A THIRD injury of 2014 failed to overshadow Poole Pirates’ Elite League victory over Swindon at Wimborne Road in the first of a Good Friday double-header.
Pirates triumphed 56-34 in the meeting that doubled as the first leg of the Elite Shield, but Shamek Pawlicki’s spill did temporarily give cause for concern to promoter Matt Ford and team manager Neil Middleditch.
With Darcy Ward and Kyle Newman already sidelined, Pawlicki was wiped out by team-mate Vaclav Milik on bend two of heat six and was understood to complain of pain to his upper back and neck after the incident.
Pawlicki is due to undergo a CT scan but remains hopeful he will be able to ride in this evening’s meeting at the Abbey Stadium.
Pirates remain the only Elite League team with a 100 per cent winning record in 2014 and they earned three points in fine style with impressive performances across the board.
The revitalised Chris Holder set the fastest time round Wimborne Road this year in winning heat one in 59.13 seconds, but Robins number one Peter Kildemand overhauled Josh Grajczonek to prevent the maximum.
Charles Wright made the perfect start to his guest booking in the reserves’ race and the battling Lee Smart grabbed his first Elite League point of 2014 after edging past Dan Greenwood on bend three of lap three.
Forced wide at the first bend, stand-in Poole skipper Maciej Janowski fought back to dip inside the third-placed Nick Morris at the end of lap two of heat three as the Pole helped notch a 4-2.
Milik bagged three points despite nearly losing control of his machine when leading, that victory handing Pirates a 15-9 advantage after four heats.
More rapid gating from Holder resulted his second three-pointer in as many heats before Milik lifted coming out of the first bend and wiped out Pawlicki, who was on for a second race win.
A captain’s ride from injury replacement Janowski ensured a third 3-3 in a row and kept the home side six points in front.
That became four successive stalemates when Wright endured a rollercoaster heat seven as he bobbed between second, third and fourth, eventually finishing at the back.
Milik suffered a second successive exclusion in the next outing after running out of room out wide, but Poole were saved by Grajczonek’s re-run heroics in blocking off Troy Batchelor.
Heat nine saw Swindon reserve Dan Greenwood got to his feet after a nasty-looking fall on the back straight under pressure from the fourth-placed Smart, but that spill cost the visitors and they fell 31-23 behind.
A sixth 3-3 in seven heats followed as Batchelor inflicted a first defeat of the day on Holder, but Pirates replied with the first maximum in race 11 as wonderful team-riding from Janowski and Milik kept out the fence-hugging Kildemand.
Unable to use a tactical ride, the away septet were subjected to a further blow when the inspired Grajczonek motored round the outside for his third win of the meeting, although Nicolai Klindt prevented maximum damage by nipping past Wright.
Despite the best efforts of the track staff, the circuit remained dusty in heat 13 but that did not worry Holder and Janowski whose 5-1 made Kildemand pay for not getting out of the gate quickly enough.
Wright rounded off his excellent effort from reserve with a second place behind Milik, who had zipped from third to first on the back straight of lap two.
Janowski and Grajczonek gave Holder a rest in heat 15 and the seventh drawn heat of the day gave Pirates a 22-point advantage heading into this evening’s contest.
RIDERS’ SCORES AND HEAT DETAILS
Pirates 56: 1 Chris Holder (3-3-2-3) 11, 2 Josh Grajczonek (1-3-3-1*-3-0) 11+1, 3 Shamek Pawlicki (3-f) 3, 4 Vaclav Milik (3-fx-fx-2*-3) 8+1, 5 Maciej Janowski (1-r-3-3-2*-3) 12+1, 6 Lee Smart (1-0-1) 2, 7 Charles Wright, guest (3-0-3-1-2*) 9+1. Team manager: Neil Middleditch.
Robins 34: 1 Peter Kildemand (2-2-1-1-1*) 7+1, 2 Nicolai Klindt (0-2-1*-2) 5+1, 3 Troy Batchelor (2-1*-2-3-2) 10+1 , 4 Simon Gustafsson (2-2-0-1) 5, 5 Nick Morris (0-1*-0-0) 1+1, 6 Dan Greenwood (0-1*-f) 1+1, 7 Steve Worrall (2-1*-2-0-0) 5+1. Team manager: Alun Rossiter.
Ht 1: Holder, Kildemand, Grajczonek, Klindt, 59.13 (4-2)
Ht 2: Wright, Worrall, Smart, Greenwood, 61.13 (8-4)
Ht 3: Pawlicki, Batchelor, Janowski, Morris, 60.37 (12-6)
Ht 4: Milik, Klindt, Worrall, Smart, 60.75 (15-9)
Ht 5: Holder, Gustafsson, Batchelor, Janowski (retired), 60.09 (18-12)
Ht 6 (re-run): Janowski, Kildemand, Morris, Milik (fell/dsq), 60.21 (21-15)
Ht 7: Grajczonek, Gustafsson, Greenwood, Wright, (24-18)
Ht 8 (re-run): Grajczonek, Batchelor, Klindt, Milik (fell/dsq), 60.57 (27-21)
Ht 9 (awarded): Wright, Worrall, Smart, Greenwood (fell/dsq) (31-23)
Ht 10: Batchelor, Holder, Grajczonek, Morris, 60.09 (34-26)
Ht 11: Janowski, Milik, Kildemand, Gustafsson, 62.06 (39-27)
Ht 12: Grajczonek, Klindt, Wright, Worrall, 61.63 (43-29)
Ht 13: Holder, Janowski, Kildemand, Morris, 60.78 (48-30)
Ht 14: Milik, Wright, Gustafsson, Worrall, 62.63 (53-31)
Ht 15: Janowski, Batchelor, Kildemand, Grajczonek, 62.12 (56-34)