CHRIS Holder delivered a superb double-figure haul at his old stamping ground as King’s Lynn dealt a telling body blow to Pirates’ SGB Premiership play-off hopes.

Holder was controversially denied a team place by Matt Ford during the winter due to his weighty average, ending the Aussie’s nine-year spell at the Dorset club.

And while Holder has admitted his season so far has been a mixed bag, he brought his best form to the table at Wimborne Road in the Stars’ 49-44 success.

The 2012 world champion’s 13-point salvo was in stark contrast to the modest haul earned by Krzysztof Kasprzak – the man who replaced him as Pirates number one.

That said, Kasprzak had only recently returned from a broken collarbone and had not ridden the Poole track at all in more than two months.

The five points the Pole scored across his two closing rides could provide some crumbs of comfort to Ford, who has seen his team rocked by a string of injury and availability problems.

In addition to Kasprzak, Poole had a new face in the line-up in the form of Richie Worrall, who made his debut in place of the sidelined Brady Kurtz.

Wasting no time, the Stars took an early lead. Thomas Jorgensen flew away off the inside and Jack Holder forced his way past Troy Batchelor, with Kasprzak failing to make ground at the back.

Paul Starke banked a tapes-to-flag success next time out, again off gate one. His fellow Poole reserve James Shanes threatened the second-place Lewis Rose early on but his challenge tailed off, levelling matters at 6-6.

Heat three proved a belter, although not the result the home fans wanted. Worrall and Nicolai Klindt gated but Kai Huckenbeck and Robert Lambert quickly forced their way into second and third, respectively.

Worrall battled manfully to keep Huckenbeck at bay but eventually succumbed, before clinging on to stop Lambert making it an away maximum.

Chris Holder, who had received the warmest of welcomes in the pre-meeting introductions, comfortably won heat four.

Stars reserve Danny Ayres had made the gate initially but slipped to the back, falling and remounting under pressure from Shanes.

Poole trailed by two. Klindt, still sporting a limp due to a knee injury, made the start in heat five but could not hold on. Batchelor and Jorgensen were comfortable in the final reckoning.

Chris Holder sailed to victory in heat six but younger brother Jack Holder was frustrated by the second-place Lewis Rose. Kasprzak again failed to score.

That prompted Poole team boss Neil Middleditch to send out skipper Hans Andersen on a tactical ride. The Dane – back on a bike following a neck problem – did his job ahead of Lambert but Starke’s early retirement proved costly.

There was renewed hope for the home faithful when Starke re-emerged and flew out of the gate, soon allowing Jack Holder to assume top billing. The duo then eased to a valuable 5-1.

Chris Holder reeled off his third win on the spin as King’s Lynn killed the hosts’ momentum, opening a five-point advantage they never surrendered.

Kasprzak finally got among the points in heat 10 but Lambert led, ensuring a shared heat. And although Andersen dived past Jorgensen for second next, Batchelor could not be caught and a point-less outing for Starke was not what was required.

The Stars turned the screw further. The visitors roared into the top two places and although Starke closed the gap on Rose in the latter stages, it was not enough to prevent a maximum.

Race 13 proved a cracking affair. Kasprzak banked his first win but the main action was behind him, with Andersen and Chris Holder duking it out for second. It was a battle the Dane won when he chopped inside on turn four, setting up a 5-1.

Another heat advantage decreased the gap further, although the meeting was nearly out of the hosts’ reach. Starke and Worrall both passed Stars riders within moments of each other to put Poole five points behind.

Dale Allitt’s side sealed the win with a closing 3-3, Chris Holder increasing his tally with a dominant success. Andersen and Jack Holder seemed to get tied up early on and the latter clung on for third on the line from Lambert.

Victory allowed King’s Lynn to rise to third in the table at the expense of Pirates.


Pirates 44: 1 Krzysztof Kasprzak (0-0-2-3) 5, 2 Jack Holder (2-1-3-1*-1*) 8+2, 3 Nicolai Klindt (0-1-0) 1, 4 Richie Worrall (2-0-2-1) 5, 5 Hans Andersen (2-6^-2-2*-2) 14+1, 6 Paul Starke (3-r-2*-0-1-3) 9+1, 7 James Shanes (1-1*-0) 2+1.

King’s Lynn 49: 1 Troy Batchelor (1-3-3-0) 7, 2 Thomas Jorgensen (3-2*-0-1) 6+1, 3 Kai Huckenbeck (3-1*-0-3) 7+1, 4 Robert Lambert (1-2-3-2-0) 8, 5 Chris Holder (3-3-3-1-3) 13, 6 Lewis Rose (2-2*-1-1-2*) 8+2, 7 Danny Ayres (0-0fr-0) 0.

HT 1: Jorgensen, J Holder, Batchelor, Kasprzak, 59.72 (2-4)

HT 2: Starke, Rose, Shanes, Ayres, 60.79 (6-6)

HT 3: Huckenbeck, Worrall, Lambert, Klindt, 60.50 (8-10)

HT 4: C Holder, Andersen, Shanes, Ayres (fell/remounted), 60.10 (11-13)

HT 5: Batchelor, Jorgensen, Klindt, Worrall, 60.56 (12-18)

HT 6: C Holder, Rose, J Holder, Kasprzak, 60.82 (13-23)

HT 7: Andersen (tactical), Lambert, Huckenbeck, Starke, 60.88 (19-26)

HT 8: J Holder, Starke, Rose, Jorgensen, 60.84 (24-27)

HT 9: C Holder, Worrall, Rose, Klindt, 60.60 (26-21)

HT 10: Lambert, Kasprzak, J Holder, Huckenbeck, 60.87 (29-34)

HT 11: Batchelor, Andersen, Jorgensen, Starke, 60.69 (31-38)

HT 12: Huckenbeck, Rose, Starke, Shanes, 60.63 (32-43)

HT 13: Kasprzak, Andersen, C Holder, Batchelor, 60.31 (37-44)

HT 14: Starke. Lambert, Worrall, Ayres, 61.37 (41-46)

HT 15: C Holder, Andersen, J Holder, Lambert, 61.44 (44-49)


IT WAS almost as if he had a point to prove.

Whether he felt he did or not, Chris Holder was magnificent.

He slotted back into the old routine at Wimborne Road with just one crucial difference – the colour of his Kevlars.

That was to the detriment of Pirates who never really got to grips with the man who won five Elite League titles in the skull and crossbones.