Result: King’s Lynn 51 (88) Pirates 39 (92)Pirates win SGB Premiership title

THE season of 2018 will forever be known as the year in which Pirates were reborn on the fourth of July.

Following the closure of Rye House that afternoon, an out-of-form and dejected Poole side dropped to the bottom of the SGB Premiership.

It was a new low – in every sense – for a club which had become widely known as the most successful of the modern era.

Much to the delight of the Wimborne Road faithful, that state of affairs did not last. Poole climbed off the bottom after a thumping win over Belle Vue that night and did not look back.

Buoyed by the signing of talisman Chris Harris and significant improvement from all quarters of the septet, the Dorset club roared into the play-off semi-finals and then the final.

Never underestimate a Pirate, as team boss Neil Middleditch would say. Particularly not in the club’s platinum anniversary year.

Poole held a 53-37 lead prior to tonight’s second leg, an eighth league title in 16 seasons the prize on offer for overall victory.

The visitors again tracked Nick Morris as a guest for broken collarbone victim Brady Kurtz and the Stars used Adam Ellis in place of the sidelined Niels-Kristian Iversen.

King’s Lynn were also without reserve Michael Palm Toft following the broken hand he suffered in the first leg, with Wolverhampton’s Kyle Howarth standing in.

The Stars came flying out of the traps with Robert Lambert and Erik Riss storming to a dominant maximum.

Poole replied with a Richie Worrall-led heat advantage but Ty Proctor and Thomas Jorgensen were quickly away in race three, reducing to 10 points the overall deficit.

Frederik Jakobsen ran wide in the final bend of heat four, meaning Simon Lambert was able to nip into second and limit the damage to a 4-2.

Matters were levelled when Jorgensen ran wide and allowed Harris to blast through, only for Stars to deliver another 5-1 thanks to Riss and Robert Lambert.

Nicolai Klindt and Kacper Woryna responded in kind and although Riss won the next, Josh Grajczonek and Jakobsen were content with a 3-3.

Proctor overhauled Worrall for first in heat nine after the St Helens flier ran wide on turn four of lap three. And a fall for Woryna in the following contest made matters impossible for Klindt in the re-run given he had to start from 15m back.

However, a 3-3 in heat 11 kept Middleditch happy, Grajczonek and Harris shielding second and third from Howarth and keeping Poole 10 in front overall.

The Stars made things nervy with a 5-1 led by Proctor next time out but Morris and Harris twisted the knife with a 4-2, despite Robert Lambert’s charge into second.

Jakobsen and Klindt got the job done with a shared heat 14, sparking scenes of jubilation in the pits.

The hosts rounded the meeting off with a 5-1 but Poole did not mind one bit.


King’s Lynn 51 (88): 1 Robert Lambert (3-2*-3-2-2*) 12+2, 2 Erik Riss (2*-3-3-2*-3) 13+2, 3 Ty Proctor (3-1-3-3) 10, 4 Thomas Jorgensen (2*-0-1-3) 6+1, 5 Adam Ellis, guest (0-0-3-0) 3, 6 Kyle Howarth, guest (2-1-0-0) 3, 7 Simon Lambert (0-2-0-2*) 4+1.

Pirates 39 (92): 1 Chris Harris (1-2*-1*-1-r) 5+2, 2 Josh Grajczonek (0-3-2-2-1) 8, 3 Kacper Woryna (0-2*-fx-0) 2+1, 4 Nicolai Klindt (1-3-1-1*) 6+1, 5 Nick Morris (3-1-0-3) 7, 6 Richie Worrall (3-r-2-1) 6, 7 Frederik Jakobsen (1-1-1*-2) 5+1.

HT 1: R Lambert, Riss, Harris, Grajczonek (5-1)

HT 2: Worrall, Howarth, Jakobsen, S Lambert (7-5)

HT 3 (re-run): Proctor, Jorgensen, Klindt, Woryna (12-6)

HT 4: Morris, S Lambert, Jakobsen, Ellis (14-10)

HT 5: Grajczonek, Harris, Proctor, Jorgensen (15-15)

HT 6: Riss, R Lambert, Morris, Worrall (ret) (20-16)

HT 7: Klindt, Woryna, Howarth, Ellis (21-21)

HT 8: Riss, Grajczonek, Jakobsen, S Lambert (24-24)

HT 9: Proctor, Worrall, Jorgensen, Morris (28-26)

HT 10 (re-run): R Lambert, Riss, Klindt (15m), Woryna (fell/dsq) (33-27)

HT 11: Ellis, Grajczonek, Harris, Howarth (36-30)

HT 12: Proctor, S Lambert, Worrall, Woryna (41-31)

HT 13: Morris, R Lambert, Harris, Ellis (43-35)

HT 14: Jorgensen, Jakobsen, Klindt, Howarth (46-38)

HT 15: Riss, R Lambert, Grajczonek, Harris (51-39)


IT was not a vintage night in terms of big individual scores but Josh Grajczonek could afford to be as pleased with his work as anyone.

The Aussie star had his critics at the start of the year but he rewarded boss Matt Ford’s faith in his ability.

Grajczonek has never let Poole down in the play-offs and once again he stepped up to the mark, this time as skipper of the side.

In truth, this was another excellent team performance from Pirates which proved they are far more than any one individual.