WOLVERHAMPTON 50 PIRATES 43
Poole were unable to replicate their achievements of three weeks earlier when they had become the first team in 16 meetings to beat the Wolves, but they didn't go down without a fight.
Without knee ligament injured Richie Worrall the Pirates joined Wolves in the use of rider replacement and first choice for an outing, Edward Kennett combined effectively with Hans Andersen to block out Kyle Howarth in the opening heat as Lindgren won comfortably once he had pulled clear at the first turn.
Paul Starke won the reserves heat, largely as expected but in the third heat neither of the two Pirates, Holder and Lahti could make any impression as Wolves broke the deadlock.
There was a half decent start by James Shanes but he couldn't find the line that would have kept him ahead but partner Edward Kennett had the beating of both Greaves and Howarth. Heat 5 saw a good battle between Schlein and Andersen with the Poole skipper having to be at his best to hold off his rival and secure another shared heat.
A dubiously fair start got heat 6 underway and Howarth capitalised but Poole were grateful for Kennett's determination to fend off Lindgren. That 4-2 reverse was immediately countered when Lahti made an excellent start and kept his cool under mounting pressure from Thorssell.
Hopes of getting back on level terms crashed out when Andersen failed to negotiate turn three, going wide as he battled for position and getting stuck in the cushion. A disqualification came his way and in the re-start Starke gated well enough but dropped back to third, although by the final flag he had squeezed back into second place.
Wolverhampton appeared to open the floodgates with two maximum heats to enjoy a 14 point lead with ten heats established.
Taking the heat 11 rider replacement was Lahti and he was given the responsibility of double points and he and Andersen gave the Pirates the ideal tonic with maximum points, although credit to Schlein who wasn't too far away from saving that outcome. He was out again and dicing with Paul Starke in what had epic written all over it, but Schlein hit the first turn on lap 2 too fast under the pressure and clouted the airbarrier. His short walk to the pits was done in the knowledge that he was disqualified from the re-start. Poole banked the 5-1 trimming the deficit to 3 points, the margin staying like that once Lindgren re-passed Andersen in heat 13.
That was essentially a vital move for might well have had the psychological advantage of that had gone their way. Instead, Thorssell was superb in heat 14, squeezing between opponents and fence to take up the running and provide Wolverhampton with a 3-point advantage to take into the final heat.
Big hitters Lindgren and Thorssell were natural home selections whilst Poole opted for sharp-starter Lahti and Jack Holder. Lahti did make the gate but his bike packed up at the first turn and there was to be no league points as Holder couldn't influence the result.
F. Lindgren 3,1,3,3,2'=12+1
K. Howarth 0,2,3,3,2'=10+1
R. Schlein 3,0,2',1,FD=6+1
J. Thorssell 2',3,2,3,3,3=16+1
R. Replacement =0
E. Perks 2,0,0,0,0=2
N. Greaves 1',1',1,1=4+2
H. Andersen 1',1',FD,2',2=6+3
R. Replacement =0
J. Holder 1,2,1,0,2',1=7+1
T. Lahti 0,3,1,6,1',R=11+1
E. Kennett 2,3,2,1,1'=9+1
P. Starke 3,0,2,3,2=10
J. Shanes 0,0,0=0
Ht 1 F. Lindgren E. Kennett H. Andersen K. Howarth 3-3 (3-3) (53.75)
Ht 2 P. Starke E. Perks N. Greaves J. Shanes 3-3 (6-6) (54.39)
Ht 3 R. Schlein J. Thorssell J. Holder T. Lahti 5-1 (11-7) (54.27)
Ht 4 E. Kennett K. Howarth N. Greaves J. Shanes 3-3 (14-10) (54.75)
Ht 5 J. Thorssell J. Holder H. Andersen R. Schlein 3-3 (17-13) (54.32)
Ht 6 K. Howarth E. Kennett F. Lindgren P. Starke 4-2 (21-15) (54.44)
Ht 7 T. Lahti J. Thorssell J. Holder E. Perks 2-4 (23-19) (55.25)
Ht 8 K. Howarth P. Starke N. Greaves H. Andersen (Fell d/q) 4-2 (27-21) (55.61)
Ht 9 J. Thorssell R. Schlein E. Kennett J. Shanes 5-1 (32-22) (54.07)
Ht 10 F. Lindgren K. Howarth T. Lahti J. Holder 5-1 (37-23) (54.64)
Ht 11 T. Lahti (TR) H. Andersen R. Schlein E. Perks 1-8 (38-31) (55.84)
Ht 12 P. Starke J. Holder N. Greaves R. Schlein (Fell d/q) 1-5 (39-36) (56.25)
Ht 13 F. Lindgren H. Andersen E. Kennett E. Perks 3-3 (42-39) (55.1)
Ht 14 J. Thorssell P. Starke T. Lahti E. Perks 3-3 (45-42) (55.5)
Ht 15 J. Thorssell F. Lindgren J. Holder T. Lahti (Rtd) 5-1 (50-43) (55.82)
Referee Chris Durno
Gates: Wolverhampton won toss and deferred choice of gates and POOLE chose 1&3 in heat 1. Wolverhampton took gates 1&3 in heat 15
Wolverhampton 3 league points POOLE 0 league points
Rider of the Night Edward Kennett
Picture: JOHN HIPKISS
Final Standings (champions to be determined via play-offs)