A PROFESSIONAL job was needed and that was what Pirates delivered.

Facing a Birmingham team plunged into disarray hours earlier when owner Alan Phillips revealed he wanted out, Matt Ford’s fledglings were at their unmerciful best at Wimborne Road.

The hosts racked up a 60-32 victory against last season’s grand finalists and secured their biggest Elite League win since August 2010, leap-frogging Eastbourne into third in the process.

For the Brummies, facing the possibility of folding, a heavy away loss was a mere drop in the ocean.

The visitors had severe personnel problems heading in, given that they were missing number one Bartosz Zmarzlik and Daniel Nermark, covered by rider replacement and Josh Auty respectively.

Poole welcomed back Maciej Janowski and Shamek Pawlicki following unavailability and the Polish pair, alongside the fearless Vaclav Milik, were the fulcrum of the triumph.

Josh Grajczonek and Darcy Ward got the hosts off to the ideal start when they flew out of the gate and easily charged away from Ben Barker and Auty.

However, Kyle Newman then suffered a repeat of his bend two problems against Leicester and with fellow reserve Ben Hopwood unable to make an impression, Brummies hit back with a 5-1.

Pirates returned to form when Pawlicki dipped under visiting skipper Danny King on bend three to join fellow countryman Janowski for a maximum out front.

Milik was never troubled in heat four and although Hopwood pushed Auty all the way for third, Poole had to be content with a 14-10 lead at the first break.

There was a rare retirement for Ward following the resumption when he clipped the curb on bend one and lifted, sending him wide, but in his absence, Janowski took the chequered flag.

Low sun then caused a 15-minute delay and when the action resumed, Pawlicki and Milik squeezed out their rivals in a nerve-jangling exit to bend two, making it three home maximums on the night.

Another followed in heat seven as the resurgent Newman rounded Nico Covatti for second on the fourth bend, before tailing in Grajczonek.

Racing alongside Pawlicki for a second time, Milik blasted round the boards on bend two and needed no help from his team-mate as tactical rider King could only battle for third with Auty.

Newman found the wide lines to his liking when he roared past opposing reserve Simon Lambert, but Poole only clocked up a 3-3 as Hopwood was a wheel-length be-hind Paul Starke at the finish line.

Back at his brilliant best, Ward found an impossible gap round the outside of tactical man Barker in heat 10, and although the latter’s second place ensured Birmingham got their second heat advantage, Pirates were still 14 points up.

Janowski was having a excellent evening and he pulled off a corker of a first bend to rip into first before going on to wrap up his third victory from three, well-supported by the impressive Pawlicki.

In a rare outbreak of racing, Grajczonek needed terrific speed to pass Auty on the back straight of lap three after the Brummies man had inched from third to first on the opening lap.

Janowski was peerless in heat 13 and a slow gate from Ward did not matter as he performed a sublime cutback on Barker on bend two of lap two, making it seven home maximums.

Milik won the penultimate contest by a huge margin before Janowski took centre stage in heat 15 by completing his 15-point maximum with another impeccable display.


It might seem incredibly harsh not to give Maciej Janowski top billing, but somehow it was Vaclav Milik’s night at Wimborne Road.

The Czech ace has improved markedly since he first took to British shale at the start of 2014 and looks much more controlled than he did.

He had superb speed and was deservedly given heat 15, in which he was very unlucky to come last, despite throwing everything at it.

Signing Milik on a four-point average was surely one of the bargains of the season.


Pirates 60: 1 Darcy Ward (2*-r-3-2*) 7+2, 2 Josh Grajczonek (3-3-0-3) 9, 3 Shamek Pawlicki (2*-3-2*-2*) 9+3, 4 Vaclav Milik (3-2*-3-3-0) 11+1, 5 Maciej Janowski (3-3-3-3-3) 15, 6 Ben Hopwood (1-0-0) 1, 7 Kyle Newman (r-2*-3-1-2*) 8+2. Team manager: Neil Middleditch.
Brummies 32: 1 Bartosz Zmarzlik - rider replacement, 2 Josh Auty, guest (1-2-0-0-2) 5, 3 Danny King (1-2-1^-1*-1-1*) 7+2, 4 Nico Covatti (1*-1-0-0-1) 3+1, 5 Ben Barker (0-0-1-4^-1-2) 8, 6 Paul Starke (2*-0-1*-0) 3+2, 7 Simon Lambert (3-1*-2-0) 6+1. Team manager: Jack Lee.
Ht 1: Grajczonek, Ward, Auty, Barker, 60.79 (5-1)
Ht 2: Lambert, Starke, Hopwood, Newman (retired), 62.93 (6-6)
Ht 3: Janowski, Pawlicki, King, Barker, 60.53 (11-7)
Ht 4: Milik, Auty, Lambert, Hopwood, 60.97 (14-10)
Ht 5: Janowski, King, Covatti, Ward (retired), 59.66 (17-13)
Ht 6: Pawlicki, Milik, Barker, Auty, 61.13 (22-14)
Ht 7: Grajczonek, Newman, Covatti, Starke, 61.41 (27-15)
Ht 8: Milik, Pawlicki, King (tactical), Auty, 60.78 (32-16)
Ht 9: Newman, Lambert, Starke, Hopwood, 62.54 (35-19)
Ht 10: Ward, Barker (tactical), King, Grajczonek, 60.27 (38-24)
Ht 11: Janowski, Pawlicki, King, Covatti, 60.69 (43-25)
Ht 12: Grajczonek, Auty, Newman, Lambert, 61.94 (47-27)
Ht 13: Janowski, Ward, Barker, Covatti, 60.78 (52-28)
Ht 14: Milik, Newman, Covatti, Starke, 61.04 (57-29)
Ht 15: Janowski, Barker, King, Milik, 61.47 (60-32)