As results goes this 6 point defeat at Wolverhampton was one of the surprises of the season as few expected the short-handed Pirates to run the Wolves quite so close.

The absence of their top three riders didn't dampen the ReadyPower Pirates spirits as they  pushed fellow play-off certainties all the way at Wolverhampton on Monday night.

The Pirates picked up a consolation point after narrowly going down 42-48 with reserve Kyle Newman featuring prominently with his paid eleven score, which, on another night might easily have been more as he suffered two controversial falls.

The first of which was as early as heat two when, in second place, as fellow reserve Bjarne Pedersen was leading, Newman came under fierce pressure from ex-Pirate Kyle Howarth who pushed the Poole local out on the final turn forcing him to the ground in what referee Craig Ackroyd deemed a fair challenge. It turned the likely Poole 5-1 into a shared heat.

Then in heat 11 Ackroyd incurred the wrath of team manager Neil Middleditch yet again when Newman, embroiled in a real tussle with confirmed 2017 GP starter Freddie Lindgren. As they entered the second lap there was evidently contact, with Newman losing the spokes from his wheel and crashed out. The cause of the incident, from the pit-side view looking head on was unambiguous but from the referee's vantage point of looking from the rear it didn't seem so plain cut and needing to the stop the race Newman was disqualified adjudged to have been the primary cause.


Whilst guest Scott Nicholls won the re-start for the Pirates it was again more points that fell from Poole's grasp as the scores remained level at 33 a-piece, until Lindgren and Masters notched up a 5-1 in heat 13 to give the home side some breathing space. The home side's star, Jacob Thorssell completed a five ride maximum with back to back wins in heats 14 and 15 to see the Wolves safely across the line but the manner in which  Adam Ellis (7), Brady Kurtz (8), Bjarne  Pedersen (7+1) and Newman (9+2) all claimed their points should give the Pirates plenty of confidence if, as expected, this proves to be a dress rehearsal for the play-off semi-finals.

 Newman had earlier produced a sublime first turn in heat 9 to propel himself into second place and join leader Brady Kurtz as the Pirates moved two within two points of their hosts.  Kurtz followed up that win with another in a rerun heat 10 caused after world champion Tai Woffinden had flipped his machine when under pressure from Kurtz and been disqualified. Kurtz showed great character to hold off Sam Masters in that re-run as the Pirates levelled the match.


After the crucial Newman moment in heat 11 the stand-in Pirates captain Bjarne Pedersen found himself wanting in heat 12 as he couldn’t work a route by Max Clegg. It was something of a surprise as Pedersen had been solid in his previous three rides but the spirit in the Poole camp remained upbeat as Nicholls demonstrated with two pressing rides to close out the meeting with.


F. Lindgren 1,0,2,3,0=6
P.Karlsson 3,1,0,1'=5+1
T. Woffinden 2,2',FD=4+1
J. Thorssell 3,3,3,3,3=15
S. Masters 1',3,2,2'=8+2
M. Clegg 1',R,2=3+1
K. Howarth 2,1,1,1,1',1=7+1

Rider Replacement =0
A. Ellis 2,3,1,0,1=7
S. Nicholls R,3,1',3,2,2=11+1
B. Kurtz 0,2,3,3,0=8
N. Klindt 0,R,0=0
B. Pedersen 3,2',2,0=7+1
K. Newman F,2,2',FD,3,1,1'=9+2


Ht 1 P. Karlsson A. Ellis F. Lindgren S. Nicholls (Rtd) 4-2 (4-2) (54.69)
Ht 2 B. Pedersen K. Howarth M. Clegg K. Newman (Fell) 3-3 (7-5) (54.88)
Ht 3 S. Nicholls T. Woffinden S. Masters N. Klindt 3-3 (10-8) (54.81)
Ht 4 J. Thorssell K. Newman K. Howarth B. Kurtz 4-2 (14-10) (54.62)
Ht 5 A. Ellis B. Pedersen P. Karlsson M. Clegg (Rtd) 1-5 (15-15) (55.06)
Ht 6 J. Thorssell T. Woffinden A. Ellis N. Klindt (Rtd) 5-1 (20-16) (54.88)
Ht 7 S. Masters B. Kurtz S. Nicholls F. Lindgren 3-3 (23-19) (56)
Ht 8 J. Thorssell B. Pedersen K. Howarth A. Ellis 4-2 (27-21) (55.75)
Ht 9 B. Kurtz K. Newman K. Howarth P. Karlsson 1-5 (28-26) (55.69)
Ht 10 B. Kurtz S. Masters A. Ellis T. Woffinden (Fell d/q) 2-4 (30-30) (56.44)
Ht 11 S. Nicholls F. Lindgren P. Karlsson K. Newman (Fell d/q) 3-3 (33-33) (57)
Ht 12 K. Newman M. Clegg K. Howarth B. Pedersen 3-3 (36-36) (56.72)
Ht 13 F. Lindgren S. Masters K. Newman N. Klindt 5-1 (41-37) (56.94)
Ht 14 J. Thorssell S. Nicholls K. Howarth B. Kurtz 4-2 (45-39) (56.62)
Ht 15 J. Thorssell S. Nicholls K. Newman F. Lindgren 3-3 (48-42) ()

Referee Craig Ackroyd
Gates: Poole win toss and take 2&4; Wolverhampton took 2&4 in 15
WOLVERHAMPTON 3 league point POOLE 1 league point

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