PIRATES will take a 53-37 advantage into the second leg of the SGB Premiership play-off final on Wednesday after an absorbing clash with King’s Lynn at Wimborne Road.

The hosts led 24-6 after five heats but the Stars battled back gamely to an eight-point deficit after heat 11.

However, aided by exclusions for Michael Palm Toft and guest Adam Ellis, Poole were able to reassert their grip on the tie.

The clash took place on the back of a bizarre build-up in which team switches were revealed a matter of hours before tapes-up.

Ellis had been due to represent both sides in the final – King’s Lynn on Monday and Poole on Wednesday – a state of affairs which had attracted much derision from fans.

However, both clubs, the Speedway Control Bureau and the British Speedway Promoters’ Association agreed at the 11th hour that Ellis would ride for King’s Lynn in both legs, with Nick Morris doing the same for Poole.

An over-eager Erik Riss blasted through the tapes in the opener and Poole duly roared to a 5-1, Chris Harris battling back well for second at the expense of Robert Lambert.

Richie Worrall was quickest away in the reserves’ race and he was joined by Frederik Jakobsen after the youngster dived inside Palm Toft on turn three of lap two.

Kacper Woryna and Nicolai Klindt made it three out of three in cruise control and the scoreline moved to 20-4 after Ellis retired from the next race with mechanical issues.

Following the first track grading, Klindt rounded Robert Lambert for the lead and Riss was nowhere near Woryna.

King’s Lynn grabbed their first heat advantage at the sixth attempt. Ellis made a beauty of a start and Harris found his path repeatedly blocked by Palm Toft.

Poole escaped with a shared heat in race seven after Morris pirouetted and fell, Worrall getting his second win after rounding everyone on turn two.

But the Stars reduced to 10 points the deficit with a maximum next, despite huge pressure from Grajczonek on Riss and Palm Toft.

The comeback continued with Ellis and the busy Palm Toft dovetailing for a 4-2.

Grajczonek pressed hard without reward in heat 10 with Thomas Jorgensen taking victory, while Harris inched past Proctor.

Robert Lambert was streets ahead in a shared race 11 and the visitors were still in touch at eight points down.

Poole appeared to have a sizeable stroke of luck when Jakobsen clipped the front wheel of Palm Toft but the latter was excluded by referee Craig Ackroyd. Woryna and Jakobsen stopped the rot with a maximum.

Ellis went off 15m after a tapes offence in heat 13 and trailed at the back, Robert Lambert clinging on desperately for top spot ahead of the hard-charging Harris.

Klindt and Worrall – both excellent throughout – blitzed heat 14 with ease and after Ellis was excluded for a second starting offence in the final showdown, Pirates appeared content with a 3-3 as Robert Lambert triumphed.


Pirates 53: 1 Chris Harris (2*-1-1*-2-2) 8+2, 2 Josh Grajczonek (3-0-1-2) 6, 3 Kacper Woryna (3-1-0-3) 7, 4 Nicolai Klindt (2*-3-2-3-1*) 11+2, 5 Nick Morris, guest (3-f-1*-1*) 5+2, 6 Richie Worrall (3-3-2-2*) 10+1, 7 Frederik Jakobsen (2*-2*-0-2*) 6+3.

King’s Lynn 37: 1 Robert Lambert (1-2-3-3-3) 12, 2 Erik Riss (t-0-3-0) 3, 3 Ty Proctor (0-2-0) 2, 4 Thomas Jorgensen (1-1*-3-1) 6+1, 5 Adam Ellis, guest (r-3-3-0t-tx) 6, 6 Michael Palm Toft (0-1-2*-2*-1-fx) 6+2, 7 Simon Lambert (0-1-1-0-0) 2.

HT 1 (re-run): Grajczonek, Harris, R Lambert, Riss (tapes/rep), 59.31 (5-1)

HT 2: Worrall, Jakobsen, Palm Toft, S Lambert, 59.81 (10-2)

HT 3: Woryna, Klindt, Jorgensen, Proctor, 59.82 (15-3)

HT 4: Morris, Jakobsen, S Lambert, Ellis (ret), 60.88 (20-4)

HT 5: Klindt, R Lambert, Woryna, Riss, 60.07 (24-6)

HT 6 (re-run): Ellis, Palm Toft, Harris, Grajczonek, 60.69 (25-11)

HT 7: Worrall, Proctor, Jorgensen, Morris (ret), 60.87 (28-14)

HT 8: Riss, Palm Toft, Grajczonek, Jakobsen, 61.28 (29-19)

HT 9: Ellis, Klindt, Palm Toft, Woryna, 61.09 (31-23)

HT 10: Jorgensen, Grajczonek, Harris, Proctor, 61.82 (34-26)

HT 11 (re-run): R Lambert, Worrall, Morris, Riss, 61.00 (37-29)

HT 12 (re-run): Woryna, Jakobsen, S Lambert, Palm Toft (fell/dsq), 61.78 (42-30)

HT 13 (re-run): R Lambert, Harris, Morris, Ellis (tapes 15m), 61.41 (45-33)

HT 14 (re-run): Klindt, Worrall, Jorgensen, S Lambert, 62.16 (50-34)

HT 15 (re-run): R Lambert, Harris, Klindt, S Lambert, Ellis (tapes/dsq), 61.63 (53-37)


St Helens racer Richie Worrall was in inspired form at Wimborne Road.

The reserve berths were thought by many to be crucial with Michael Palm Toft a potential thorn in Poole’s side.

And Worrall was beaten just once by an opposition rider in his four rides, his efforts taking him into double figures.

Nicolai Klindt was also terrific at number four, the Dane again proving himself a shrewd mid-season signing.

Another fine team performance from Poole which gives them a decent shot heading into the second leg.