WOLVERHAMPTON 50 PIRATES 40
Brought in to do a strong job from the reserves quarter Nicolai Klindt certainly didn’t disappoint on his club debut as he stormed to a 16 point haul at his former hunting ground as the Volvo Cars Poole Pirates went down by 10 points in the first leg of the Elite Shield.
Posting four wins and two second places in his first six outings the Dane was to run out of steam in his last ride with the home side finishing the stronger of the two sides completing back to back 5-1 advantages in the final two heats to build that double digit lead.
After opening with a comfortable enough 5-1 in the first heat, Wolves were to find the Pirates a resilient outfit with Klindt very much the catalyst of the Pirate side.
He mastermined a 4-2 advantage in heat 2 with fellow debutant James Shanes giving a good account of himself in his opening outing, picking off Max Clegg to trim the deficit. The Pirates were then to edge into the lead with Brady Kurtz and skipper Hans Andersen dominating heat 3.
Wolves' hero Jacob Thorssell began the first of his five unbeaten rides to ensure a share of the spoils in heat 4 and a harsh ruling by referee Margaret Vardy denied the Pirates the chance of maintaining that lead when Jack Holder was disqualified for a last lap first turn move to go under Max Clegg who fell in the process. No lights came on immediately but as the chequered flag beckoned for Howarth the stop lights were switched on along with Holder's white disqualification lamp, Clegg being awarded a match levelling point.
Swift Swede Thorssell saw off any aspirations of the Poole top boys, Kasprzak and Andersen before Nicolai Klindt produced an excellent ride to block out Masters to ensure another win as Poole looked like stealing something extra until Masters and Lindgren both got the better of Kurtz on the last lap. Thorssell was then to make it three from three as the scores remained deadlocked with 8 heats completed.
Heat 9 was a tough one to follow as two races in one evolved. Klindt doing very well to hold off the interests of Howarth whilst James Shanes was keeping Max Clegg as honest as possible and almost snatched third place on the line.
Instead it was to be the home side who broke the sequence of shared heats, as Masters persistence on Kasprzak paid dividends and Wolves lead 31-29 with two-thirds of the first leg gone.
A captain's ride from Andersen kept the Pirates within touching distance, Kurtz a little unfortunate to get out of shape whilst giving his all to try and find a way by Howarth and so the meeting went into the interval with just two points the difference.
That was wiped out in the first race after the break with Klindt gaining his fourth win and Shanes earning an excellent point as he found a way by Greaves. Lindgren showed great resistance and bravery to see off Andersen's efforts to close off the outside options - a move which allowed inside room for Masters to exploit. But Andersen was far from finished and was able to re-pass Masters to prevent maximum points going the home side's way but Wolves didn’t have to wait too long for one as Masters, this time embroiled in a chase with Kurtz, was able to support Thorssell's unblemished performance.
The Swede was then to support Lindgren in the final heat, Andersen once again making a nuisance of himself until he pulled a locker and got totally out of shape, leaving the Pirates to face a 10 point deficit to pull back in the second leg.
F. Lindgren 2',2,2,3,3=12+1
K. Howarth 3,3,2,1,1'=10+1
R. Replacement =0
J. Thorssell 3,3,3,3,2'=14+1
S. Masters 1,1',3,1,2'=8+2
M. Clegg R,1,R,1',2=4+1
N. Greaves 2,0,R,0,0=2
K. Kasprzak R,2,2,0,1=5
J. Holder 1,2,Dq,1',0=4+1
B. Kurtz 3,0,0,1=4
R. Replacement =0
H. Andersen 2',1',3,2,R=8+2
N. Klindt 3,2,3,2,3,3,0=16
J. Shanes 1,1',0,1=3+1
Ht 1 K. Howarth F. Lindgren J. Holder K. Kasprzak (Rtd) 5-1 (5-1) (59.16)
Ht 2 N. Klindt N. Greaves J. Shanes M. Clegg (Rtd) 2-4 (7-5) (56.5)
Ht 3 B. Kurtz H. Andersen S. Masters N. Greaves 1-5 (8-10) (55.87)
Ht 4 J. Thorssell J. Holder J. Shanes N. Greaves (Rtd) 3-3 (11-13) (54.99)
Ht 5 K. Howarth N. Klindt M. Clegg J. Holder(D/Q) 4-2 (15-15) (awd)
Ht 6 J. Thorssell K. Kasprzak H. Andersen M. Clegg (Rtd) 3-3 (18-18) (54.92)
Ht 7 N. Klindt F. Lindgren S. Masters B. Kurtz 3-3 (21-21) (56.32)
Ht 8 J. Thorssell N. Klindt J. Holder N. Greaves 3-3 (24-24) (55.6)
Ht 9 N. Klindt K. Howarth M. Clegg J. Shanes 3-3 (27-27) (56.58)
Ht 10 S. Masters K. Kasprzak K. Howarth J. Holder 4-2 (31-29) (56.94)
Ht 11 H. Andersen F. Lindgren K. Howarth B. Kurtz 3-3 (34-32) (56.87)
Ht 12 N. Klindt M. Clegg J. Shanes N. Greaves 2-4 (36-36) (57.49)
Ht 13 F. Lindgren H. Andersen S. Masters K. Kasprzak 4-2 (40-38) (56.5)
Ht 14 J. Thorssell S. Masters B. Kurtz N. Klindt 5-1 (45-39) (57.35)
Ht 15 F. Lindgren J. Thorssell K. Kasprzak H. Andersen (Rtd) 5-1 (50-40) (56.75)
Referee Margaret Vardy
Gates: Poole won toss and took 1&3.Wolverhampton 1&3 in heat 15
VOLVO CARS POOLE PIRATE RIDER OF THE NIGHT: NICOLAI KLINDT
Final Standings (champions to be determined via play-offs)