PIRATES missed the chance to hit the SGB Premiership summit and suffered their first home defeat in 11 months after failing to recover from an early Swindon blitz.

The visitors held a 14-point lead following heat seven and, inspired by talismanic skipper Jason Doyle, managed to cling on despite a manful fightback by Neil Middleditch’s side.

Having trailed throughout, Poole could have snatched an unlikely victory in heat 15 but although Andersen took the chequered flag, the battling Brady Kurtz was unable to see off Doyle and the highly-impressive Nick Morris.

The meeting was given the go ahead an hour before the scheduled start, a late shower having only slightly dampened the racing surface. And with the apparent threat of further rain, heats were swiftly reeled off.

Grand Prix star Doyle steamed to victory in the opener with Bradley Wilson-Dean doing well to hold on to second despite the close attentions of Jack Holder, who was hounding the Swindon man’s back wheel.

The reserves’ race was done and dusted early, Klindt powering away from the tapes as James Shanes vainly attempted to force his way into points contention.

Heat three was pulled back after Kurtz jumped the gun and the former Australian champion could not make a similarly rapid – and legal – start in the re-run. Flying Frenchman David Bellego stormed to the front and fine support from ex-Pirates ace Adam Ellis gave Swindon overall control.

Again, the hosts were too slowly away after skipper Andersen and Shanes arrived at the tapes, Morris leading in a third maximum in four races.

Poole were in danger of conceding another heat advantage next and were fortunate when Wilson-Dean pulled a locker on lap three which ended his pursuit of Lewis Kerr in third. As it was, the Robins had to be content with retaining their 12-point lead.

It was fast becoming clear that rapid gating was more paramount than usual and that pattern continued with a second Morris win. The Aussie’s effort blunted Krzysztof Kasprzak’s second-place tactical ride – to an extent – although Pirates finally had a heat advantage on the board.

Andersen pushed as hard as he could to stop a fourth Robins 5-1 in heat seven but Ellis was just too quick, the France-born rider clinging on by less than a bike length on the line after Bellego took the chequered flag.

Referee Paul Carrington’s decision to pull back heat eight was not well received by the Poole faithful as Klindt had taken an early lead. But it mattered not as the home side finally burst into life in the re-run.

Klindt nailed the start and Holder produced a fine move off the second turn to motor between Wilson-Dean and Zach Wajtknecht, setting up a Poole 5-1.

However, Morris was again untouchable in race nine and that was enough for a shared heat which must have kept Swindon team boss Alun Rossiter in contented mood in the pits.

Holder was not giving up the fight and his improvement was rewarded with his first win, the youngster supported by Kasprzak who had ripped inside Ellis and Bellego.

The latter then fell on the fourth turn but quickly cleared the track, allowing Poole to seal a maximum which cut to six points the lead.

Poole’s big problem, though, was Doyle. The Robins skipper was too quick out of the start in heat 11 and Andersen could not get close, Klindt thankfully opening a gap on Wilson-Dean following an early scare.

Pirates team boss Neil Middleditch threw in Klindt for the struggling Shanes next and the move paid dividends, the Dane racing to the front while Kerr did an excellent job of blocking Ellis’s path into second. Suddenly, the Robins advantage was just two points.

But Doyle was imperious and even an astonishing cutback by Andersen could not get him into first place from fourth on turn two. For a second time, the off-colour Kasprzak retired.

Kurtz and Shanes then set up a last-heat decider thanks to their combined efforts. The former rocketed round the boards to take the lead while Shanes eased away from Grondal after the Dane had tested him early on.

Poole needed a maximum for victory in heat 15, a 4-2 being enough for a draw. Andersen got a flier which took care of Morris and Doyle and while Kurtz threw all his energy into getting past the latter, which he so nearly did, Doyle had just too much speed.


Pirates 45: 1 Krzysztof Kasprzak (r-4^-2*-r) 6+1, 2 Jack Holder (1-1*-2*-3) 7+2, 3 Lewis Kerr  (0-1*-1*-2*) 4+3, 4 Brady Kurtz (1-2-2-3-0) 8, 5 Hans Andersen (1-1-2-2-3) 9, 6 Nicolai Klindt (3-0-3-1*-3) 10+1, 7 James Shanes (0-0-1) 1.

Swindon 47: 1 Jason Doyle (3-3-3-3-1*) 13+1, 2 Bradley Wilson-Dean (2*-f-1-0) 3+1, 3 Adam Ellis (2*-2*-1-1) 6+2, 4 David Bellego (3-3-f-2) 8, 5 Nick Morris (3-3-3-1-2) 12, 6 Emil Grondal (1*-0-0-0) 1+1, 7 Zach Wajtknecht (2-2*-0-0) 4+1.

HT 1: Doyle, Wilson-Dean, Holder, Kasprzak (retired), 60.78 (1-5)

HT 2: Klindt, Wajtknecht, Grondal, Shanes, 62.12 (4-8)

HT 3 (re-run): Bellego, Ellis, Kurtz, Kerr, 60.91 (5-13)

HT 4: Morris, Wajtknecht, Andersen, Shanes, 60.12 (6-18)

HT 5: Doyle, Kurtz, Kerr, Wilson-Dean (fell), 60.74 (9-21)

HT 6: Morris, Kasprzak (tactical), Holder, Grondal, 61.15 (14-24)

HT 7: Bellego, Ellis, Andersen, Klindt, 61.07 (15-29)

HT 8 (re-run): Klindt, Holder, Wilson-Dean, Wajtknecht, 60.94 (20-30)

HT 9: Morris, Kurtz, Kerr, Grondal, 60.69 (23-33)

HT 10: Holder, Kasprzak, Ellis, Bellego (fell), 61.15 (28-34)

HT 11: Doyle, Andersen, Klindt, Wilson-Dean, 60.31 (31-37)

HT 12: Klindt, Kerr, Ellis, Grondal, 61.12 (36-38)

HT 13: Doyle, Andersen, Morris, Kasprzak (retired), 60.37 (38-42)

HT 14: Kurtz, Bellego, Shanes, Wajtknecht, 61.16 (42-44)

HT 15: Andersen, Morris, Doyle, Kurtz, 60.78 (45-47)


THE Swindon skipper adapted better than anyone to the track and was lightning from the gate.

Although the majority of his rides were from the front, he held his nerve when pressured by Brady Kurtz in heat 15.

For Pirates, Jack Holder battled brilliantly and was rewarded with a fine heat win in his final ride.

The second-stringer is showing genuine signs of improvement and his biggest league points total to date for Poole illustrated that.