Poole v Glasgow Grand Final 2nd Leg - PIRATES COMPLETE THE DOUBLE4/11/21
Poole reached the 51 point target in the second leg to claim the SGB Championship title with a race to spare, thus completing the league and cup double in 2021.
The Pirates knew that if they were going to lift the league title at their first attempt back in second tier racing they needed at least three heat advantages to overturn the first leg ten point deficit, so opening with a commanding 5-1 was the best start anyone in the Poole camp could have hoped for. Steve Worrall and Danyon Hume both glided out of their gates four and two respectively and Craig Cook was never allowed to make a challenge as they sped to that all important heat win.
There was more sharp trapping by guest Zach Cook in heat two although heads were turned to focus on the battle between Connor Bailey and Ben Basso for the minor placings. Basso made a move which Bailey countered but then Basso used the track width wisely, moving to the outside and powering round his opposite number seven on the second lap. Another heat advantage, a 4-2 version, chalked up and that first leg deficit was slowly shrinking.
A very tight clutch of riders round the first two turns and down the back straight ensued in heat three, Tom Brennan, the Tigers match winner in Glasgow, coming out ahead and he did well to withstand the efforts of Rory Schlein and Ben Cook as the heat was shared. Likewise, heat four went a similar way inspite of all the effort that Danny King invested in trying to get by Ricky Wells. The drawn heat was secured when Basso again dealt with Bailey, this time without any recourse.
Heat five saw a none-too-smooth a start for any of the riders but it was Rory Schlein who was the quickest to get things under control and stemmed off a challenge from Craig Cook, whilst Ben Cook was getting the better of Sam Jensen. That was the third heat advantage for the Pirates but with two of them being only 4-2 gains the Tigers still had a slender two point aggregate lead (59-61).
Wins for Poole's heat leaders Worrall and King, respectively, in the next two produced shared heats and Glasgow made the first change of the meeting in heat eight, giving Marcin Nowak the yellow helmet in place of Bailey. But Basso held firm down the back straight to come out on top and there were signs that this was going the way of another share of the points, until Jensen locked up in between turns three and four and went down. To his professional credit he quickly remounted, but not before Danyon Hume had assumed his third place and that was the result the Pirates needed to wipe-out the defeat in Scotland.
So it was down to a seven-heat shoot-out as the tractors came out for the second track grade of the evening. Pit-side Cami Brown, the Glasgow manager was again shuffling his pack, offering up a third ride of the night to Bailey and resting Nowak. It was an inspired move as Bailey got out in front and shrugged off the efforts of Ben Cook, whilst Schlein made up the ground he lost from the tapes to get by Ricky Wells, making it, effectively, a six heat shoot-out!
Poole rang a change in heat ten, Hume being stood down in favour of Basso and the Dane delivered impressively. With Worrall backing up perfectly, Poole edged ahead – only the second time that had been ahead, aggregately, in the tie (the first after they won heat one at Ashfield!) and the Poole fans were beginning now to really believe a second trophy was about to be landed in 2021.
Craig Cook fired a warning side across the bows by taking victory in heat eleven, although he had no support as Nowak couldn't get close enough to King and Zack Cook to cause any major concerns. Not knowing whether he would be out again, Rory Schlein was determined to complete his programmed rides in style and took the victory with some ease, receiving track side acknowledgement from his biggest fan, Tommy Tucker, in a special moment for the young supporter. Crucially Basso was third behind Broc Nicol and Poole found themselves sixteen points up on the night, ten overall, and just seven points shy of their fifty-one target.
For much of heat thirteen it seemed Poole were going to virtually seal the tie as King and Worrall joined forces for a noise-busting 5-1 but Craig Cook was determined to give the Tigers hopes of forcing the final match of 2021 into Golden Heats and just managed to force his tyre over the line marginally ahead of Worrall's, resulting in a 4-2. If Glasgow, who hadn't claimed a heat advantage all night could suddenly find two big ones (ie 5-1's) then those Golden Heats were going to be required.
But the Pirates cooked up their own as Zach and Ben combined superbly to leave Brennan and Nowak wanting and the league crown had been landed with a heat to spare.
Schlein was given the chance to make the very last race of the 2021 season, his final ride after 21 years in Britain and it looked as though it was going to be a fairy tale finish as he hit the front. But pantomime villain Craig Cook was looking to steal the limelight and he conjured up a move that was to give him the win, but the celebrations had already begun.
For the second week running Danny King was lifting silverware. Poole were league and cup champions in second tier racing, just as they were the last time they raced at this level, just a matter of thirty-one years previously.
Steven Worrall 3,3,2',1 =9+1
Danyon Hume 2',0,1 =3+1
Rory Schlein 2,3,1',3,2 =11+1
Ben Cook 1',1,2,2' =6+2
Danny King 2,3,2,3,1' =11+1
Zach Cook 3,0,1',3 =7+1
Benjamin Basso 1,1',3,3,1 =9+1
Craig Cook 1,2,3,2,3 =11
Sam Jensen 0,0,0 =0
Broc Nicol 0,2,0,2,0 =4
Tom Brennan 3,1',1,1 =6+1
Ricky Wells 3,1',0,0 =4+1
Marcin Nowak 2,2,2,0,0 =6
Connor Bailey 0,0,3,0 =3
Ht.1 S.Worrall,D.Hume,C.Cook,S.Jensen ,5-1 5-1 (60.28)
Ht.2 Z.Cook,M.Nowak,B.Basso,C.Bailey,4-2 9-3 (61.41)
Ht.3 T.Brennan,R.Schlein,B.Cook,B.Nicol,3-3 12-6 (60.72)
Ht.4 R.Wells,D.King,B.Basso,C.Bailey,3-3 15-9 (61.35)
Ht.5 R.Schlein,C.Cook,B.Cook,S.Jensen ,4-2 19-11 (60.4)
Ht.6 S.Worrall,M.Nowak,R.Wells,D.Hume,3-3 22-14 (61.43)
Ht.7 D.King,B.Nicol,T.Brennan,Z.Cook,3-3 25-17 (61.16)
Ht.8 B.Basso,M.Nowak,D.Hume,S.Jensen ,4-2 29-19 (61.91)
Ht.9 C.Bailey,B.Cook,R.Schlein,R.Wells,3-3 32-22 (62.03)
Ht.10 B.Basso,S.Worrall,T.Brennan,B.Nicol,5-1 37-23 (61.9)
Ht.11 C.Cook,D.King,Z.Cook,M.Nowak,3-3 40-26 (61.34)
Ht.12 R.Schlein,B.Nicol,B.Basso,C.Bailey,4-2 44-28 (62.5)
Ht.13 D.King,C.Cook,S.Worrall,R.Wells,4-2 48-30 (61.71)
Ht.14 Z.Cook,B.Cook,T.Brennan,M.Nowak,5-1 53-31 (62.16)
Ht.15 C.Cook,R.Schlein,D.King,B.Nicol,3-3 56-34 (62.04)
SCB Referee: Dave Watters
GLASGOW win toss and defer to heat 15. POOLE take gates 2&4 in heat 1 GLASGOW take gates 1&3 in heat 15
Rider of the Night: Rory Schlein