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Speedway grand final live: Birmingham v Poole Pirates
This live event has finished
- First leg score: Birmingham Brummies 36 Poole Pirates 57
- Second leg score: Birmingham Brummies 43 Poole Pirates 47
- Aggregate score: Birmingham Brummies 79 Poole Pirates 104
- Brummies 43: 1 Martin Smolinski (r-1-1-0) 2, 2 Jason Doyle (3-3-1-3-2) 12, 3 Danny King (fx, withdrew injured) 0, 4 Ben Barker (1-2-1-3) 7, 5 Chris Harris (3-3-2-1-1*) 10+1, 6 Nico Covatti (1-1*-0-1*-2*) 5+3, 7 Josh Auty (0-1-3-0-3-fx) 7. Team manager: Phil Morris.
- Pirates 47: 1 Darcy Ward (2-3-3-3-3) 14, 2 Tomas H Jonasson (1*-fx-2-fx) 3+1, 3 Greg Hancock (2*-1*-2-0-0) 5+2, 4 Rider Replacement for Rohan Tungate, 5 Maciej Janowski (0-2-2*-2*) 6+2, 6 Josh Grajczonek (2*-3-0-2-3-1-2) 13+1, 7 Kyle Newman (guest) (3-2-0-0-1*) 6+1. Team manager: Neil Middleditch.
Echo meeting report HERE
Thanks for joining us.
Plenty more Pirates reaction and analysis to come over the next few days in print and online, plus a look ahead to next season. Keep your eyes on the Echo.
RT @neilmeldrumecho: Tomorrow's Echo back page, featuring @GregHancock45 ... #champs. http://t.co/3WpfyAf3yf— @neilperrettecho 15 October 2013
PIRATES CAPTAIN DARCY WARD
Ward told the Daily Echo: "We dug deep. There were a couple of weeks when we didn’t think we were going to make the play-offs. Greg coming in after Chris’s injury was definitely a big boost and that could be one of the reasons why we won the league.
"But it is a whole team thing and, throughout these finals, the whole team definitely pulled through and did their jobs.
"Particularly at reserve, Kyle Newman got the points and showed some good character, and Josh Grajczonek was awesome throughout the finals. That was what we needed throughout this team."
8 October 2013 @poolespeedway http://t.co/SoIy2ksSTq— @neilperrettecho 15 October 2013
Hometown hero Kyle Newman, a lifelong Pirates supporter, was excellent as a guest for Micky Dyer.
Newman told the Daily Echo: "It is awesome. We did a fantastic job in the home leg to build a lead of 21 points.
"The first leg settled my nerves and I came into the second leg feeling good. Everything has worked perfectly and it is great fun to be a part of the team."
27 May 2013 @poolespeedway @DavidWatt24 #speedway http://t.co/Is5nStjROC— @neilperrettecho 15 October 2013
14 May 2013 @poolespeedway @AJROSCO #speedway http://t.co/QxaBO0r690— @neilperrettecho 15 October 2013
Pirates chief Matt Ford was understandably jubilant following Pirates’ victory...
Ford told the Daily Echo: “It is incredible. What a year. I really cannot explain it.
“Maciej Janowski, Greg Hancock and Tomas H Jonasson all live with me and I keep saying to them ‘We can still win it’. And those guys drove me on. It has been an outstanding team performance.”
Reaction now on its way...
Reaction now on its way...
All over. The most convincing grand final win you will ever see. Reaction to come.
Ht 15: Ward, Doyle, Harris, Hancock, (43-47), 58.78 (79-104)
Ht 14: (re-run) Barker, Grajczonek, Newman, Auty (fell, excluded), 59.75 (40-44) (76-101)
A reminder that report, pictures, heat details and star rider will be in tomorrow's Daily Echo, with plenty of follow-up coverage over the next few days, both in print and online.
The winning moment!! http://t.co/3DZGkRW02m— @EchoJon 15 October 2013
Poole pirates victorious at Perry barr!!! http://t.co/pnY1YBz7wk— @EchoJon 15 October 2013
Poole pirates, winners at Perry barr!! http://t.co/rsKFYAlMyc— @EchoJon 15 October 2013
Matt ford and Greg Hancock celebrate their elite league win!! http://t.co/S4CLipaB6p— @EchoJon 15 October 2013
Ht 13: Ward, Janowski, Harris, Smolinski, 59.35 (37-41) (73-98)
Ward was in a different postcode. Imperious.
Ht 12: Auty, Covatti, Grajczonek, Hancock, 60.25 (36-36) (72-93)
Wild celebrations in one corner of Perry Barr stadium as Darcy Ward rides in front of the jubilant travelling faithful. Matt Ford and all the team join Ward before launching their captain high in the air for celebratory bumps. Great scenes for Poole.
Ht 11: (re-run) Ward, Harris, Covatti, Jonasson (fell, excluded) (31-35) (67-92)
POOLE PIRATES WIN THE 2013 ELITE LEAGUE
Darcy Ward roars clear in a re-run heat 11 as Pirates seal the Elite League title. No more fitting man to finish the job.
Quick maths head on...I think Pirates need just one point to secure the title.
Ht 10: Doyle, Hancock, Smolinski, Newman, 58.95 (28-32) (64-89)
Heat 9 action at Perry barr! http://t.co/ZjBpM4J7Pu— @EchoJon 15 October 2013
Grajczonek an absolute revelation again tonight. 10+1 from five rides.
Ht 9: Grajczonek, Janowski, Barker, Auty, 58.96 (24-30) (60-87)
Persistence pays off for Auty, who hounded the fast-starting THJ before rocketing round the outside down the back straight to take the win.
Ht 8: Auty, Jonasson, Doyle, Newman, 58.65 (23-25) (59-82)
Brummies captain Danny King will take no further part due to injury. Really does look all over now.
The Brummies fans in the bar have long since thrown in the towel. Plenty of gallows humour amid the odd cry of C'mon Pirates! or G'warn Kyle! from the Dorset contingent.
Bomber well clear with Grajczonek and Hancock happy to team ride to maintain Pirates' big lead. All over barring a miracle.
Ht 7: Harris, Grajczonek, Hancock, Covatti, 58.91 (19-23) (55-80)
Another strong ride from Doyle to better Janowski. Smolinski again looks off form and only claimed a point courtesy of a Grajczonek slip.
Ht 6: Doyle, Janowski, Smolinski, Grajczonek, 58.06 (16-20) (52-77)
Ht 5: (awarded) Ward, Barker, Covatti, Jonasson (fell, excluded) (12-18) (48-75)
Pirates on course for another comfortable 5-1 until THJ loses control. Race awarded with Ward winning in a 3-3.
Another blow for the Brummies with captain King unable to take his place in heat five. Covatti covers.
Heat advantage for the Brummies. Another solid effort from Kyle Newman.
Ht 4: Harris, Newman, Auty, Janowski, 58.13 (9-15) (45-72)
Hancock got out in front and pinned Barker to the inside, allowing Grajczonek to sweep round the outside and join for the 5-1.
Ht 3: (re-run) Grajczonek, Hancock, Barker, King (fell, excluded), 58.85 (5-13) (41-70)
That was Kyle Newman's first Elite League heat win.
King is excluded from the re-run of heat three.
Brummies captain King still receiving on-track treatment. Really was a heavy fall. He is up and walking back to the pits now.
Big smash for Danny King going into the final bend of the first lap. He appeared to clatter into the back of Greg Hancock, who was leading, before hitting the shale.
Josh Grajczonek is r/r in heat three.
Heat two, Poole riders up front! http://t.co/4GSJLbB64X— @EchoJon 15 October 2013
Stunning ride from Poole lad Kyle Newman. Blasted from the traps and led home the most routine of maximums. Unbelievably easy 5-1.
Ht 2: Newman, Grajczonek, Covatti, Auty, 58.71 (4-8) (40-65)
THJ got off to a flier but Doyle eventually battled past. Ward endured a slow start but fended off Smolinski who then retired.
Ht 1: Doyle, Ward, Jonasson, Smolinski (retired) 57.90 (3-3) (39-60)
Riders are on track and we are ready to go in the grand final second leg...
Best news of the night so far in my opinion, Perry Barr is a "no air-horn venue". Fantastic.
Both teams are on track and being introduced to the crowd. A few boos for Darcy Ward but big cheers and applause for Greg Hancock.
POOLE PIRATES' TURBULENT 2013
Pirates stand on the verge of a dramatic title success after overcoming a series of major setbacks during the season.
Poole have been forced to deal with terrible injury problems throughout the campaign – including the loss of Turbo Twins Darcy Ward and then Chris Holder (pictured above).
Ward made way early in the season before returning to lead the Poole revival, but 2012 world champion Holder was ruled out for the rest of the campaign following his horror crash at Coventry.
Pirates have used no fewer than 31 different riders – including 17 guests – during the Elite League season.
Ward, Maciej Janowski and Rohan Tungate, who is injured tonight, are the only survivors from the club’s original one-to-seven.
Echo photographer Jon Beal will be trackside to provide action pictures as the meeting unfolds.
Greg Hancock at Perry barr #speedway http://t.co/5mddDlfiXy— @EchoJon 15 October 2013
Chris holder in the pits at Perry Barr #speedway http://t.co/In7YQtJh3h— @EchoJon 15 October 2013
Expecting the riders to head out on parade shortly before tapes-up at 7.15pm ish.
GRAND FINAL SECOND LEG BUILD-UP: Pirates star Greg Hancock
Hancock registered an excellent 14-point tally as Pirates built a 21-point lead from their 57-36 grand final first-leg victory over Birmingham last Monday.
The two-times world champion has been impressed by the captaincy of Darcy Ward since joining Pirates.
Hancock told the Daily Echo: “Darcy has matured so much as a rider over such a short space of time and he has taken over the captaincy of this team since Chris got injured. He has got a pretty good control of the team.
“He has everybody on a good level and it seems like everybody just gels together, and that is what makes a team. It doesn’t matter what names there are in a team, it matters that you work together and that you can get the best out of each other.
“Darcy is doing the job well and he does it as if he is an experienced guy who has been doing it for 20 years.
“It works really well and he has definitely got control of his guys and the attention of the team, so everybody wants to go with him and do the same thing.
“Being a captain is one thing but Darcy would agree with me that you need to have guys that respond and I think you have that in this team, so all he has to do is keep the focus and keep guiding people. He is doing a great job.”
Pirates will drop 12-15 points, turn it round when it gets jittery and lose by six on the night. #echopirates— @amitchellecho 15 October 2013
#echopirates will win on the night I reckon - at least a 25-point aggregate margin for me. Positive Melly x— @neilmeldrumecho 15 October 2013
FIRST LEG – Pirates 57 Birmingham 36
Pirates took a huge step towards the title with a crushing first-leg victory over Birmingham at Wimborne Road last Monday.
For a refresher of how that meeting unfolded, click HERE…
Pirates boast a tremendous record since the introduction of the play-off system back in 2002.
The most successful club in the current era, Poole have qualified for the play-offs no fewer than nine times.
The Dorset outfit have claimed four titles, two runner-up finishes and two semi-final appearances.
Stand-in skipper Darcy Ward (pictured above) has reached the grand final in each of his four years with the club.
A contact just sent me a text suggesting the track is extremely "grippy" here at Perry Barr.
@ianwadleyecho I think we will loose by 10 to Brummies #echopirates— @scottydogdart 15 October 2013
I am going for a draw on the night, with Pirates retaining their lead to claim a truly most odds-defying Elite League title.
Send us your predictions for tonight's meeting via the comments section or via Twitter using #echopirates...
GOING FOR GOLD – Maciej Janowski
Janowski – one of just two riders to have featured in Pirates’ declared one-to-seven throughout a turbulent campaign – is determined to finish the job tonight.
The Polish star, who tops Poole’s Elite League appearance charts with 28, told the Daily Echo: “Of course, we were not expecting that good a score (in the first leg), but we were so focused from the beginning.
“The whole team was perfect and there was an amazing team spirit because everyone helped each other. We felt like a very good team.
“It has been a hard season because we have had a lot of trouble with injuries to Darcy (Ward), Rohan (Tungate), Tomas (H Jonasson), (Robert) Miskowiak, (Dawid) Stachyra and Chris (Holder). I have never been in a team which has had that many injuries.
“Everyone thought we were out of the play-offs but, by the end, we made the play-offs. After the first meeting at Swindon, everyone said we were finished and then we won at home. Last Monday, we had a really good chance to win the league and no-one expected this in the middle of the season.
“We want to do it and we will do everything to have a gold. There are still 15 heats so we must be ready for everything, but we are in a very good position to fight for a gold.”
6:25pm Tue 15 Oct 13
north dorset AFCB says
Come on lads you did the busness last week,now finish them off tonight,
the TITLE is wating for you.
GRAND FINAL SECOND LEG BUILD-UP – Pirates promoter Matt Ford
Ford said: “There is no getting away from the fact that the performance in the first leg was absolutely brilliant. I believe we out-thought and out-fought a quality Birmingham side from start to finish.
“But I have absolutely no doubt that when the bikes are wheeled out at Perry Barr, the home side’s hurt from what happened will make them even more dangerous.
“Without question, they will attack from the off and we will need to be on our toes and guard against it.
“Our philosophy will be to forget our first-leg lead and stop them getting the heat advantages they are going to need. Every heat we can prevent them pulling back any points will be another race when it becomes more important that they have to do it in the next one, and so on.
“But, to do that, we have to have a team who have proved over the past two Mondays that they can dig in and attack and frustrate the opposition at the same time.
“We have to ride with that same spirit.”
GRAND FINAL SECOND LEG BUILD-UP: Poole captain Darcy Ward
PIRATES talisman Darcy Ward, skipper in the absence of injured Chris Holder, has performed heroics to help guide Pirates to the verge of Elite League glory this season.
The Grand Prix star delivered a scintillating paid maximum as Pirates built a commanding 21-point lead in the grand final first leg against Birmingham last Monday.
And in-form Ward is bidding to seal his second Elite League title tonight.
The 21-year-old told the Daily Echo: “We were hoping for a double-figure lead but we knew it would be tough, of course, because Birmingham have been very good all year.
“We had some good team spirit yet again (last Monday) – which we have had all season.
“I think you would say it has been a tough season for the Pirates. We were bottom of the table for a while. But now it is the end of the season – it is crunch time – and we have stepped up.
“But the job is not done yet and we are only halfway there. Birmingham are strong at home and it is ours to throw away now, so we need to keep focused and get the job done.
“They are very good at home and their track is very suited to all of them.
“But we are good and we have some big names in our team and that really helps, and then we have Josh Grajczonek at reserve helping us. We are all ready to try to bring this trophy back down to Poole.”
BIRMINGHAM TEAM NEWS
The Brummies are unchanged with Pirates old boy Jason Doyle (pictured above) expected to lead the hosts' charge.
Birmingham: 1 Martin Smolinski, 2 Jason Doyle, 3 Danny King, 4 Ben Barker, 5 Chris Harris, 6 Nico Covatti, 7 Josh Auty.
PIRATES TEAM NEWS
In keeping with much of the season, Pirates have been forced into a couple of changes for the two-legged grand final.
They run with the same line-up which established a 21-point lead in the first leg, with Poole asset Kyle Newman covering for Micky Dyer as a guest reserve and rider replacement operating in the absence of injured Rohan Tungate.
Pirates: 1 Darcy Ward, 2 Tomas H Jonasson, 3 Greg Hancock, 4 R/R for Rohan Tungate, 5 Maciej Janowski, 6 Josh Grajczonek, 7 Kyle Newman (guest).
Birmingham fans behind me aren't sounding overly optimistic. "It's over, we'll lose on the night, " one just bemoaned. Pirates hold a mammoth 21-point lead from last Monday's first leg.
Plenty of Pirates supporters have made the trip and a decent crowd is building ahead of the showpiece meeting in British domestic speedway.
RT @EchoJon: Poole pirates against the brummies begins at 7. #speedway http://t.co/lp6tRF0Rh7— @ianwadleyecho 15 October 2013
Ready for the Elite League #speedway grand final second leg at Perry Barr... http://t.co/D85LNngAYx— @ianwadleyecho 15 October 2013
Good evening and welcome to Perry Barr for tonight's Elite League grand final second leg showdown between Birmingham and Pirates. We will be providing build-up, heat details, action pictures and reaction via this online service, so stay tuned.
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