STILL the race for the SGB Premiership play-offs goes on.

In a week when British top-flight speedway has more meetings than it knows what to do with, the twists and turns in the narrative are proving fascinating for all – except supporters of the clubs involved.

Pirates did their bit on home shale tonight, seeing off a King’s Lynn side which had lost 11 of its past 12 meetings, while the Dorset club’s rivals Rye House failed to pick up points at Belle Vue.

Poole and the Rockets are tomorrow due to face Lynn – now out of the top-four race barring a mathematical miracle – in a high-stakes double header at the Adrian Flux Arena.

Neither visiting team can afford to slip up if they wish to earn the fourth and final play-off spot and the Rockets could be boosted by the absence of Lynn’s Robert Lambert for the second fixture.

Whatever happens, this tale is not over yet. Enjoy it, if you can.

Pirates were tonight without Paul Starke due to Peterborough commitments while King’s Lynn drafted in Scunthorpe’s Tero Aarnio at reserve in the absence of Nicklas Porsing.

The Stars were also missing Kai Huckenbeck due to injury so as in the case of Starke, rider replacement was operated.

The hosts were initially on course for a 5-1 in the opener but matters did not go to script when Jack Holder nearly went into the side of Brady Kurtz. That allowed Thomas Jorgensen to roar to the front and lead in a heat advantage, with Lambert keeping Kurtz honest behind.

Poole’s response was instant. Timo Lahti was jet-propelled from the start and was comfortable in taking the chequered flag, with James Shanes similarly untroubled behind him after blasting past Josh Auty.

Lahti repeated the trick in heat three as he broke the 60-second barrier for the second ride running, while Edward Kennett got the better of Michael Palm Toft early on and then in the latter stages held off the challenge of Auty.

Aarnio got the drop next but Pirates skipper Hans Andersen swept beautifully inside the Finn, who subsequently ran wide and got tied up with Tomas H Jonasson, allowing the gleeful Shanes into second place.

Lynn desperately needed a heat advantage and they duly got one in fine style. Jorgensen was handed the black-and-white helmet colour and he finished second in a topsy-turvy affair behind Lambert, reducing to 18-14 the deficit.

Pirates were on a 3-3 in the next race but, typical of his displays at Wimborne Road this season, the second-place Kurtz lined up his man – in this case Jonasson – reeled him in and motored past.

The hosts were in uncompromising mood and a fourth maximum arrived in heat seven. Lahti and Andersen got past Palm Toft and although the Stars man bit back at Andersen, the Poole skipper made his move again and made it stick.

Holder was the next winner and all the action was behind him, Shanes being unfortunate to emerge with no score. He was clamped by Auty which allowed Jorgensen through, although the Puddletown charger battled all the way.

Pirates were sluggish from the tapes in heat nine but Kennett had plenty of speed and was past Auty on the back straight of lap two, with Lahti following soon after. Jonasson took the chequered flag and the race was shared.

A third 3-3 on the spin followed. Palm Toft inched past Holder through the first turn and the race was done and dusted.

Andersen pulled off a nerve-shredding move on Lambert in heat 11 which left little room for error, the experienced Dane edging in front at the first turn. He was quickly joined by Lahti, who stole victory on the line as his team-mate slowed.

Auty triumphed in a shared and uneventful heat 12 before Andersen stormed round the boards to go from fourth to second, finishing behind Kurtz to record a maximum heat win.

The meeting was won. Palm Toft generously boosted Poole further by jumping the start and going off 15m, with Kennett and the magnificent Lahti cruising to a 5-1.

It was the same result in the closing race, Kurtz and Andersen dominant en route to their maximum.

Remaining fixtures, Pirates and Rye House: King’s Lynn v Pirates and King’s Lynn v Rye House (tonight), Somerset v Pirates and Rye House v Swindon (tomorrow), Rye House v Leicester (Monday).


Pirates 59: 1 Brady Kurtz (2-3-2-3-3) 13, 2 Jack Holder (0-1-3-1*-2) 7+1, 3 Paul Starke r/r, 4 Edward Kennett (2*-0-2-3) 7+1, 5 Hans Andersen (3-2*-2*-2*-2*) 11+4, 6 Timo Lahti (3-3-1-3-1*-3-2*) 16+2, 7 James Shanes (2*-2*-0-1*) 5+3.

King’s Lynn 33: 1 Robert Lambert (1-3-1-0) 5, 2 Thomas Jorgensen (3-4^-1*-0-1) 9+1, 3 Michael Palm Toft (0-1-3-0-0t) 4, 4 Kai Huckenbeck r/r, 5 Tomas H Jonasson (0-2-3-0-1-0) 6, 6 Josh Auty (1-1-2-0-3) 7, 7 Tero Aarnio, guest (0-1-0-1) 2.

HT 1: Jorgensen, Kurtz, Lambert, Holder, 60.00 (2-4)

HT 2: Lahti, Shanes, Auty, Aarnio, 59.56 (7-5)

HT 3: Lahti, Kennett, Auty, Palm Toft, 59.84 (12-6)

HT 4: Andersen, Shanes, Aarnio, Jonasson, 61.28 (17-7)

HT 5: Lambert, Jorgensen (tactical), Lahti, Kennett, 60.88 (18-14)

HT 6: Kurtz, Jonasson, Holder, Auty, 60.69 (22-16)

HT 7: Lahti, Andersen, Palm Toft, Aarnio, 60.16 (27-17)

HT 8: Holder, Auty, Jorgensen, Shanes, 60.75 (30-20)

HT 9: Jonasson, Kennett, Lahti, Auty, 61.22 (33-23)

HT 10: Palm Toft, Kurtz, Holder, Jonasson, 61.15 (36-26)

HT 11: Lahti, Andersen, Lambert, Jorgensen, 60.65 (41-27)

HT 12: Auty, Holder, Shanes, Palm Toft, 61.43 (44-30)

HT 13: Kurtz, Andersen, Jonasson, Lambert, 61.49 (49-31)

HT 14 (re-run): Kennett, Lahti, Aarnio, Palm Toft (15m tapes), 61.34 (54-32)

HT 15: Kurtz, Andersen, Jorgensen, Jonasson, 61.35 (59-33)


Once again, Timo Lahti ran riot at reserve.

The mid-season signing enjoyed seven rides at Wimborne Road and secured victory in four of them, many of those successes coming by a country mile.

Josh Auty and Tero Aarnio were no match for the Finland-born Sweden international.

An honourable mention goes to Poole skipper Hans Andersen, who was unbeaten by an opposition rider in his five rides.

The Dane also performed one of the moves of the night, a first-turn pass of Robert Lambert in which he showed all of his considerable nerve.