CHRIS Harris wrote his name in Poole folklore with a sublime swoop to overhaul Somerset’s world champion Jason Doyle and send Pirates into the SGB Premiership play-off final.

The Dorset side defeated Somerset 47-43 on the night and 91-89 on aggregate in one of the all-time great Premiership meetings witnessed at Wimborne Road.

Both clubs had to battle with depleted sides after Poole star Brady Kurtz ran into Rebels’ Jack Holder going into turn three in race three, sending the Aussie friends flying on the fastest part of the track.

With Somerset already a man light, operating rider replacement for Aaron Summers, they simply ran out of steam as Pirates set up a date with table-topping King’s Lynn next week.

Poole did it the hard way, though. Rebels extended their 46-44 first-leg advantage to four when world champion Jason Doyle dominated heat one.

Somerset went eight up on aggregate with simple 5-1 in heat two, before Danish racer Nicolai Klindt powered to Pirates’ first heat win in heat three.

But things got even tougher following Kurtz and Holder’s crash in heat four. After around an hour’s delay while the track ambulance dropped them off at Poole Hospital, Allen replaced Holder in style in the re-run.

He led Covatti to a 5-1 and put Somerset 12 up on aggregate until Pirates’ challenge sparked into life in heat eight.

Some textbook team riding from Frederik Jakobsen and Josh Grajczonek saw them claim a 5-1 over Kyle Howarth and Covatti, lighting up the Wimborne Road terraces.

The fightback continued with another maximum from Kacper Woryna and Nicolai Klindt over Lawson and Allen in race nine.

Harris and Grajczonek then joined the 5-1 frenzy in heat 10, also battling off Lawson and Allen to level the scores on aggregate and put Poole 31-29 up on the night.

The storm clouds continued gathering for Somerset. With Woryna clearly in charge going into bend one in race 11, Doyle dropped it behind him.

With the Poole fans baying for an exclusion, Turnbull rightly hit the white light and sent the world champion back to the pits.

Woryna and Worrall duly bagged the 5-1 to put Poole four up in the re-run, only for Rebels to hit straight back with a max of their own from Allen and Covatti in heat 12.

With Rebels’ running out of riders, Doyle had to fly solo in heat 13, beating Worrall and Harris.

A tense 3-3 followed as Klindt triumphed, with Covatti and Lawson relegating Worrall to the back to set up a last-heat decider with the aggregate scores tied at 87-87.

Klindt and Harris faced off with Doyle and Lawson. Doyle hit the front, with Harris left trailing.

But the Cornishman fought his way past Lawson to join Klindt. He then dug deep – as deep as it gets – to reel in Doyle, hurtling through on the penultimate bend to send Wimborne Road berserk.


Pirates 47: 1 Chris Harris (2-2-3-1*-3) 11+1, 2 Josh Grajczonek (0-1*-2*-2*) 5+3, 3 Kacper Woryna (0-2-3-3-1) 9, 4 Nicolai Klindt (3-1*-1*-2*-3-1) 11+3, 5 Brady Kurtz (X) 0, 6 Richie Worrall (1-2-2*-2-0) 7+1, 7 Frederik Jakobsen (0-1-3-0) 4. Team manager: Neil Middleditch.

Somerset 43: 1 Jason Doyle (3-3-X-3-2) 11, 2 Kyle Howarth (1-0-X-1-1) 3, 3 rider replacement – Aaron Summers, 4 Richard Lawson (1*-3-1-1-1*-0) 7+2, 5 Jack Holder (N) 0, 6 Jake Allen (3-2-3-0-0-0-3) 11, 7 Nico Covatti (2*-2*-3-0-0-2*-2) 11+3. Team manager: Garry May.

Ht 1: Doyle, Harris, Howarth, Grajczonek, 60.18 (2-4)

Ht 2: Allen, Covatti, Worrall, Jakobsen, 60.03 (3-9)

Ht 3: Klindt, Allen, Lawson, Woryna, 60.34 (6-12)

Ht 4: (re-run) Allen, Covatti, Jakobsen, Holder (f.n/s), Kurtz (f.exc), 60.44 (7-17)

Ht 5: (re-run) Doyle, Woryna, Klindt, Howarth, 60.50 (10-20)

Ht 6: (re-run) Covatti, Harris, Grajczonek, Allen, Howarth (exc delaying start), 60.50 (13-23)

Ht 7: Lawson, Worrall, Klindt, Covatti, 61.22 (16-26)

Ht 8: Jakobsen, Grajczonek, Howarth, Covatti, 61.69 (21-27)

Ht 9: Woryna, Klindt, Lawson, Allen, 61.50 (26-28)

Ht 10: Harris, Grajczonek, Lawson, Allen, 61.50 (31-29)

Ht 11: (re-run) Woryna, Worrall, Howarth, Doyle (f.exc), 61.28 (36-30)

Ht 12: Allen, Covatti, Woryna, Jakobsen, 61.88 (37-35)

Ht 13: Doyle, Worrall, Harris, 61.00 (40-38)

Ht 14: Klindt, Covatti, Lawson, Worrall (43-41)

Ht 15: (re-run) Harris, Doyle, Klindt, Lawson, 61.19 (47-43)


WHAT a night for the Pirates and what a night for Chris Harris – a man who has found a new lease of life at Wimborne Road.

The Cornishman produced one of the greatest rides in the club’s history to round world champion Jason Doyle and put Poole into their first SGB Premiership play-off final since 2015.

Harris was the scourge of Poole in 2010 in Coventry colours. Now he’s a Pirate and blue and white suits this British legend down to the ground.