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Speedway: 'Cocky' Swindon provided extra motivation claim Pirates
MATT Ford claimed that an alleged comment from Swindon about the Pirates already being “sunk” had inspired Poole to sail into the Elite League grand final.
Pirates defied the odds – and the predictions of many pundits – by battling back from a 10-point deficit to stun reigning champions Swindon on Monday.
Trailing 52-42 from the play-off semi-final first leg at Blunsdon, Pirates produced their performance of the year to overhaul their rivals and book a final berth.
And to add spice to an already fierce rivalry, members of the Pirates promotion and team suggested that Swindon’s conduct had given them added motivation.
Writing in his programme notes prior to the second leg at Wimborne Road, Pirates promoter Ford claimed: “The best motivation for the home boys tonight is the fact that one of the Swindon riders actually said ‘the Pirates have been sunk’ off camera last Monday, but it was heard. Write us off at your peril.”
Speaking after the meeting, injured Pirates captain Chris Holder said: “I reckon Swindon were pretty cocky after their win and they thought they were much the better team, but the boys fought hard all night and got it done.”
Greg Hancock added: “They definitely did their fair share of talking beforehand but we saved it for the track and showed we wanted to be in the final just that little bit more.”
However, Swindon boss Alun Rossiter, who graciously took defeat on the chin and praised Pirates for being the better team on the night, hit back at suggestions that the Robins had got ahead of themselves.
Former Pirates captain Rossiter told the Swindon Advertiser: “Even though a comment (about Pirates being ‘sunk’) might have come out, I can assure you there was no complacency at all from any member of my team.
“It is water under the bridge and we have been very dignified in our defeat. That is no different to last year when we won the title there and we didn’t rub it in their faces.
“I am disappointed by it and it should all have been taken in the banter it should have been, because that is what speedway is all about. There was no malice or us thinking we had won in the build-up because we knew we hadn’t, and one comment doesn’t lead to that at all.”
During the era of social networking, Rossiter also said he felt too much was read into comments made on such websites.
He added: “People go on there and it is all about banter – friendly banter – and when things go against you, people are quick to try to twist and change it.
“The riders all go on there and give as good as they get and it is banter. I find it all a bit silly really.
“Sometimes, the fans bring it to a point as well and as soon as a rider says something, they get accused of being arrogant and being cocky. It is hard for them.”
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