NEIL Middleditch admitted Swedish star Linus Sundstrom had been left "devastated" after another underwhelming showing in tonight's SGB Premiership defeat at Swindon.

Yet to live up to his pre-season billing, World Cup winner Sundstrom managed just three paid four in the 50-39 loss at Blunsdon – Poole's fifth competitive defeat in a row – although Peter Kildemand and Kacper Woryna also struggled.

In addition, there was a nightmare debut for reserve Stefan Nielsen, who sustained a knee injury on his third ride after being unable to avoid the fallen Kildemand.

And team boss Middleditch is keeping his fingers crossed the new signing has escaped ligament damage.

Middleditch told the Daily Echo: "I still don't feel we've got the firepower we need and the boys are very disappointed with their form.

"Linus is devastated. He feels he is letting the fans down, me down and himself down.

"He is a much better rider than that. You don't become a bad rider overnight but his gating is very poor and that is so important in this league because once these boys get in front, they are very hard to pass.

"Mateusz (Szczepaniak) had a decent meeting and did his job at reserve. It was a good night for Brady (Kurtz). Josh (Grajczonek) had a couple of good rides and a couple of indifferent rides. Kacper (Woryna) was struggling to find the set-ups but he will come good."

Discussing the prognosis on Nielsen, Middleditch added: "In the morning it will be clearer. Hopefully, it's not ligament damage.

"He was sore and I thought it best if he sat out the rest of the meeting. It was a bit of baptism of fire for him."

Pirates made a positive start, aided by Swindon's Adam Ellis who fell while leading.

Szczepaniak and Nielsen were on a maximum in heat two, only for Zach Wajtknecht to split the pair.

Swindon levelled the scores thanks to Troy Batchelor and David Bellego, the scoreline moving to 12-12 after Kildemand swept past Tobiasz Musielak.

Kurtz grabbed his second race victory but Batchelor prevented the heat advantage by blocking Woryna, before lightning struck twice for Ellis.

The Great Britain star fell when leading race six but Swindon spearhead Nick Morris came to the rescue by riding two a clever race in the re-run.

Musielak then stunted Grajczonek's progress before a fourth 3-3 in a row followed.

Nielsen was up against it in heat nine after Kildemand fell and a Pirates pile-up ensued. In the re-run, the 23-year-old spun out, leaving Batchelor and Bellego to roar round unopposed.

The gap increased further when Sundstrom ran wide, allowing Morris and Ellis through for a 5-1.

Tactical substitute Kildemand fell for a second time, meaning the reward for Kurtz's third win was yet another drawn heat.

Grajczonek and Szczepaniak gave Poole hope but the hosts responded with a 4-2 of their own in heat 13, Kildemand failing to score for his third outing on the spin.

Sundstrom was passed by Wajtknecht in the penultimate contest, before Kurtz claimed a hollow victory in heat 15.


Swindon 50: 1 Nick Morris (2-3-3-1) 9, 2 Adam Ellis (r-fx-3-2*) 5+1, 3 Troy Batchelor (3-1*-2*-2) 8+2, 4 David Bellego (2*-2-3-3-1*) 11+2, 5 Tobiasz Musielak (2-3-2-3-2) 12, 6 Zach Wajtknecht (2-0-1*-1) 4+1, 7 Mitchell Davey (0-1*-0-0) 1+1.

Pirates 39: 1 Brady Kurtz (3-3-3-2-3) 14, 2 Kacper Woryna (1-0-2) 3, 3 Josh Grajczonek (r-2-0-3-0) 5, 4 Linus Sundstrom (1-1*-1-0) 3+1, 5 Peter Kildemand (3-2-fx-f-0) 5, 6 Mateusz Szczepaniak (3-1*-1*-1-2) 8+2, 7 Stefan Nielsen (1-0-fx) 1.

HT 1: Kurtz, Morris, Woryna, Ellis (fell/rem/ret), 66.28 (2-4)

HT 2: Szczepaniak, Wajtknecht, Nielsen, Davey, 67.02 (4-8)

HT 3: Batchelor, Bellego, Sundstrom, Grajczonek (ret), 65.39 (9-9).

HT 4: Kildemand, Musielak, Davey, Nielsen, 66.18 (12-12)

HT 5: Kurtz, Bellego, Batchelor, Woryna, 66.15 (15-15)

HT 6 (re-run): Morris, Kildemand, Szczepaniak, Ellis (fell/dsq), 66.74 (18-18)

HT 7: Musielak, Grajczonek, Sundstrom, Wajtknecht, 66.77 (21-21)

HT 8: Ellis, Woryna, Szczepaniak, Davey, 66.77 (24-24)

HT 9 (re-run x2): Bellego, Batchelor, Nielsen (fell/dsq), Kildemand (fell/dsq), 67.61 (29-24)

HT 10: Morris, Ellis, Sundstrom, Grajczonek, 66.71 (34-25)

HT 11: Kurtz, Musielak, Wajtknecht, Kildemand (fell), 67.62 (37-28)

HT 12: Grajczonek, Batchelor, Szczepaniak, Davey, 67.49 (39-32)

HT 13 (re-run): Musielak, Kurtz, Morris, Kildemand, 67.58 (43-34)

HT 14: Bellego, Szczepaniak, Wajtknecht, Sundstrom, (47-36)

HT 15: Kurtz, Musielak, Bellego, Grajczonek, 67.46 (50-39)


SWINDON may be a track Brady Kurtz likes but 14 points was still a remarkable salvo against the Robins' heavy-hitting line-up.

The former Australian champion has scored big in nearly every meeting for Poole this season and you wonder where they would be without him.

Elsewhere, Mateusz Szczepaniak showed up better and eight paid 10 will give the Pole a much-needed confidence boost.