Pirates extended their unbeaten run at Coventry in a tense and close fought first leg semi-final play off on Friday night but headed home with mixed feelings over the final result.

Poole team manager described himself as being "delighted" with the drawn affair but there will be some disappointment that the Pirates let an 8 point lead slip through their grasp over the last couple of heats.

Poole twice led before the home side were able to inch ahead through back to back 4-2 advantages in heats 6&7 before making it three on the bounce to lead by four at the halfway stage. But the Pirates response was emphatic from bright stars Kyle Newman and Kacper Gomiolski in heat 9 to restore parity to the meeting and with Watt and Holder combining for the second maximum heat return of the night after Danny King had taken a heavy fall in heat 10 the Pirates were more that happy with the way the meeting was going on.

Resolute wins from Janowski and Newman protected that advantage and then a big 5-1 from Holder and Janowksi doubled the advantage and made Poole the firm favourites for a lead to defend going into next week's second leg.

But the Bees had a sting in their tail and the combination of Danny King and Hans Andersen dug deep in the final two heats to wipe out Poole's lead and head for Dorset with the aggregate scores all level.

Middledtch admitted that "Yes it would have been nice to have won and we had the chance there but this was  tough battle and you had to expect Coventry not to just lay down and let us run away with it. They came back strong and if you had offered me a draw before we arrived tonight I would have said thank you very much.  There's a lot to ride for on our home patch now, we start all square and have 15 heats to do a job over them. We could have been in a lot worse position."

C. Harris 1,3,1',1=6+1
K. Howarth 0,0,0=0
D. King 2,1,FD,3,2'=8+1
H. Andersen 2,3,3,2',3=13+1
F. Lindgren 1',1,1,0=3+1
J. Garrity 2',0,3,1,2,1'=9+2
J. Sarjeant 3,1,2=6
C. Holder 2',0,2',3,1=8+2
D. Watt 3,1',2,3=9+1
D. North 0,0,0=0
K. Gomolski 3,2,2',1=8+1
M. Janowski 3,2,3,2',0=10+1
P. Starke 0,0,F=0
K. Newman 1,1,2,3,3,0=10

Ht 1 D. Watt C. Holder C. Harris K. Howarth 1-5 (1-5) (59.7)
Ht 2 J. Sarjeant J. Garrity K. Newman P. Starke 5-1 (6-6) (60.1)
Ht 3 M. Janowski D. King F. Lindgren D. North 3-3 (9-9) (59.4)
Ht 4 K. Gomolski H. Andersen K. Newman J. Garrity 2-4 (11-13) (61.3)
Ht 5 J. Garrity K. Newman D. Watt K. Howarth 3-3 (14-16) (59.5)
Ht 6 H. Andersen M. Janowski D. King C. Holder 4-2 (18-18) (59.9)
Ht 7 C. Harris K. Gomolski F. Lindgren D. North 4-2 (22-20) (60.6)
Ht 8 H. Andersen D. Watt J. Sarjeant P. Starke 4-2 (26-22) 61.1)
Ht 9 K. Newman K. Gomolski J. Garrity K. Howarth 1-5 (27-27) (60.3)
Ht 10 D. Watt C. Holder F. Lindgren D. King (Fell d/q) 1-5 (28-32) (60.3)
Ht 11 M. Janowski J. Garrity C. Harris D. North 3-3 (31-35) (59.9)
Ht 12 K. Newman J. Sarjeant J. Garrity P. Starke (Fell) 3-3 (34-38) (62.0)
Ht 13 C. Holder M. Janowski C. Harris F. Lindgren 1-5 (35-43) (60.8)
Ht 14 D. King H. Andersen K. Gomolski K. Newman 5-1 (40-44) (61.3)
Ht 15 H. Andersen D. King C. Holder M. Janowski 5-1 (45-45) (61.1)

Referee Chris Durno
Coventry won toss and took 1&3  Poole took gates 1&3 in heat 15


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