POOLE team manager Neil Middleditch admitted “we should have been driving home with three points in the bag” after Pirates slipped to a 46-44 loss at Peterborough.

The SGB Premiership champions came close to launching their title defence with a victory, but former Poole star Hans Andersen split Pirates pair Jack Holder and Nicolai Klindt in heat 15 to seal the points for Panthers.

The sides were level at 39-39 going into the final two races, but a huge 5-1 from home pair Aaron Summers and Charles Wright over Poole’s Richie Worrall and Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen all but handed Peterborough the win.

“Heat 14 was the one that cost us really,” Middleditch said.

“I thought we had a good chance there because Nikolaj had come off a good ride. Richie hadn’t been having the best meeting.

“But we just got swallowed up in the first corner and what can you do? There was nothing we could do about that.

“You really did have to make the starts otherwise riders were just queuing up behind each other in the corners and hoping someone would make a mistake. There weren’t many mistakes made.

“We held our own and came away with a point on the road, which is always a good point. I just feel we should have been driving home with three points in the bag.”

Klindt was Pirates’ top performer on 12, while Jack Holder defied an inconsistent start to the season to impress on 11 paid 12.

The Aussie has been under intense fire in the Polish media for his performances for Torun, as well as in the UK, so Middleditch was delighted to see his number one race to two wins, two seconds and a paid second.

He said: “You have to take the positives from everything and seeing Jack back and scoring was good. I put him in heat 15 and he performed brilliantly.

“It’s nice to see him doing well. It was good for his confidence and hopefully he can build on that.

“It was definitely nice to see him with a smile on his face. He has been getting a bit of flak in the press, but he did well.”

With Peterborough parting company with GB star Craig Cook on the eve of the season due to a sponsorship dispute and drafting in Summers, Panthers are the weakest team in the Premiership on paper.

But Middleditch admits some pre-season track changes at the East of England Showground may not have helped his side.

He said: “They have set the track up completely differently to how Peterborough has been in the past.

“I wouldn’t say they caught us unawares, but it was a little bit different to the normal race track.

“The line moves out a little bit normally during the latter part of the meeting, but it was just one racing line all night long.”

Next up for Pirates is a trip to arch-rivals Swindon for the first meeting on the newly-revamped Blunsdon circuit in the Premiership Supporters Cup on Thursday.


Peterborough 46: 1 Rohan Tungate (0, 2, 2, 3, 0) 7, 2 Lasse Bjerre (3, 0, 3, 1*) 7+1, 3 Bradley Wilson-Dean (0, 3, 1, f) 4, Charles Wright (2, 1, 3, 2*) 8+1, 5 Hans Andersen (2, 3, 2, 1, 2) 10, 6 Aaron Summers (3, 1, 0, 3) 7, 7 Ben Barker (2*, 0, 0, 1) 3+1.

Pirates 44: 1 Jack Holder (1*, 2, 3, 2, 3) 11+1, 2 Josh Grajczonek (2, 0, 1*, 1) 4+1, 3 Nicolai Klindt (3, 2, 3, 3, 1) 12, 4 Richie Worrall (1, 0, 0, 1) 2, 5 Brady Kurtz (3, 3, 2, 0) 8, 6 Nico Covatti (0, 1, 0) 1, 7 Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen (1, 1, 2, 2*, 0) 6+1.

HT 1: Bjerre, Grajczonek, Holder, Tungate (3-3).

HT 2: Summers, Barker, Busk Jakobsen, Covatti (8-4).

HT 3: Klindt, Wright, Worrall, Wilson-Dean (10-8).

HT 4: Kurtz, Andersen, Busk Jakobsen, Barker (12-12).

HT 5: Wilson-Dean, Holder, Wright, Grajczonek, (16-14).

HT 6: Kurtz, Tungate, Covatti, Bjerre, (18-18).

HT 7: Andersen, Klindt, Summers, Worrall, (22-20).

HT 8: Bjerre, Busk Jakobsen, Grajczonek, Barker, (25-23).

HT 9: Wright, Kurtz, Wilson-Dean, Covatti, (29-25).

HT 10: Klindt, Tungate, Bjerre, Worrall (32-28).

HT 11: Holder, Andersen, Grajczonek, Summers, (34-32).

HT 12: Klindt, Busk Jakobsen, Barker, Wilson-Dean (fell), (35-37).

HT 13: Tungate, Holder, Andersen, Kurtz, (39-39).

HT 14: Summers, Wright, Worrall, Busk Jakobsen, 44-40.

HT 15: Holder, Andersen, Klindt, Tungate, 46-44.