Somerset Rebels v Poole Pirates1/05/19
The sharp gating Pirates delighted team manager Neil Middleditch as they warmed up for the commencement of their SGB Premiership league defence, which begins on Thursday, by spoiling Somerset's celebration of 20 years racing as the Oaktree Arena.
"We couldn't buy a start on Good Friday" quipped Middlo, "but here tonight we are getting out of those starts and making things much easier for us. We just need to carry this form into the league now."
With Richie Worrall darting off the line to be partnered home by Jack Holder, both of whom were included in the list of the five Pirates on show with Somerset experience, in the opening heat the Pirates never looked back despite the Rebels battling hard to try and overpower their visitors.
With Poole providing all but one of the race winners, converting eight of those into heat advantages the Pirates collected a comfortable 56-34 victory in this inter-league challenge.
Heading into heat 13 with two riders still unbeaten, and leading by 20 points, it was Pirates' number one Holder who came out on top to complete an 11 paid 12 four ride maximum, but his partner Brady Kurtz had to settle for third place as Rory Schlein firmly ensconced himself between his two rival compatriots.
Poole's captain, Josh Grajczonek closed out his night with two perfect victories meaning the only point he dropped was when finishing third behind team-mate Nicolai Klindt and the Rebels' only race winner Chris Harris.
Ht 1: R.Worrall, J.Holder, T.Kurtz, R.Schlein 1-5 1-5 |57.94]
Ht 2: P.Starke, A.Rowe, H.Atkins, J.Jenkins (Fell d/q) 3-3 4-8 [58.4]
Ht 3: J.Grajczonek, N.Covatti, J.Bates, P.Starke (15m hcap) [N.Klindt ex.tapes] 3-3 7-11 
Ht 4: B.Kurtz, A.Rowe, C.Harris, J.Jenkins 3-3 10-14 [57.5]
Ht 5: J.Holder, J.Bates, R.Worrall, N.Covatti 2-4 12-18 [57.75]
Ht 6: B.Kurtz, R.Schlein, P.Starke, T.Kurtz 2-4 14-22 [57.19]
Ht 7: C.Harris, N.Klindt, J.Grajczonek, H.Atkins 3-3 17-25 [57.81]
Ht 8: R.Worrall, A.Rowe, J.Jenkins, T.Kurtz 2-4 19-29 [58.43]
Ht 9: B.Kurtz, N.Covatti, J.Bates, P.Starke 3-3 22-32 [57.81]
Ht 10: N.Klindt, J.Grajczonek, R.Schlein, T.Kurtz 1-5 23-37 [57.44]
Ht 11: J.Holder, R.Worrall, H.Atkins, C.Harris 1-5 24-42 [57.81]
Ht 12: N.Klindt, J.Bates, P.Starke, A.Rowe 2-4 26-46 [57.78]
Ht 13: J.Holder, R.Schlein, B.Kurtz, C.Harris 2-4 28-50 [58.03]
Ht 14: J.Grajczonek, N.Covatti, H.Atkins, J.Jenkins 3-3 31-53 
Ht 15: J.Grajczonek, R.Schlein, N.Covatti, R.Worrall 3-3 34-56 [57.85]
Gates: SOMERSET won toss and chose gates 1&3 | POOLE took gates 2&4 in heat 15
Referee Ronnie Allan
Rider of the Night: Jack Holder
Picture: TONY HARTMAN
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