When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
Speedway: Poole Pirates through to grand final after epic fightback
PIRATES tonight produced one of the most breathtaking performances in the club’s proud history to stun reigning champions Swindon with a truly epic semi-final fightback.
A dank, gloomy Dorset day made way for a night of scintillating speedway and under the glare of the Wimborne Road floodlights, Pirates shone with a display of guts, determination and genuine class.
Trailing 52-42 from the first leg at Blunsdon, Pirates hit their familiar foes with some heavy blows early on and never let up in a relentless effort which sparked jubilant scenes on the terraces.
Having been 14 points down after 10 heats of the first leg and well beaten in Wiltshire, Pirates responded and sent their raucous faithful into dreamland with a sensational comeback.
The Dorset outfit set up a grand final clash with Birmingham after winning six of the first seven races – with three heat advantages. And by the time the exceptional Greg Hancock (13) had combined with battling Micky Dyer in heat nine, Poole were level and well on course.
But the Robins showed the true spirit of defending champions as their main man Peter Kildemand stunned Darcy Ward in a heat 10 tactical.
But Pirates were not to be denied and they flexed their muscles down the finishing straight with the masterful Hancock leading a 4-2 before Maciej Janowski and Ward – then the brilliant Josh Grajczonek and Tomas H Jonasson – all but sealed the success. Ward completed the formalities.
Boss Neil Middleditch and Grand Prix legend Hancock had urged the hosts to hit Swindon early – and hard. Pirates did not disappoint.
Ward blasted from gate four to lead Jonasson to an ideal opening maximum. Poole asset Kyle Howarth and Swindon guest Lewis Kerr sandwiched Grajczonek to keep the Robins eight in front on aggregate, but that deficit was halved when Hancock and Grajczonek struck for another 5-1.
Much of the pre-meeting talk centred on Poole’s middle and lower order and the busy Grajczonek defied the doubters by beating Howarth and Troy Batchelor in an exceptional heat-four effort.
Hancock continued his fine start next up before Ward and Jonasson combined to secure a 4-2 which slashed Swindon’s overall lead to just two points.
A blistering ride from Janowski left Edward Kennett and Kildemand with no answer and sent the decibel levels through the roof as the home faithful roared home Pirates’ sixth heat win in seven.
Another almighty cheer reverberated around the grandstand at the sight of injured captain Chris Holder being interviewed on the big screen, with the Pirates hero providing inspiration from the pits.
Poole’s supporters were silenced when Nick Morris produced an absolute show-stopper to blast past the home duo in heat eight, but Hancock and Dyer then combined for a 4-2 as Pirates drew level.
With Poole 32-22 ahead on the night, Robins boss Alun Rossiter immediately made use of his tactical by sending out Kildemand, who downed Ward for a potentially vital 6-3.
And after a heat advantage from Hans Andersen and Morris, Swindon were back to five in front and they looked in pole position as the two Elite League heavyweights continued to slug it out in a ding-dong battle.
But Pirates refused to throw in the towel and the old master Hancock delivered his fourth successive win by defying Kildemand, with Dyer completing a 4-2.
And by the time the dynamic duo of Janowski and Ward had stormed clear for an imperious heat 13 maximum, Pirates were a point clear to lead the tie for the first time.
And their path to the grand final was all but confirmed when Grajczonek completed the performance of his emerging career by leading Jonasson to a 5-1. Ward finished the job to put the verdict beyond doubt – to the sheer delight of the delirious Pirates faithful on a famous night at Wimborne Road.
Pirates 55: 1 Darcy Ward (3-3-2-2*-3) 13+1, 2 Tomas H Jonasson (2*-1-1*-1*-2*) 7+4, 3 Greg Hancock (3-3-3-3-1) 13, 4 Rider Replacement for Rohan Tungate, 5 Maciej Janowski (0-3-2-3) 8, 6 Josh Grajczonek (2-2*-3-0-2-fx-3) 12+1, 7 Micky Dyer (0-t-0-1-1) 2, 8 Kyle Newman.
Team manager: Neil Middleditch.
Robins 38: 1 Hans Andersen (0-2-3-1) 6, 2 Nick Morris (1-1*-3-1-0) 6+1, 3 Peter Kildemand (fx-1*-6^-2-2) 11+1, 4 Edward Kennett (1-2-0-1) 4, 5 Troy Batchelor (1*-2-2-0) 5+1, 6 Kyle Howarth (3-2-0-0-0) 5, 7 Lewis Kerr (guest) (1-0-0) 1.
Team manager: Alun Rossiter.
First leg result: Swindon Robins 52 Poole Pirates 42.
Second leg result: Poole Pirates 55 Swindon Robins 38.
Aggregate: Pirates 97 Robins 90.
Referee: Mick Bates.
Ht 1: Ward, Jonasson, Morris, Andersen, 59.35 (5-1) (47-53 on aggregate)
Ht 2: Howarth, Grajczonek, Kerr, Dyer, 60.66 (7-5) (49-57)
Ht 3: (re-run) Hancock, Grajczonek, Kennett, Kildemand (fell, excluded), 59.78 (12-6) (54-58)
Ht 4: Grajczonek (tapes replacement), Howarth, Batchelor, Janowski, Dyer (tapes, excluded), 60.10 (15-9) (57-61)
Ht 5: Hancock, Andersen, Morris, Grajczonek, 60.15 (18-12) (60-64)
Ht 6: Ward, Batchelor, Jonasson, Kerr, 60.31 (22-14) (64-66)
Ht 7: Janowski, Kennett, Kildemand, Dyer, 59.91 (25-17) (67-69)
Ht 8: Morris, Grajczonek, Jonasson, Howarth, 60.12 (28-20) (70-72)
Ht 9: Hancock, Batchelor, Dyer, Kerr, 60.65 (32-22) (74-74)
Ht 10: Kildemand (tactical rider, double points), Ward, Jonasson, Kennett, 59.72 (35-28) (77-80)
Ht 11: (re-run) Andersen, Janowski, Morris, Grajczonek (fell, excluded), 60.78 (37-32) (79-84)
Ht 12: Hancock, Kildemand, Dyer, Howarth, 61.00 (41-34) (83-86)
Ht 13: Janowski, Ward, Andersen, Batchelor, 60.69 (46-35) (88-87)
Ht 14: Grajczonek, Jonasson, Kennett, Howarth, 61.69 (51-36) (93-88)
Ht 15: Ward, Kildemand, Hancock, Morris, 61.12 (55-38) (97-90)
Other play-off semi-final result: Birmingham 101 Wolverhampton 82.
Echo star rider: Josh Grajczonek
Comments are closed on this article.