For a meeting that many will have considered a 'dead rubber' the entertainment value was out of the top drawer as the Pirates signed off their regular league programme with a 55-35 win over Wolverhampton.

Skipper Josh Grajczonek was superb out of the gate all evening and delivered a paid maximum, whilst the battling exploits of Chris Harris and Richie Worrall was something to behold as the Wolves, despite seeing the meeting slipping away from them around the halfway stage, kept challenging for everything.

It was a bit of a slow start for the Pirates. Kurtz missing the start in heat one, Klindt not firing cleanly away in his first ride and then big power problems for Kurtz in heat 6 and unable to take advantage of Jacob Thorssell's fifteen metre penalty for a tapes infringement.

But a brace of 5-1's across heats 7 and 8 helped settle the Pirates. In the first, Richie Worrall hassled guest Nick Morris and made the telling move to join partner Harris and then Grajczonek and Jakobsen pulled clear of Kyle Howarth in the 8th. The visitors attempted a tactical substitute to try and close up the gap but nominated Masters went flying through the tapes, perhaps tricked into setting off early as Klindt flinched just prior.  It was Masters turn to serve a penalty, Thorrsell this time from scratch making the running with some ease after an initial attempt by Klindt petered out.

Kurtz sorted his problems and with Grajczonek backing up the Pirates put another fiver in the chest to lead 38-22 but still Wolves refused to back off. Masters was aware all the way in heat 11 that Harris was ready to pounce upon any half error whilst behind Worrall and Howarth were giving each other plenty to think about as two races in one developed.

Klindt and Jakobsen were relatively untroubled in heat 12 as the lead grew to 46-26 but the meeting was just about to explode into an edge of the seat thriller.

Worth the admission only, after a ragged start heat 13 was epic. The Pirate pair of Harris and Kurtz having to work their way by Thorssell and then try and reel in Masters. They tried inside, outside, same lines, different lines and Harris very nearly pulled it off but Masters was resilient and clung on for this second successive winning ride.

Guest Nick Morris made headway in heat 14 but Worrall, close enough to take a tyre pressure reading eventually  ground him down and went flying by much to the delight of the home fans.
For the final regular league race of the campaign  there was to be no Pirate glory as Masters made it an end of meeting treble, again holding firm with Harris breathing down his neck, Worrall back in fourth unable to close down Thorssell.

With Belle Vue overcoming Somerset in Manchester the final make-up of the play-offs was confirmed and King's Lynn, in the midst of a double header against Leicester confirmed their decision to pick the Aces leaving the other semi-final to be contested by the Pirates and Somerset, the second leg of which taking place at Wimborne on October 1st, a fortnight after they visit the Oaktree Arena for the first leg (17th September)


B.Kurtz 1,R,3,1'=5+1
J.Grajczonek 3,3,3,2'=11+1
N.Klindt 0,3,2,3=8
K.Woryna 2,1,1',1=5+1
C.Harris 3,3,2,2,2=12
R.Worrall 2,2',1',3,0=8+2
F.Jakobsen 1',1,2',2'=6+3

S.Masters R,2,EH,3,3,3=11
K.Howarth 2,0,1,0=3
J.B Andersen 1,0,1,1=3
N.Morris 3,1,0,2=6
J.Thorssell 2,2,3,0,1=8
A.Morris 0,1',0=1+1
D.Ayres 3,0,F,0=3

Ht 1:  J.Grajczonek,  K.Howarth,  B.Kurtz,  S.Masters  (Rtd) 4-2  4-2 |59.5]
Ht 2:  D.Ayres,  R.Worrall,  F.Jakobsen,  A.Morris 3-3  7-5 [60.75]
Ht 3:  N.Morris,  K.Woryna,  J.B Andersen,  N.Klindt 2-4  9-9 [60.44]
Ht 4:  C.Harris,  J.Thorssell,  F.Jakobsen,  D.Ayres 4-2  13-11 [61.03]
Ht 5:  N.Klindt,  S.Masters,  K.Woryna,  K.Howarth 4-2  17-13 [60.37]
Ht 6:  J.Grajczonek,  J.Thorssell (hcap),  A.Morris,  B.Kurtz  (Rtd) 3-3  20-16 [60.85]
Ht 7:  C.Harris,  R.Worrall,  N.Morris,  J.B Andersen 5-1  25-17 [60.57]
Ht 8:  J.Grajczonek,  F.Jakobsen,  K.Howarth,  D.Ayres  (Fell) 5-1 30-18 [61.06]
Ht 9:  J.Thorssell,  N.Klindt,  K.Woryna,  S.Masters (hcap) 3-3  33-21 [60.35]
Ht 10:  B.Kurtz,  J.Grajczonek,  J.B Andersen,  N.Morris 5-1  38-22 [61]
Ht 11:  S.Masters,  C.Harris,  R.Worrall,  K.Howarth 3-3  41-25 [61.28]
Ht 12:  N.Klindt,  F.Jakobsen,  J.B Andersen,  A.Morris 5-1  46-26 [61.72]
Ht 13:  S.Masters,  C.Harris,  B.Kurtz,  J.Thorssell 3-3  49-29 [61.37]
Ht 14:  R.Worrall,  N.Morris,  K.Woryna,  D.Ayres 4-2  53-31 [61.6]
Ht 15:  S.Masters,  C.Harris,  J.Thorssell,  R.Worrall 2-4  55-35 [61.06]

Gates: POOLE won toss and chose gates 1&3 | Wolverhampton took gates 1&3 in heat 15
Referee Dave Robinson
Rider of the Night: Chris Harris



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