Promoter Danny Ford hailed the battling qualities of his class of 2019 as the No1 Carpet Cleaning Poole Pirates got their SGB Premiership title defence under way with a point at Peterborough.

The visitors were narrowly behind for much of the meeting at the East of England Arena, before edging two points in front after a stunning heat 12 5-1 from Danish duo Nicolai Klindt and Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen.

But the Pirates couldn’t hold on and were powerless as former Pirates Rohan Tungate and Hans Andersen came back to haunt them with a hard-earned 3-3 from the next race.

And once Aaron Summers and Charles Wright had bagged a heat 14 5-1 ahead of Busk Jakobsen and Richie Worrall, the Pirates were left needing a 5-1 in the nominated heat to secure a share of the spoils.

Poole spearhead Jack Holder, much improved from his early season form with a paid 12 return, sealed the race win, but Klindt was denied second by thorn in the side Andersen as the hosts ran out winners by two points.

Ford, who saw Klindt register 12 points and in-form Brady Kurtz eight, said: “We knew it would be a battle up at Peterborough and so it proved.

“But actually what pleased me most is the way we dug in when perhaps lesser teams would have been pressured into going well behind early on.

“We were never more than four points behind and almost every time Peterborough secured a heat advantage, we hit back with one of our own.

“Richie and Nico Covatti will probably be disappointed with their returns on a personal level, but our strength from one to seven this year has really shown early on in the campaign and I’m really pleased with how we’ve started the season.”

Heat Details and scorers here

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