JOSH Grajczonek turned in a true captain’s display as Pirates warmed up for the SGB Premiership play-offs by thrashing Wolverhampton 55-35.

Second-stringer Grajczonek reeled off three heat wins as part of a powerful team performance at Wimborne Road, sending Poole into a semi-final against Somerset on a high.

The Rebels chose to meet Pirates at the Oaktree Arena on Monday, September 17 with the return leg in Dorset two weeks later.

Regular-season table toppers King's Lynn elected to face Belle Vue in the other semi.

Pirates welcomed back Danish star Nicolai Klindt and a reshuffle to the riding order saw Kacper Woryna move up to number four, with Richie Worrall dropping to reserve.

For Wolverhampton, Swindon’s Nick Morris and Mildenhall’s Danny Ayres guested for injured duo Rory Schlein and Nathan Greaves.

Grajczonek made a cracker of a start in heat one and although Brady Kurtz was briefly at the back, he rounded Sam Masters on turn three for a 4-2.

Worrall was on the back wheel of leader Ayres when the reserves locked horns but could not find a way through.

A sweeping move from Nick Morris left his rivals behind on turns one and two, with Klindt falling off the pace after initially pressuring Jonas B Andersen for third.

Pirates were on a 5-1 next but reserve Frederik Jakobsen was overhauled by Jacob Thorssell on turn four of lap three.

Klindt roared back into form with a lightning-quick gate and Thorssell presented Poole with a gift by charging through the tapes next.

But a twist in the tail saw Kurtz retire early with bike problems, meaning Grajczonek’s second win only preserved Poole’s overall four-point advantage.

A first home maximum followed. Chris Harris earned his second victory and behind him, Worrall slipped past Nick Morris on the back straight of the final lap.

Grajczonek was already gone when Ayres fell in heat eight and Jakobsen’s well-held second place increased to 30-18 Poole’s lead.

In came Masters as a tactical substitute but he fluffed his lines by going through the tapes, Thorssell preventing further damage for Wolves by scorching to the chequered flag in the re-run.

Kurtz roared into life in heat 10 and, predictably, Grajczonek was close behind and in no danger of being passed by an opposition rider. A third maximum in four races for the hosts.

Heat 11 was a two-tier affair with Masters clinging on for victory ahead of the hard-charging Harris, while Worrall withstood the challenge of Kyle Howarth.

Klindt and Jakobsen made Poole’s fourth 5-1 look easy before Masters again held on under heavy pressure, this time from Harris and Kurtz.

A good night’s work for Worrall was capped with a win in heat 14, the reserve again getting the better of Nick Morris.

In the final shootout, Masters maintained his strong second half of the meeting and it was all Harris could do to keep second place ahead of Thorssell.


Pirates 55: 1 Brady Kurtz (1-r-3-1*) 5+1, 2 Josh Grajczonek (3-3-3-2*) 11+1, 3 Nicolai Klindt (0-3-2-3) 8, 4 Kacper Woryna (2-1-1*-1) 5+1, 5 Chris Harris (3-3-2-2-2) 12, 6 Richie Worrall (2-2*-1*-3-0) 8+2, 7 Frederik Jakobsen (1*-1-2*-2*) 6+3.

Wolverhampton 35: 1 Sam Masters (r-2-0-3-3-3) 11, 2 Kyle Howarth (2-0-1-0) 3, 3 Jonas B Andersen (1-0-1-1) 3, 4 Nick Morris, guest (3-1-0-2) 6, 5 Jacob Thorssell (2-2-3-0-1) 8, 6 Ashley Morris (0-1*-0) 1+1, 7 Danny Ayres, guest (3-0-f-0) 3.

HT 1: Grajczonek, Howarth, Kurtz, Masters (ret), 59.50 (4-2)

HT 2: Ayres, Worrall, Jakobsen, A Morris, 60.75 (7-5)

HT 3: N Morris, Woryna, Andersen, Klindt, 60.44 (9-9)

HT 4: Harris, Thorssell, Jakobsen, Ayres, 61.03 (13-11)

HT 5: Klindt, Masters, Woryna, Howarth, 60.37 (17-13)

HT 6 (re-run): Grajczonek, Thorssell (tapes 15m), A Morris, Kurtz (ret), 60.85 (20-16)

HT 7: Harris, Worrall, N Morris, Andersen, 60.57 (25-17)

HT 8: Grajczonek, Jakobsen, Howarth, Ayres (fell), 61.06 (30-18)

HT 9 (re-run): Thorssell, Klindt, Woryna, Masters (tapes 15m), 60.35 (33-21)

HT 10: Kurtz, Grajczonek, Andersen, N Morris, 61.00 (38-22)

HT 11: Masters, Harris, Worrall, Howarth, 61.28 (41-25)

HT 12: Klindt, Jakobsen, Andersen, A Morris, 61.72 (46-26)

HT 13: Masters, Harris, Kurtz, Thorssell, 61.37 (49-29)

HT 14: Worrall, N Morris, Woryna, Ayres, 61.60 (53-31)

HT 15: Masters, Harris, Thorssell, Worrall, 61.06 (55-35)


Grajczonek was flying from the word go at Wimborne Road.

He made a blisteringly quick gate in heat one and never looked back, earning a key win in heat six after Brady Kurtz retired.

A more regulation success followed soon after and even in finishing second behind Kurtz in heat 10, the Poole captain looked very at ease.

The difference between this Grajczonek and the same rider of the start of the season is remarkable.