PIRATES’ strong start to the season took an alarming turn as they were condemned to a 52-38 defeat by reigning SGB Premiership champions Swindon at Wimborne Road.

Alun Rossiter’s side were sharp from the gate throughout and a dearth of heat advantages proved hugely costly for Poole against their fierce rivals.

The meeting opened with a minute’s applause from riders, officials and fans for six-time world champion Ivan Mauger, who died just days ago.

Swindon got off to a flier as Nick Morris swept past Kacper Woryna and David Bellego quickly followed, the Robins sealing a 5-1.

There was no catching Mateusz Szczepaniak after he gated in heat two. It appeared fellow reserve James Shanes would join him but Zach Wajtknecht slammed the door shut on more than one occasion.

Troy Batchelor and Adam Ellis bagged another maximum for the visitors as Poole skipper Josh Grajczonek struggled at the back, seemingly with mechanical issues.

Peter Kildemand then did his utmost to pass Swindon’s Tobiasz Musielak but could not make headway.

The visitors had roared into a six-point lead which they soon extended. The Morris-Bellego combination fired again, with Grajczonek trailing at the rear once more.

Musielak’s generosity in making an early start to heat six cost him 15m in the re-run and Woryna and Brady Kurtz duly profited, banking a much-needed 5-1.

The gap became four when Kildemand produced a from-the-back victory which culminated in him rounding Batchelor. Having won one of the first five heats, Poole had suddenly won two in a row.

There was an awkward fall for Shanes as he hounded Wajtknecht but pushed too hard, the young reserve soon back on his feet after being attended to.

The race was awarded, Swindon taking a 4-2, but the damage was not limited to that heat.

Grajczonek crashed into the air fence on turn two and was excluded from the re-run, leaving Sundstrom to plough a lone furrow. It proved too tough an ask for the Swede, who was edged out heading into the first turn by Musielak and try as he might, he could not gain on his rival.

The Robins twisted the knife further in heat 10. Although Woryna was all over the second-place Ellis early on, Swindon eventually grabbed a comfortable maximum.

Morris won his third race from three by a huge margin and it was much the same in the next heat, this time Batchelor on top.

Kildemand showed some fight in battling past Morris for his second win but Kurtz’s fourth place meant Poole’s heat advantages remained at three.

Ellis and Morris took the chequered flag in the final two heats and the emphatic victory was complete.

A trip to Wolverhampton is next up for Poole on Monday.


Pirates 38: 1 Brady Kurtz (1-2*-0-0) 3+1, 2 Kacper Woryna (0-3-2-1-0) 6, 3 Josh Grajczonek (0-0-fx) 0, 4 Linus Sundstrom (1-1-2-1*) 5+1, 5 Peter Kildemand (2-3-2-2-3-2) 14, 6 Mateusz Szczepaniak (3-1-1*-1*-2) 8+2, 7 James Shanes (1-1*-f) 2+1.

Swindon 52: 1 Nick Morris (3-3-3-2-3) 14, 2 David Bellego (2*-2*-3-0) 7+2, 3 Troy Batchelor (3-2-3-3-1) 12, 4 Adam Ellis (2*-0-2*-3) 7+2, 5 Tobiasz Musielak (3-1-3-1*) 8+1, 6 Zach Wajtknecht (2-0-1-0) 3, 7 Mitchell Davey (0-0-1-0) 1.

HT 1: Morris, Bellego, Kurtz, Woryna, 59.44 (1-5)

HT 2: Szczepaniak, Wajtknecht, Shanes, Davey, 61.87 (5-7)

HT 3: Batchelor, Ellis, Sundstrom, Grajczonek, 61.50 (6-12)

HT 4: Musielak, Kildemand, Shanes, Davey, 61.25 (9-15)

HT 5: Morris, Bellego, Sundstrom, Grajczonek, 60.97 (10-20)

HT 6 (re-run): Woryna, Kurtz, Musielak (15m), Wajtknecht, 61.50 (15-21)

HT 7: Kildemand, Batchelor, Szczepaniak, Ellis, 61.37 (19-23)

HT 8: Bellego, Woryna, Wajtknecht, Shanes (fell), awarded (21-27)

HT 9: Musielak, Sundstrom, Davey, Grajczonek, 61.06 (23-31)

HT 10: Batchelor, Ellis, Woryna, Kurtz, 61.47 (24-36)

HT 11: Morris, Kildemand, Szczepaniak, Bellego, 60.56 (27-39)

HT 12: Batchelor, Kildemand, Szczepaniak, Wajtknecht, 60.37 (30-42)

HT 13: Kildemand, Morris, Musielak, Kurtz, 60.94 (33-45)

HT 14: Ellis, Szczepaniak, Sundstrom, Davey, 61.41 (36-48)

HT 15: Morris, Kildemand, Batchelor, Woryna, 61.25 (38-52)


NOT a difficult choice on a night when most Pirates were well short of their capabilities.

Peter Kildemand was the only member of the home septet who was finding his way past opposition riders – and doing it in some style.

His tremendous haul prevented a hefty scoreline becoming embarrassing.

Even so, it was a result which brought Pirates crashing down to earth.

Neil Middleditch’s troops will have to regroup and go again at Wolverhampton on Monday, notoriously a difficult track for away riders.