Preview: JOE'S BACK FOR TOUGH TEST AT COWLEY

17/06/24

The Poole 'Wessex Marine' Pirates are keen to maintain their positive start to the SGB Cab Direct Championship when they travel to Oxford on Wednesday night, but will need to do so without the services of the entertaining Tobias Thomsen.

The Dane suffered a foot injury at the weekend and whilst initial fears anticipated a six week spell on the side-lines, the latest medical reports have suggested that is only a sprain, and with a course of physiotherapy, his absence is unlikely to be too prolonged.

Dan Ford, who would delight in seeing the Pirates go one better than the single point defeat they suffered in their BSN Series visit to Cowley early May, is still determined to look for the positives going into the fixture, and reflects on that previous visit "that meeting left us with mixed emotions as we always knew it was going to be tough to get a result there, but then to be leading with just two heats to go and not get the victory made it something of a disappointment. Zach [Cook] was not a hundred percent that night and he is generally better than a paid four return and apart, arguably, from Richard [Lawson] and Tom [Brennan] I can see opportunities for improvements amongst the team and we don't need much to get over the line and bank a couple more league points, which would strengthen our position in the table,

"I do feel though that at present Oxford is the hardest place to go to in the Championship, especially as they have now found some real form in the last month or so and have dished out a few hammerings so we face a real tough task, made that much harder with the loss of Toby who, himself, was coming into some decent form. Hopefully though, Joe Thompson, who we know well from last season, will be able to step in and do a good job as our guest on Wednesday."

Just as the Pirates have turned to the Plymouth Gladiators for a guest, so too have the hosts as they bring in Jacob Hook as cover for the injured Henry Atkins.

The Monarch Cheetahs are unbeaten at home this season, from five starts, three of which have been league fixtures and from those their minimum score has been 53 points, inspired by their big hitters Sam Masters and Scott Nicholls both of whom are averaging well over the nine-point mark at Cowley.

Poole reserve Sam Hagon, who was an Oxford Charger (in the National League) two seasons back, is making a swift return to the OX4 postcode track having ridden their on Sunday for the Belle Vue Colts in the National League, when he dropped just a single point from five rides. Whilst Wednesday will see a step up in class for the nineteen year old British U21 Champion, he should be able to take some confidence and track awareness from that recent performance.

Teams (Subject to confirmation)
Oxford (TM Peter Schroeck) 1 Sam Masters 2 Luke Killeen 3 Cameron Heeps 4 Jordan Jenkins 5 Scott Nicholls (Capt) 6 Ashton Boughen 7 Jacob Hook (Guest)
Poole (TM Neil Middleditch) 1 Richard Lawson 2 Joe Thompson (Guest) 3 Tom Brennan 4 Zach Cook 5 Ben Cook (Capt) 6 Sam Hagon 7 Vinnie Foord

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