PIRATES are tonight sweating on the fitness of skipper Hans Andersen after the Dane was taken to hospital following the 47-43 loss to league leaders Belle Vue.

The Danish star sustained a neck injury during the SGB Premiership clash as Pirates suffered their second home defeat of the season.

Andersen posted a picture on Instagram of him wearing a neck brace, adding: “Not the way I imagined my day would end.”

It was a disappointing denouement to a big night for the Dorset club, with a bumper crowd taking advantage of reduced entry prices for the BT Sport-televised fixture.

And with the hosts managing just three heat advantages against the powerful Aces, the meeting would have given owner Matt Ford food for thought ahead of Pirates’ return to racing in a fortnight.

Poole were hit by the 11th-hour withdrawal of Grzegorz Zengota so rider replacement was operated, while the returning Nicolai Klindt rode in his first league meeting since June 3.

The release of the new averages saw Brady Kurtz elevated to number one, with Paul Starke dropping to reserve and Klindt shifting into the main body.

Aces number one Kenneth Bjerre was never under threat in the opening race, with Jack Holder nipping past Steve Worrall and Kurtz quickly following suit by the end of the first lap.

The story was not dissimilar in heat two as Dan Bewley enjoyed an untroubled ride for the visitors. Starke and Shanes were comfortable behind him, apart from one nervous moment when the former nearly came a cropper on turn four of lap two.

Belle Vue earned the first heat advantage next, Rohan Tungate clinging on as Holder ramped up the pressure in the final lap. World under-21 champion Max Fricke, who looked unstable at times, took a point in third.

Andersen picked up an unwelcome exclusion in race four. The former Swindon man appeared to experience machinery problems entering turn one, wiping out newly-crowned British champion Craig Cook but coming off worse himself.

Cook was straight to his feet and several minutes later, Andersen followed suit.

At the third attempt – Cook’s eager start had curtailed the first staging – the Aces captain stormed to victory after James Shanes bullied Jack Smith out of the reckoning for second in the first turn.

Race five was a straightforward Belle Vue maximum which extended to eight points the lead.

Still no heat advantage was forthcoming. Cook breezed to his second win ahead of Holder, himself in front of Kurtz who recorded his second bonus point in as many rides, having previously not scored one in 2017.

Andersen bounced back in race seven, the ex-Grand Prix charger blasting round Max Fricke to seal Pirates a priceless first race win, although Starke could not find a route past Tungate.

Finally, a home 4-2. The lively Holder got the race win he deserved, although Shanes could not stop Team GB’s Steve Worrall from charging through.

The Aces replied with Cook again leading the charge. Andersen could not make headway and the struggling Klindt trailed behind Bewley for fourth.

However, Kurtz and Holder gave the home supporters renewed hope when they banked a searing 5-1. Kurtz appeared to get away with a rolling start and stormed to the first turn in front, while Holder kept his cool in the face of pressure from Fricke.

Starke had experienced an indifferent night but all of a sudden, he produced the ride of the meeting. The doubling-up ace worked his way through from the back, rounding Bjerre before hitting the front and being cleverly shepherded round by Andersen.

Pirates were level. Starke was predictably thrown in for heat 12 but the move did not have the desired effect. Although he nearly rocketed past Dan Bewley early on, Starke fell away and Pirates again trailed by four.

Perilously close to being sandwiched by Cook and Bjerre in heat 13, Kurtz somehow emerged in front, while Andersen – try as he might – could not overhaul Bjerre and eventually retired.

Starke summoned all his energy in the penultimate race and gave leader Tungate an almighty run for his money. But a 3-3 was all Poole could manage.

A maximum was required in the final heat and the hosts’ cause was helped when Fricke was excluded. But in the re-run, Cook made the start and neither Kurtz nor Holder could get close.


Pirates 43: 1 Brady Kurtz (1*-1*-3-3-2) 10+2, 2 Jack Holder (2-2-2-3-2*-1*) 12+2, 3 Grzegorz Zengota r/r, 4 Nicolai Klindt (0-0-0-1*) 1+1, 5 Hans Andersen (fx-3-2-2*-r) 7+1, 6 Paul Starke (2-1-0-3-1-2) 9, 7 James Shanes (1*-2-1-0) 4+1.

Belle Vue 47: 1 Kenneth Bjerre (3-3-1-1*) 8+1, 2 Steve Worrall (0-2*-2-0) 4+1, 3 Max Fricke (1-2-1-3-x) 7, 4 Rohan Tungate (3-1*-0-3) 7+1, 5 Craig Cook (3-3-3-2-3) 14, 6 Dan Bewley (3-0-1-2*-0) 6+1, 7 Jack Smith (0-1-0) 1.

HT 1: Bjerre, Holder, Kurtz, Worrall, 58.97 (3-3)

HT 2: Bewley, Starke, Shanes, Smith, 59.72 (6-6)

HT 3: Tungate, Holder, Fricke, Klindt, 61.00 (8-10)

HT 4 (re-run x2): Cook, Shanes, Smith, Andersen (fell/dsq), 59.72 (10-14)

HT 5: Bjerre, Worrall, Starke, Klindt, 60.16 (11-19)

HT 6: Cook, Holder, Kurtz, Bewley, 60.40 (14-22)

HT 7: Andersen, Fricke, Tungate, Starke, 61.09 (17-25)

HT 8: Holder, Worrall, Shanes, Smith, 61.50 (21-27)

HT 9 (re-run): Cook, Andersen, Bewley, Klindt, 60.72 (23-31) 

HT 10: Kurtz, Holder, Fricke, Tungate, 61.28 (28-32)

HT 11: Starke, Andersen, Bjerre, Worrall, 60.94 (33-33)

HT 12: Fricke, Bewley, Starke, Shanes, 60.56 (34-38)

HT 13: Kurtz, Cook, Bjerre, Andersen (retired), 59.91 (37-41)

HT 14: Tungate, Starke, Klindt, Bewley, 61.47 (40-44)

HT 15 (re-run): Cook, Kurtz, Holder, Fricke (dsq), 59.97 (43-47)


CONSISTENCY is key for any rider and Jack Holder delivered just that at Wimborne Road.

The Aussie had plenty of speed and put it to good use on his way to his biggest haul yet for Pirates, a mammoth 12 paid 14.

It was a tough ask against a strong Belle Vue side but Holder continued his stunning recent SGB Championship form in the top flight.

Holder’s partner in crime, Brady Kurtz, also came good after a modest start and showed bags of aggression when required.