THE SGB Premiership play-off race intensified after Pirates suffered a 56-35 defeat at Rye House tonight.

Poole now lead the fifth-place Rockets – who have two meetings in hand – by just four points in the standings.

Rye House seized control in the early stages at Hoddesdon, storming to three straight heat advantages before Hans Andersen and James Shanes ensured the fourth race was drawn.

Jack Holder's harsh exclusion in the next outing did not help Poole's cause before tactical rider Andersen was denied six points by Ben Barker.

The Rockets led by 10. Down went Paul Starke and Scott Nicholls and Stuart Robson duly profited in the re-run, roaring to a maximum.

A mini-resurgence started with a Holder heat success, with Timo Lahti and Andersen then blasting to a dominant 5-1 to cut to eight the lead.

Heat 10 was shared but disaster struck when Brady Kurtz and Holder both fell in race 11, resulting in a Rockets 5-0.

Ricky Wells won next and a shared heat 13 put Rye House on the brink of victory, with Krzysztof Kasprzak – axed by Pirates in July – and Robson completing the job.

The final race was a home maximum, resulting in a 21-point triumph for Peter Schroeck's side.


Rye House 56: 1 Chris Harris (3-1-3-3-2*) 12+1, 2 Ben Barker (2*-3-2-0) 7+1, 3 Ricky Wells (3-1-1-3-3) 11, 4 Krzysztof Kasprzak (1-3-tr-3) 7, 5 Scott Nicholls (3-3-3-0) 9, 6 Stuart Robson (3-2*-0-2*-1) 8+2, 7 Ben Morley (1-0-r-1) 2.

Pirates 35: 1 Brady Kurtz (0-2-f-1*) 3+1, 2 Jack Holder (1-fx-3-f) 4, 3 Edward Kennett (2-1-1*-2-0) 6+1, 4 Paul Starke (0-fx-2) 2, 5 Hans Andersen (2-4^-2*-2-1) 11+1, 6 Timo Lahti (2-0-3-2-0) 7, 7 James Shanes (0-1*-1-fx) 2+1.

HT 1 (re-run): Harris, Barker, Holder, Kurtz (5-1) 

HT 2: Robson, Lahti, Morley, Shanes (9-3)

HT 3: Wells, Kennett, Kasprzak, Starke (13-5)

HT 4: Nicholls, Andersen, Shanes, Morley (16-8)

HT 5 (re-run): Kasprzak, Kurtz, Wells, Holder (fell/dsq) (20-10)

HT 6: Barker, Andersen (tactical), Harris, Lahti (24-14)

HT 7 (re-run): Nicholls, Robson, Kennett, Starke (fell/dsq) (29-15) 

HT 8: Holder, Barker, Shanes, Morley (retired) (31-19)

HT 9: Lahti, Andersen, Wells, Robson, Kasprzak (tapes/replaced) (32-24)

HT 10: Harris, Lahti, Kennett, Barker (35-27)

HT 11 (re-run, awarded): Nicholls, Robson, Holder (fell), Kurtz (fell) (40-27) 

HT 12: Wells, Kennett, Morley, Lahti (44-29)

HT 13: Harris, Andersen, Kurtz, Nicholls (47-32)

HT 14 (re-run): Kasprzak, Starke, Robson, Shanes (fell/dsq) (51-34)

HT 15: Wells, Harris, Andersen, Kennett (56-35)


THE Dane gave it a good crack and ended up with a double-figure haul to his name.

He would have liked a heat win or two but the home riders had the track well and truly dialled.

It was a mixed meeting for Timo Lahti, with seven points a decent return for his first trip to Hoddesdon.