PROMOTER Matt Ford took on team manager duties for the night as Pirates stormed back from 10 points down to claim a 46-46 draw at Belle Vue.

Inspired by a superb 12 paid 13 haul from guest number one Troy Batchelor, the visitors continued their record of taking points from every away meeting in the SGB Premiership this season.

Ford, who took the reins on a temporary basis in the absence of the unavailable Neil Middleditch, was denied a memorable victory by a closing 4-2 from the Aces.

But having overcome a sizeable mid-meeting deficit, Ford was more than happy with two points.

He told the Daily Echo: “I had always felt we could pinch a win but the way the meeting started, it seemed that was going to be a hard task. It was tough going.

“All in all, to come to this place and get a draw is great. We had a chance of winning but dropped a few points in the last few rides. However, it was a fantastic meeting and a great spectacle.

“We’ve had three away draws and in all of them we can kick ourselves a little bit. But there’s no doubt that tonight in Troy Batchelor, we had a great guest and it makes such a difference when you have someone who scores points from the number one position.

“Other than Krzysztof Kasprzak’s 11 points at Leicester, that’s the first time we’ve been able to rely on a number one. It just goes to show what the team could do if we could get that type of back-up.

“From 10 points down, to get a draw was quite something.”

Poole battled back in the opening race after the Aces gated, with Batchelor pipping Max Fricke on the line for a 4-2.

Returning the favour were reserve duo Dan Bewley and Jack Smith and Belle Vue then delivered the first maximum.

The scoreline moved to 16-8 after a slow start put Hans Andersen in trouble and following a shared heat five, Fricke headed an Aces success.

Brady Kurtz was duly given a tactical ride but Poole could not cut the deficit and guest Josh Bates was denied by Steve Worrall next time out.

Pirates then began their resurgence. Andersen and Bates profited from Kenneth Bjerre’s poor start and Kurtz and Kyle Newman bagged a priceless maximum minutes later.

When Jack Holder blasted past Craig Cook to take second behind Batchelor, Pirates had wiped out a 10-point deficit in three races.

Bjerre prevented a 5-1 for Ford’s men but a shared heat was not what Belle Vue wanted.

The flying Batchelor put the visitors in front and Kurtz ensured his team remained two points to the good heading into the final showdown.

Bjerre completed his near-perfect night with another win but with Batchelor signing off in second, Poole earned a creditable draw.

Meanwhile, Grzegorz Zengota qualified for the final of the Polish Individual Championship thanks to a fourth-place finish in Ostrow.

The meeting was won by Jarek Hampel on 14 points.


Belle Vue 46: 1 Max Fricke (2-3-1-2-1) 9, 2 Steve Worrall (0-1-3-0) 4, 3 Kenneth Bjerre (3-3-0-3-3) 12, 4 Justin Sedgmen (2*-0-2-2) 6+1, 5 Craig Cook (3-3-1-0) 7, 6 Dan Bewley (3-1-0-0-1*) 5+1, 7 Jack Smith (1-2*-0) 3+1. Team manager: Mark Lemon.

Pirates 46: 1 Troy Batchelor, guest (3-1*-3-3-2) 12+1, 2 Jack Holder (1-2-1*-2*) 6+2, 3 Kyle Newman (f-0-2*-1*) 3+2, 4 Brady Kurtz (1-4^-3-3-0) 11, 5 Hans Andersen (1-2-3-1) 7, 6 Josh Bates, guest (2-2-1-2-0) 7, 7 James Shanes (0-0-0) 0. Interim team manager: Matt Ford.

HT 1: Batchelor, Fricke, Holder, Worrall, 60.91 (2-4)

HT 2 (RE-RUN): Bewley, Bates, Smith, Shanes, 60.28 (6-6)

HT 3: Bjerre, Sedgmen, Kurtz, Newman (fell), 60.40 (11-7)

HT 4: Cook, Smith, Andersen, Shanes, 61.94 (16-8)

HT 5: Bjerre, Holder, Batchelor, Sedgmen, 60.18 (19-11)

HT 6: Fricke, Andersen, Worrall, Shanes, 60.42 (23-13)

HT 7: Cook, Kurtz (tactical), Bewley, Newman, 60.72 (27-17)

HT 8 (RE-RUN): Worrall, Bates, Holder, Smith, 61.12 (30-20)

HT 9: Andersen, Sedgmen, Bates, Bjerre, 61.44 (32-24)

HT 10: Kurtz, Newman, Fricke, Worrall, 61.62 (33-29)

HT 11: Batchelor, Holder, Cook, Bewley, 62.19 (34-34)

HT 12: Bjerre, Bates, Newman, Bewley, 62.09 (37-37)

HT 13: Batchelor, Fricke, Andersen, Cook, 61.60 (39-41)

HT 14: Kurtz, Sedgmen, Bewley, Bates, 62.28 (42-44)

HT 15: Bjerre, Batchelor, Fricke, Kurtz, 61.91 (46-46)


IT IS no secret that Pirates have lacked a number one this season.

And Troy Batchelor showed just how important a heavy-scoring spearhead is when he took to the track at the National Speedway Stadium.

Picking up 12 paid 13 against a team containing Kenneth Bjerre, Max Fricke and Craig Cook is no mean feat – and the other Aces are no slouches either.

A welcome guest for the visitors, indeed, as was Josh Bates, who reeled in a highly respectable haul of seven at reserve as he stood in for the sidelined Nicolai Klindt.