WOLVERHAMPTON 46 PIRATES 44
Basement side Poole so nearly spoiled the party as Wolverhampton celebrated their 90th Anniversary meeting with a last heat decider to maintain their push at the top of the SGB Premiership table.
But the result could have been so different had Linus Sundstrom not blotted what had been a much improved night's work, unbeaten in his first three rides.
When Brady Kurtz, with whom he had partnered to two previous 5-1 advantages and a 4-2, infringed at the tapes in heat 15 with the Pirates leading by two points on the night, Sundstrom inexplicably returned to the pits whilst the Pirates decided on their options.
That move by Sundstrom meant he was liable to a disqualification and as punishment took a 15 metre handicap in the re-start with the battling Kacper Woryna (operating out of reserve for this meeting only) drafted in to replace Kurtz.
Opposing them were Rory Schlein and Jacob Thorssell and with the latter having settled down more to the track conditions after an uncomfortable start to the meeting, the pair combined to hold out the ever-trying Woryna to turn the match into a home win on their big night.
Sundstrom's handicap was not the first of the meeting however, with Poole benefitting when Kyle Howarth was summonsed to start 15 metres behind Sundstrom and Woryna in heat 8, a penalty inflicted by referee Dave Watters who deemed that Howarth's partner Ashley Morris had intentionally caused the race to be stopped whilst the Pirates were in leading positions.
In the re-start the Poole duo duly delivered again which allowed the visitors to level the scores in this nip-and-tuck meeting at 24 a-piece.
Poole were also blessed with an awarded 5-1 when Morris fell again in heat 12, this time under pressure from Woryna who had splendidly completed a passing move to join his captain at the front.
But Thorssell and Schlein had an immediate response in heat 13 after Kurtz and Worrall had both left the inside path open at the end of the first lap for Schlein to exploit.
The Pirates though put themselves in the driving seat, slightly, when Woryna exhibited a brilliant last lap pass on Masters in the penultimate heat which, through Paul Starke's single point of the night, gave the Pirates a 4-2 and that slender advantage before the drama of heat 15 unfolded.
J. Thorssell 0,1',3,3,2'=9+2
K. Howarth 2,2,1,2'=7+1
C. Heeps 1,0,0=1
S. Masters 3,1,2,2=8
R. Schlein 2,3,2,2',3=12+1
N. Greaves 3,2',0,1,0=6+1
A. Morris 2',1',FD,FD=3+2
B. Kurtz 1,3,3,0=7
L. Sundstrom 3,2',3,1,0=9+1
J. Grajczonek 2,1,0,3=6
P. Starke 0,0,1=1
R. Worrall 0,3,3,1=7
M. Szczepaniak 0,0,1=1
K. Woryna 1,3,2',1,2',3,1=13+2
Ht 1: L. Sundstrom, K. Howarth, B. Kurtz, J. Thorssell 2-4 2-4 [54.81]
Ht 2: N. Greaves, A. Morris, K. Woryna, M. Szczepaniak 5-1 7-5 [56.49]
Ht 3: S. Masters, J. Grajczonek, C. Heeps, P. Starke 4-2 11-7 [55.24]
Ht 4: K. Woryna, R. Schlein, A. Morris, R. Worrall 3-3 14-10 [55.58]
Ht 5: B. Kurtz, L. Sundstrom, S. Masters, C. Heeps 1-5 15-15 [55.47]
Ht 6: R. Worrall, K. Howarth, J. Thorssell, M. Szczepaniak 3-3 18-18 [56.06]
Ht 7: R. Schlein, N. Greaves, J. Grajczonek, P. Starke 5-1 23-19 [56.19]
Ht 8: L. Sundstrom, K. Woryna, K. Howarth, A. Morris (Fell d/q) 1-5 24-24 [56.26]
Ht 9: R. Worrall, S. Masters, M. Szczepaniak, C. Heeps 2-4 26-28 [56.58]
Ht 10: J. Thorssell, K. Howarth, K. Woryna, J. Grajczonek 5-1 31-29 [56.32]
Ht 11: B. Kurtz, R. Schlein, L. Sundstrom, N. Greaves 2-4 33-33 [56.53]
Ht 12: J. Grajczonek, K. Woryna, N. Greaves, A. Morris (Fell d/q) 1-5 34-38 [awd]
Ht 13: J. Thorssell, R. Schlein, R. Worrall, B. Kurtz 5-1 39-39 [56.61]
Ht 14: Woryna, S. Masters, P. Starke, N. Greaves 2-4 41-43 [57.17]
Ht 15: R. Schlein, J. Thorssell, K. Woryna, L. Sundstrom 5-1 46-44 [57.45]
Referee David Watters
Gates: WOLVERHAMPTON deferred choice of gates POOLE chose 1&3 | WOLVERHAMPTON took gates 1&3 in heat 15
League Points WOLVERHAMPTON 3 POOLE 1
Rider of the Night: Linus Sundstrom
up to and including 16th August