REACTION: PIRATES BREAK DOWN STUBBORN BIRMINGHAM
Poole turned in a second half performance at Birmingham that converted a two-point lead into a 20 point winning margin as they banked another...
Poole plundered another away league point from their visit to Swindon and in the process moved to level points with second placed Lakeside in the Elite league table, courtesy of a captain's inning response by Darcy Ward.
Needing to deny the Robins a heat advantage from the final heat, Ward delivered his third defeat of fellow Australian Troy Batchelor in the space of 5 heats to send the Poole fans home with something, despite a 46-43 defeat.
It was all a far cry from how the meeting was panning out in the early stages as a spate of bad luck blighted the Robins' camp and Poole found themselves leading 15-8 after 4 heats, spurred on by a Poole rider-only finish in heat 2. Luckless Nathan Greaves suffered the first of his three falls of the night and then Richie Worrall packed up with machinery trouble mid-race to gift Newman and Johnson a 5-0 advantage.
A disqualification for Nick Morris followed in heat 3 as he fell on the final lap and innocently brought down the unwell Przemyslaw Pawlicki ths denying the home side a heat gain, and then Greaves' second fall made life much easier for a struggling Newman in heat 4 to pick up a point that shot Poole into a 7 point lead.
Batchelor and Kildemand restored some pride for the Robins in heat 5 with a convincing 5-1 as Pawlicki's difficult evening continued, packing up long before the chequered flag and then a retirement for Ward helped the home side to a 4-2 as the impressive Gustafsson sped to a win over Janowski and Morris had an unchallenged ride back in third allowing the Robins to move to within a point of Poole, with 6 heats gone.
North and Worrall turned the meeting on its head with a 5-1 in heat 7 before the pacy Gustafsson was at it again winning in style from Grajczonek with Morris again backing up in third. The final Greaves' fall ensured Poole slipped no further behind from the second Fast track heat and then a strong gate from Pawlicki backed up by a good ride from Janowski, under pressure from Kildemand saw Poole now close the gap to just a single point.
A good win from Ward kept the meeting nail-bitingly close but when North and Worrall banged in a 5-1 in heat 12 it all seemed in danger of slipping away from the Pirates. But a brilliant heat 13 last lap from Ward, recovering after having had his line inadvertently taken from him by team-mate Janowski, saw the Poole skipper blast round the outside of Batchelor and squeeze by him off the final turn. With Janowski in third Poole trimmed the deficit to 3 points and a battling effort from Milik to split Gustafsson and Worrall ensured the match went into a last heat decider as far as the shareout of the league points were concerned.
That responsibilty fell to Ward and Janwoski and the skipper wasted little time in hitting the front to lead Batchelor all the way home, to give Poole their 39th league point of the season
P. Kildemand 2,2',1,0=5+1
D. North 1',3,0,3=7+1
N. Morris R,1,1,1'=3+1
S. Gustafsson 2,3,3,3,0=11
T. Batchelor 3,3,2,2,2=12
N. Greaves F,FDq,FDq=0
S. Worrall R,2',3,2',1=8+2
D. Ward 3,R,3,3,3=12
J. Grajczonek 0,3,2,0=5
P. Pawlicki 1',R,0,3=4+1
V. Milik 1,1,0,2=4
M. Janowski 2,2,2',1,1=8+1
K. Newman 3,1,2,1,0=7
B. Johnson 2',0,1'=3+2
Ht 1 D. Ward P. Kildemand D. North J. Grajczonek 3-3 (3-3) (65.05)
Ht 2 K. Newman B. Johnson S. Worrall (rtd) N. Greaves (Fell) 0-5 (3-8) (69.11)
Ht 3 T. Batchelor M. Janowski P. Pawlicki N. Morris (Rtd) 3-3 (6-11) ()
Ht 4 J. Grajczonek S. Gustafsson K. Newman N. Greaves (Fell d/q) 2-4 (8-15) (66.23)
Ht 5 T. Batchelor P. Kildemand V. Milik P. Pawlicki (Rtd) 5-1 (13-16) (66.58)
Ht 6 S. Gustafsson M. Janowski N. Morris D. Ward (Rtd) 4-2 (17-18) (65.83)
Ht 7 D. North S. Worrall V. Milik B. Johnson 5-1 (22-19) (67.61)
Ht 8 S. Gustafsson J. Grajczonek N. Morris P. Pawlicki 4-2 (26-21) (66.37)
Ht 9 S. Worrall K. Newman B. Johnson N. Greaves (Fell d/q) 3-3 (29-24) (67.43)
Ht 10 P. Pawlicki M. Janowski P. Kildemand D. North 1-5 (30-29) (67.02)
Ht 11 D. Ward T. Batchelor N. Morris V. Milik 3-3 (33-32) (67.05)
Ht 12 D. North S. Worrall K. Newman J. Grajczonek 5-1 (38-33) (67.67)
Ht 13 D. Ward T. Batchelor M. Janowski P. Kildemand 2-4 (40-37) (67.14)
Ht 14 S. Gustafsson V. Milik S. Worrall K. Newman 4-2 (44-39) (68.22)
Ht 15 D. Ward T. Batchelor M. Janowski S. Gustafsson 2-4 (46-43) (67.05)
Gates: Swindon won toss and opted to choose gates 1&3 in heat 15. Poole took 1&3 in heat 1
Drew Kemp played his part in Team GB Under 23 side winning their European Championship semi-final round in Pardubice on Saturday.
Poole Pirates' push for top spot continued on Friday night when they collected two more league points from an enthralling draw against the Glas...