish 5-1 from Thorsell and Lindgren, who did well to seal off any holes for Andersen to exploit, the scores were squared up.
The response was for Worrall and Starke to combine themselves for a British 5-1 and certainty of some reward yet again on their travels for the Pirates. That prize was to be victory on the night when Andersen and Worrall completed an excellent holding job on Lindgren once Thorssell had overcome the good start from Andersen.
F. Lindgren 2',3,0,2',0=7+2
K. Howarth 3,FD=3
R. Schlein 3,2',0,3=8+1
S. Masters 2',3,2,1=8+1
J. Thorssell R,2,3,3,3=11
M. Clegg 1',0,1,0,0=2+1
N. Greaves 2,2,0,1,0=5
K. Kasprzak 0,1,2,1=4
T. Lahti 1,0,3,1'=5+1
J. Holder 0,1,3,2=6
R. Worrall 1,3,2',3,1'=10+2
H. Andersen 3,4,3,0,2=12
P. Starke 3,1',2',1,1',2'=10+4
J. Shanes FD,1=1
Ht 1 K. Howarth F. Lindgren T. Lahti K. Kasprzak 5-1 (5-1) (54.25)
Ht 2 P. Starke N. Greaves M. Clegg J. Shanes (Fell d/q) 3-3 (8-4) (54.59)
Ht 3 R. Schlein S. Masters R. Worrall J. Holder 5-1 (13-5) (54.3)
Ht 4 H. Andersen N. Greaves J. Shanes J. Thorssell (Rtd) 2-4 (15-9) (55.29)
Ht 5 S. Masters R. Schlein K. Kasprzak T. Lahti 5-1 (20-10) ()
Ht 6 F. Lindgren H. Andersen (TR) P. Starke K. Howarth (Fell d/q) 3-5 (23-15) (55.15)
Ht 7 R. Worrall J. Thorssell J. Holder M. Clegg 2-4 (25-19) (55.13)
Ht 8 T. Lahti P. Starke M. Clegg N. Greaves 1-5 (26-24) (55.62)
Ht 9 H. Andersen S. Masters P. Starke R. Schlein 2-4 (28-28) (55.36)
Ht 10 J. Holder R. Worrall N. Greaves F. Lindgren 1-5 (29-33) (55.75)
Ht 11 J. Thorssell K. Kasprzak T. Lahti M. Clegg 3-3 (32-36) (55.43)
Ht 12 R. Schlein J. Holder P. Starke N. Greaves 3-3 (35-39) (55.92)
Ht 13 J. Thorssell F. Lindgren K. Kasprzak H. Andersen 5-1 (40-40) (56)
Ht 14 R. Worrall P. Starke S. Masters M. Clegg 1-5 (41-45) (56 44)
Ht 15 J. Thorssell H. Andersen R. Worrall F. Lindgren 3-3 (44-48) (56.25)
Gates: POOLE won toss and chose gates 1&3 in heat 1. WOLVERHAMPTON took gates 1&3 in heat 15
WOLVERHAMPTON 0 league points POOLE 3 league points
Rider of the Night: Richie Worrall
Final Standings (champions to be determined via play-offs)