Poole Pirates v Kings Lynn Stars4/07/19
Poole moved to share top spot with Ipswich in the SGB Premiership league table after picking up a competitive 49-41 home win over King's Lynn.
Once again the Pirates had Josh Grajczonek and Nicolai Klindt in the engine room of the side but also saw valuable contributions from guests Sam Masters (deputising for number one Brady Kurtz) and Ricky Wells (covering for Nico Covatti), together with an eight point return from Jack Holder and a battling paid four from sickness returnee Nikolai Busk Jakobsen, before he was taken ill in the pits making it a busy night for the medical team who also had to attend to Stars' Thomas Jorgensen earlier in the meeting, the King's Lynn man being withdrawn from the meeting just two rides into his night's work.
Those emergencies contributed to a drawn out meeting but when the riders were on track there was plenty of action to lap up as King's Lynn kept managing to produce key heat results to prevent Poole from running away with the meeting too soon.
Grajczonek and Busk Jakobsen gave Poole a heat eight 4-2 advantage that widened the progressive gap back to six points, allowing King's Lynn to throw together their big hitters, GB Internationals Craig Cook (programmed) and Robert Lambert (tactical substitute). But their bid to reduce the deficit faltered because of an awesome ride by Nicolai Klindt. He swept by the in-form Craig Cook down the back straight to inflict a rare defeat on the Cumbrian, and arguably, had Grajczonek and Lambert not collided as they pulled off the tapes, Poole might well have been able to convert that win to a another heat gain.
A perfect double pass on Lewis Kerr in heat ten did however set up a Poole heat advantage, Ricky Wells going outside as Sam Masters was sliding through the inside. It proved to signal the start of a busy spell for Wells, although he did benefit from the extended interval whilst Busk Jakobsen was being attended to, but he could only watch the action ahead of him in heat 11, witnessing the shoulder to shoulder battle that Jack Holder and Michael Palm-Toft were playing out, whilst Lambert was charging to this third win from four rides. Palm-Toft bravely grabbed the second place and Poole's double figure lead was suddenly slashed back to six.
Wells wasn't able to get away with a flying start in heat 12, the race being pulled back and a warning issued to him to remain still at the start. In the re-run Klindt blasted away and Wells picked up third place to restore the ten-point lead but immediately the Cook/Lambert combination prevailed again in heat 13 but not before Jack Holder had made a nuisance of himself early on and getting between them, forcing Lambert to work overtime to secure a maximum 5-1.
King's Lynn needed two more of those to deny Poole the win, and Grajczonek was in no mood to let that happen as he cruised to personal win number three and again Wells backed up in third.
The result wasn't quite finalised however, as King's Lynn could still squeeze a point out of their visit, until Cook closed the door somewhat ruthlessly and unfairly on Grajczonek in heat 15, the Poole skipper thankfully being able to get quickly back to his feet after crashing heavily into the pit-turn airfence.
Whilst Klindt had an early challenge on Lambert in the re-run and Grajczonek followed suit a lap later, the final race of the night quickly settled down to a win for Lambert but the important points were the three that Poole were banking to draw level with Ipswich, who claimed an away point at Swindon in a very close meeting.
KING'S LYNN 41
Ht 1: R.Lambert, R.Wells, S.Masters, M.Palm-Toft 3-3 3-3 |59.25]
Ht 2: R.Wells, L.Kerr, N.Busk-Jakobsen, D.Ayres 4-2 7-5 [60.97]
Ht 3: J.Grajczonek, N.Klindt, T.Jorgensen, E.Riss 5-1 12-6 [60.38]
Ht 4: C.Cook, J.Holder, N.Busk-Jakobsen, D.Ayres 3-3 15-9 [60.18]
Ht 5: R.Lambert, J.Grajczonek, N.Klindt, M.Palm-Toft 3-3 18-12 [59.78]
Ht 6: C.Cook, S.Masters, L.Kerr, N.Busk-Jakobsen 2-4 20-16 [60.65]
Ht 7: J.Holder, E.Riss, T.Jorgensen, R.Wells 3-3 23-19 [60.22]
Ht 8: J.Grajczonek, M.Palm-Toft, N.Busk-Jakobsen, L.Kerr 4-2 27-21 [60.62]
Ht 9: N.Klindt, C.Cook, R.Lambert (TS), J.Grajczonek 3-3 30-24 [60.1]
Ht 10: S.Masters, R.Wells, E.Riss, L.Kerr 5-1 35-25 [61.63]
Ht 11: R.Lambert, J.Holder, M.Palm-Toft, R.Wells 2-4 37-29 [60.91]
Ht 12: N.Klindt, E.Riss, R.Wells, L.Kerr 4-2 41-31 [61.18]
Ht 13: C.Cook, R.Lambert, J.Holder, S.Masters 1-5 42-36 [60.87]
Ht 14: J.Grajczonek, L.Kerr, R.Wells, D.Ayres 4-2 46-38 [61.16]
Ht 15: R.Lambert, N.Klindt, J.Grajczonek, C.Cook (D/Q) 3-3 49-41 [60.81]
Gates: POOLE won toss and chose gates 1&3 | KING'S LYNN took gates in heat 15
Referee Michael Breckon
League Points POOLE 3 KING'S LYNN 0
Rider of the Night: Nicolai Klindt