It was honours even as Somerset produced two maximum heat advantages in the last three heats to peg back the Poole 'Select' in this challenge contest.

Such were the events of the past few days, the side that eventually Poole went into action with contained fewer regulars of their starting one-to-seven than the Rebels had past and present Pirates in their side! Only Dave Watt and Kacper Gomolski were able to turn out for the vistors whilst Somerset included Paul Starke, and 2014 Pirates Josh Grajczonek and Benji Compton.

For Grajczonek it could have been a perfect night's work for him if heat one had been pulled back as expected after Pirate guest Max Fricke gained advantage from an extremely ragged start. But referee Margaret Vardy ruled it was by the book and allowed the race to continue costing Grajczonek several yards.  The gating boots were firmly on Paul Starke's feet in heat 2 as he stormed clear of another Poole guest, Justin Sedgmen to steer Somerset into an early lead.

That advantage was soon wiped out when the regular Pirates cruised to a 5-1 and the lead extended when Morris, tangled in the tapes at the first time of asking in heat 4, burst from the start in the re-run along with Sedgmen. But young Brady Kurtz set off in pursuit of his two rivals, breezed by Sedgmen and came within touching distance of Morris, but the former Rebels number one stood firm. He led all the way when out again in heat 5 and was joined by partner Fricke who impressively picked off Richie Worrall and the Pirates began to look as though they might run away with this meeting.

But Somerset were boosted when veteran Leigh Lanham called on all his experience to hold back Gomolski whilst Grajczonek was stretching his legs out front, the Rebels reducing the deficit to just four points. It was then Kurtz's chance to head home Gomolski in heat 7, brushing the boards in the process to share the heat.

Poole though re-extended their lead when Fricke bided his time to slip by Lanham on lap 2 having missed the opportunity on the first circuit to combine with Sedgmen for the Pirates third maximum heat score. Rebels' fan enjoyed the ride of Charles Wright, twice plagued by machine problems in his previous two outings, as he held off Fricke with solid determination to give the home side their second maximum of the night thus far.

Gomolski pushing hard throughout just stole second place on the line to prevent back to back 5-1 concessions and save the Pirates' now slender advantage, (31-29 they led). Fricke and Morris upped the ante with another 5-1 combo but Worrall arrested any deterioration of the scoreline as he held off the hard pressing Watt to share heat 12.

A tight first turn in heat 13 saw Morris force Kurtz wide, but it only served to give kid Kurtz the better run round the arc and he and Grajczonek kept the meeting alive by clawing back four points with a 5-1. Charles Wright lining up for a third turn pass in heat 14 went down heavily causing the race to be stopped and in the re-start Starke made a better get-away and wrestled by Sedgmen into second place to send the meeting into a last heat decider.

Poole went with their two regulars but Kurtz and Grajczonek delighted the home support with a closing 5-1 that squared the scores at 45 a-piece


J. Grajczonek 2,3,3,2',2'=12+2
L. Lanham 1',2',1,1=5+2
R. Worrall 1,1,3,3=8
C. Wright R,R,2',R=2+1
B. Kurtz 2,3,0,1,3,3=12
P. Starke 3,0,0,2=5
B. Compton 1,0,0=1

Poole 45
N. Morris 0,3,3,2',1=9+1
M. Fricke 3,2',2',1,3=11+2
D. Watt 2',1',0,2,R,0=5+2
K. Gomolski 3,1,2,2,3,1=12
R. Replacement =
E. Perks 0,0,0=0
J. Sedgmen 2,1,3,1',1=8+1

Ht 1 M. Fricke J. Grajczonek L. Lanham N. Morris 3-3 (3-3) (57.22)
Ht 2 P. Starke J. Sedgmen B. Compton E. Perks 4-2 (7-5) (58.57)
Ht 3 K. Gomolski D. Watt R. Worrall C. Wright (Rtd) 1-5 (8-10) (58.25)
Ht 4 N. Morris B. Kurtz J. Sedgmen B. Compton 2-4 (10-14) (58.32)
Ht 5 N. Morris M. Fricke R. Worrall C. Wright (Rtd) 1-5 (11-19) (57.9)
Ht 6 J. Grajczonek L. Lanham K. Gomolski E. Perks 5-1 (16-20) (57.87)
Ht 7 B. Kurtz K. Gomolski D. Watt P. Starke 3-3 (19-23) (57.28)
Ht 8 J. Sedgmen M. Fricke L. Lanham B. Kurtz 1-5 (20-28) (58.72)
Ht 9 R. Worrall C. Wright M. Fricke E. Perks 5-1 (25-29) (58.92)
Ht 10 J. Grajczonek K. Gomolski L. Lanham D. Watt 4-2 (29-31) (58.18)
Ht 11 M. Fricke N. Morris B. Kurtz P. Starke 1-5 (30-36) (58.07)
Ht 12 R. Worrall D. Watt J. Sedgmen B. Compton 3-3 (33-39) (59.97)
Ht 13 B. Kurtz J. Grajczonek N. Morris D. Watt (Rtd) 5-1 (38-40) (57.56)
Ht 14 K. Gomolski P. Starke J. Sedgmen C. Wright (Rtd) 2-4 (40-44) (59.94)
Ht 15 B. Kurtz J. Grajczonek K. Gomolski D. Watt 5-1 (45-45) (58.69)

Referee Margaret Vardy
Gates: Somerset won the toss and took 1&3 in heat 1. Poole took 2&4 in Heat 15

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