MATT Ford’s search for a winning formula continues after Pirates crumbled to a galling Knockout Cup quarter-final defeat at home to Somerset.

Trailing by 14 points from the first leg, Poole were up against it from the early heats and were beaten 47-43 on the night and 99-81 on aggregate.

Ford stated in his programme notes that “there is one move we could make” and admitted that “if we can strengthen then we would be foolish not to”.

And the promoter could be tempted to explore tweaks to his line-up off the back of a chastening night at Wimborne Road.

Pirates tracked an unchanged septet following Monday’s loss at Belle Vue, while Somerset operated rider replacement for the out-of-form Claus Vissing, who was absent due to racing commitments in Denmark.

The hosts took control of heat one from the first turn and the second-place Linus Sundstrom was never under more than moderate pressure from reigning world champion Jason Doyle.

The maximum was immediately wiped out, however, as Jake Allen and Nico Covatti returned the favour in the reserves’ race.

Somerset were on course their second 5-1 but Nicolai Klindt found some speed round the boards and was past Bradley-Wilson Dean at the start of lap three.

Pirates’ task toughened further when Covatti and Jack Holder gated and extended to 20 points the aggregate advantage.

The visitors making the gate was becoming a familiar pattern. Doyle and Holder made no mistake in heat five and neither Richie Worrall nor Klindt could get close.

In his third ride on the spin, Holder was away quickest and the hard-charging Brady Kurtz failed to find a path past his close friend as the heat was shared.

Josh Grajczonek rode a brave first couple of bends en route to victory next but Pirates badly needed heat advantages and Mateusz Szczepaniak struggled at the back.

A fall for Sundstrom left Kacper Woryna under the pump but the Pole showed plenty of guts to beat Doyle on British shale for the second time in eight days.

Jake Allen spearheaded a Rebels 4-2 before Sundstrom again fell in heat 10, only to get to his feet and win the re-run ahead of Kurtz – their second maximum in tandem.

But Doyle triumphed in heat 11 and with Richard Lawson third, Somerset had sealed their semi-final spot with four heats in hand.

Woryna pulled out a fine second win in race 12, lowering the colours of Wilson-Dean as Poole gained just their second heat advantage of the meeting.

The next outing proved an entertaining affair. Kurtz clung on to the lead out of turn two ahead of Doyle but the real action was at the back.

Grajczonek tried everything to get past Holder but on each occasion, the door was slammed shut.

Woryna was again the star attraction in the penultimate race, the former Coventry flier getting his reward for a relentless pursuit of the second-place Lawson. At the front, Klindt gained his first win.

Lawson took Holder’s place in heat 15 following a nasty-looking crash. Doyle duly reeled off his third success and increased to 14 his personal haul, with Kurtz unable to seriously threaten his compatriot.

Pirates are next in action a week tonight, with Belle Vue their opponents in the SGB Premiership.


Pirates 43 (81): 1 Brady Kurtz (3-2-2*-3-2) 12+1, 2 Linus Sundstrom (2*-1*-fx-3) 6+2, 3 Richie Worrall (0-1-2-1) 4, 4 Nicolai Klindt (2-0-0-3) 5, 5 Josh Grajczonek (1-3-2-0) 6, 6 Mateusz Szczepaniak (0-0-r) 0, 7 Kacper Woryna (1-0-3-3-2*-1*) 10+2.

Somerset 47 (99): 1 Jason Doyle (1-3-2-3-2-3) 14, 2 Claus Vissing r/r, 3 Bradley Wilson-Dean (0-1-2-0-2) 5, 4 Richard Lawson (3-1*-1-1-1-0) 7+1, 5 Jack Holder (2*-2*-3-1-1*) 9+3, 6 Jake Allen (3-0-3-0) 6, 7 Nico Covatti (2*-3-1*-0) 6+2.

HT 1: Kurtz, Sundstrom, Doyle, Wilson-Dean, 58.59 (5-1)

HT 2: Allen, Covatti, Woryna, Szczepaniak, 59.50 (6-6)

HT 3: Lawson, Klindt, Wilson-Dean, Worrall, 59.56 (8-10)

HT 4: Covatti, Holder, Grajczonek, Woryna, 59.62 (9-15)

HT 5: Doyle, Holder, Worrall, Klindt, 59.78 (10-20)

HT 6: Holder, Kurtz, Sundstrom, Allen, 59.60 (13-23)

HT 7: Grajczonek, Wilson-Dean, Lawson, Szczepaniak, 60.28 (16-26)

HT 8 (re-run): Woryna, Doyle, Covatti, Sundstrom (fell/dsq), 59.40 (19-29)

HT 9: Allen, Worrall, Holder, Klindt, 60.25 (21-33)

HT 10 (re-run): Sundstrom, Kurtz, Lawson, Wilson-Dean, 60.21 (26-34)

HT 11: Doyle, Grajczonek, Lawson, Szczepaniak, 60.78 (28-38)

HT 12: Woryna, Wilson-Dean, Worrall, Allen, 60.63 (32-40)

HT 13: Kurtz, Doyle, Holder, Grajczonek, 60.13 (35-43)

HT 14: Klindt, Woryna, Lawson, Covatti, 61.12 (40-44)

HT 15 (re-run): Doyle, Kurtz, Woryna, Lawson, 60.81 (43-47)


THE all-action Pole looks a much-improved rider for a stint at reserve and should be well-equipped to move up the order.

Although he started a little slowly, his heat eight victory over Jason Doyle was the high point of a meeting which proved a tough watch for the Pirates faithful.

Woryna is surely destined for the top of the sport and glimpses of his true quality are beginning to shine through.

Brady Kurtz enjoyed another good night following his improved effort at Belle Vue on Monday.