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Pirates: Screen wowed by Holder heroics
Screen looked on from the pits as the Turbo Twins combined to pull off one of the most memorable meeting victories in Poole’s illustrious 64-year history.
The 39-year-old, who rode for Pirates in 2009, had earlier played his part in helping take Elite League rivals King’s Lynn to the brink of a famous win.
But Stars’s hopes were dashed when Houdini Holder produced a scintillating last-heat ride to partner Ward to a dramatic and unlikely 48-45 triumph.
The Coastal Aluminium Pirates skipper swept past King’s Lynn duo Niels Kristian Iversen and Maciej Janowski to come from last to first on the final lap.
Screen, who admitted his reception from the Wimborne Road faithful had been “touching”, told the Daily Echo: “It was one of the best races you will ever see and I was just glad that I was here to see it. I am also glad that I have seen them racing during my career because they are simply awesome.
“I thought we might get close to beating Poole but didn’t think we would be leading all the way through until the final race. In Chris and Darcy, they have got two of the top riders in the world and so it proved.”
Iversen lowered the colours of both Ward and Holder in the opening five heats as the visitors went on to establish a 14-point lead. However, the Dane, currently one of the most in-form riders in the world, was left to lick his wounds in the finale.
“It was frustrating but they came good in the end,” said Iversen. “It was a superb last race from Holder and Ward. It was more a good race by them than a bad race by us but I was still disappointed.”
Ward added: “We looked beaten. We knew it would be tough because they are a good team. But Ludvig Lindgren’s win in heat 14 was really important and we came through in the end. It was an unreal ride by Chris.
“We knew a 3-3 wouldn’t have been enough and we are all about winning. I just tried to slow things up and either they made mistakes or were more concerned about trying to get a 3-3.”
And Pirates team manager Neil Middleditch said: “I was pacing up and down the pits and honestly thought we had lost because Niels and Maciej are such capable riders.
“But Darcy slowed the race masterfully and allowed Chris to pass them. I thought one would have been enough but he wanted the pair. It was unbelievable and one of the best races I have ever seen here, just for the tactics and the sheer skill of both riders.”