LINUS Sundstrom roared to the rescue for Pirates as they came from eight points down to snatch a 45-45 draw with SGB Premiership high-fliers Wolverhampton.

Sundstrom stormed to 10 paid 11 and produced a superb heat-15 pass on Rory Schlein which proved crucial in the final reckoning.

Earlier in the meeting, Stefan Nielsen had been taken off track in an ambulance following a home-straight spill, the Great Britain international receiving precautionary checks to his ankle.

Pirates showed one change from the team which had beaten Rye House, Richie Worrall returning from injury to take his place in the side.

Ex-Poole rider Kyle Howarth slotted back into the Wolves line-up after missing Monday’s loss at Leicester due to a Grand Prix qualifier.

Wolves spearhead Jacob Thorssell sealed victory in the opening heat but Howarth got out of shape on the second turn, ensuring a 3-3.

Mateusz Szczepaniak was quickest away in the reserves’ race and Nielsen snuck past Nathan Greaves for third.

The visitors held their nerve in banking a 5-1 next, Cameron Heeps just ahead of Poole’s Kacper Woryna at the finish.

Schlein sustained a cut left hand when he fell heading into the first turn but the Wolves star led in another maximum in the re-run.

Poole appeared on course for a 4-2 – if not better – in heat five but Howarth powered around leader Josh Grajczonek on turn two of lap four.

As spots of rain briefly fell, Schlein was in cruise control en route to the chequered flag and a last-ditch move by Sam Masters on Worrall in heat seven extended to eight points Wolves’ lead.

Sundstrom won arguably the race of the season at Wimborne Road after coming out on top of a ding-dong duel with Howarth, which saw the lead change hands on several occasions.

The Swede’s success fired Poole into life and Grajczonek and tactical substitute Kurtz slashed the deficit with a 5-1 at the expense of the hard-charging Schlein.

Sundstrom was a wheel ahead of Masters at the finish of heat 10, allowing Pirates to square the meeting up.

Thorssell pushed hard for the lead in heat 11 until he straight-lined and fell to the back, gifting the hosts a 4-2. That was during a re-run in which Szczepaniak had been fortunate to take his place.

After Nielsen suffered his frightening fall, Grajczonek could not find a way past the determined Greaves.

Wolves inched back in front when Schlein pipped Kurtz on the line, while the gutsy Woryna came from nowhere to challenge Masters for first but could not complete the job.

However, Kurtz led from tapes to flag in heat 15 and Sundstrom pulled out a cracking pass on Schlein for third.

Attention now turns to Poole’s actions – if any – regarding new riders.

Pirates boss Matt Ford had hoped to bring in Chris Holder, who has been battling personal problems.

And Ford admitted in his programme notes that the delay over Holder’s availability was “becoming quite alarming”, although he insisted he had not abandoned hope of recruiting the former world champion.

There is also the matter of the reserve berths to consider, with Ford having indicated a change could be possible.


Pirates 45: 1 Brady Kurtz (1*-2-2*-1-2-3) 11+2, 2 Linus Sundstrom (2-1*-3-3-1) 10+1, 3 Josh Grajczonek (0-2-3-2) 7, 4 Kacper Woryna (1-1*-2) 4+1, 5 Richie Worrall (1-2-3-0) 6, 6 Mateusz Szczepaniak (3-0-1-1*) 5+1, 7 Stefan Nielsen (1-0-1-fx) 2.

Wolverhampton 45: 1 Jacob Thorssell (3-0-0-1) 4, 2 Kyle Howarth (0-3-2-2) 7, 3 Cameron Heeps (2*-1-f-1) 4+1, 4 Sam Masters (3-3-2-3-2) 13, 5 Rory Schlein (3-3-1-3-0) 10, 6 Nathan Greaves (0-0-3-0) 3, 7 Ashley Morris (2-2*-0-0) 4+1.

HT 1: Thorssell, Sundstrom, Kurtz, Howarth, 60.16 (3-3)

HT 2: Szczepaniak, Morris, Nielsen, Greaves, 60.50 (7-5)

HT 3: Masters, Heeps, Woryna, Grajczonek, 60.93 (8-10)

HT 4 (re-run): Schlein, Morris, Worrall, Nielsen, 60.69 (9-15)

HT 5: Howarth, Grajczonek, Woryna, Thorssell, 62.03 (12-18)

HT 6: Schlein, Kurtz, Sundstrom, Greaves, 61.00 (15-21)

HT 7: Masters, Worrall, Heeps, Szczepaniak, 61.72 (17-25)

HT 8: Sundstrom, Howarth, Nielsen, Morris, 61.47 (21-27)

HT 9: Grajczonek, Kurtz, Schlein, Morris, 61.56 (26-28)

HT 10: Sundstrom, Masters, Kurtz (tac sub), Heeps (fell), 61.47 (30-30)

HT 11 (re-run): Worrall, Howarth, Szczepaniak, Thorssell, 62.00 (34-32)

HT 12 (re-run): Greaves, Grajczonek, Heeps, Nielsen (fell/dsq), 62.38 (36-36)

HT 13: Schlein, Kurtz, Thorssell, Worrall, 61.63 (38-40)

HT 14 (re-run): Masters, Woryna, Szczepaniak, Greaves, 61.62 (41-43)

HT 15: Kurtz, Masters, Sundstrom, Schlein, 61.79 (45-45)


THE World Cup-winner looked a much better rider than in his early meetings for Poole this season.

Sundstrom showed he had the guts for a battle when he lowered the colours of Kyle Howarth in a race which saw the lead change hands on a string of occasions.

And he did the same in heat 15, holding off Rory Schlein to bank a crucial point.

Avesta-born Sundstrom pledged prior to the meeting that he would improve his displays and he delivered on his promise.