POOLE skipper Josh Grajczonek delivered a captain’s performance against old club Somerset as Pirates plundered a 47-43 victory over their SGB Premiership title rivals to top the table.

It has been a remarkable turnaround for a team that spent the early weeks of the campaign propping up the standings.

Neil Middleditch’s side might not just make the play-offs. They may even win the right to pick their semi-final opponents if they remain in first place.

Grajczonek’s turnaround could play a huge role in achieving this. He marked his dramatic upturn in fortunes with a commanding win over world champion Jason Doyle in the opening race.

Somerset landed the first real blow, though, taking the initiative with a 5-1 in heat two from reserve duo Bradley Wilson-Dean and Jake Allen over Kacper Woryna and Frederik Jakobsen.

Nicolai Klindt won a shared race three for Poole, before Woryna and Chris Harris joined forces for a Pirates maximum in heat four to square the scores at 12-12.

Doyle overhauled Poole’s Richie Worrall to win race five. Klindt gave Aaron Summers the slip for third going over the start-finish line.

The Aussie responded by shoulder-barging the Dane going into lap four, turn three. It was a questionable move that cost him dearly as he careered into the fence – miraculously escaping serious injury.

Grajczonek took victory in heat six, with Brady Kurtz working wonders alongside him to overhaul Rebels’ Jake Allen on lap two to complete a 5-1 and put Poole four up.

Wins for Harris and Grajczonek followed in shared heats seven and eight, before Worrall and Klindt grabbed a 4-2 in race nine to extend Poole’s lead to six.

Grajczonek flew to his fourth victory in race 10, but with Kurtz at the back, Pirates remained within Rebels’ reach.

With the visitors six down, Rebels boss Garry May put Jack Holder alongside Doyle as a tactical substitute in heat 11.

It was an inspired move from the former Bournemouth Buccaneers boss as Rebels powered to a 5-1 over Harris and Jakobsen.

Poole hit back with a 4-2 in race 12 as Woryna triumphed, with Nicolas Covatti passing Worrall for second to deny the hosts to a maximum.

Rebels responded with a Doyle victory in heat 13, as he dominated the first turn to leave Kurtz stranded at the back.

Harris chased hard but with Holder third, Somerset cut Poole’s lead to 40-38 with a 4-2.

Klindt took full advantage of a huge Lawson blunder in heat 14, when Rebels’ race leader lifted dramatically on turn four, allowing the Pirate through for a huge win, supported by Woryna in third.

This gave Poole a four-point lead going into the last-heat decider.

Only a 5-1 could deny them, and Harris made a lightning start to take the chequered flag ahead of Holder and Doyle as Pirates tasted top spot for the first time all year.


IF ANYONE epitomises Pirates’ rapid rise from bottom to top in the SGB Premiership, it’s skipper Josh Grajczonek – scorer of 12 points.

The Aussie ace returned to Wimborne Road expected to be an instant heat leader after a strong 2017 with Somerset.

It has taken him a while to rediscover this kind of form after dropping the SGB Championship from his schedule and enduring a difficult run of results in Britain and Poland.

But the Queenslander has timed his best form to perfection. It could be crucial to Pirates’ hopes of a first title since 2015.


Ht 1: (re-run) Grajczonek, Doyle, Summers, Kurtz (f.exc), 60.75 (3-3).

Ht 2: (second re-run) Wilson-Dean, Allen, Woryna, Jakobsen, 61.97 (4-8).

Ht 3: Klindt, Lawson, Covatti, Worrall, 60.44 (7-11).

Ht 4: Woryna, Harris, Holder, Wilson-Dean, 60.87 (12-12).

Ht 5: (awarded) Doyle, Worrall, Klindt, Summers (f.exc), no time (15-15).

Ht 6: Grajczonek, Kurtz, Holder, Allen, 60.65 (20-16).

Ht 7: Harris, Lawson, Covatti, Jakobsen, 61.16 (23-19).

Ht 8: Grajczonek, Wilson-Dean, Summers, Woryna, 61.97 (26-22).

Ht 9: Worrall, Holder, Klindt, Allen, 61.34 (30-24).

Ht 10: Grajczonek, Lawson, Covatti, Kurtz, 61.63 (33-27).

Ht 11: Doyle, Holder, Harris, Jakobsen, 61.40 (34-32).

Ht 12: Woryna, Covatti, Worrall, Wilson-Dean, 61.69 (38-34).

Ht 13: Doyle, Harris, Holder, Kurtz, 61.19 (40-38).

Ht 14: Klindt, Lawson, Woryna, Wilson-Dean (f), 61.66 (44-40).

Ht 15: Harris, Holder, Doyle, Grajczonek, 61.50 (47-43).

Referee: Christina Turnbull.

Points: Pirates 3 Somerset 1.