TEAM manager Neil Middleditch heaped praise on his Pirates charges after they came back from the brink to earn a dramatic 45-45 draw at Belle Vue.

Trailing by a staggering 16 points after eight heats at National Speedway Stadium, a pair of wins from Brady Kurtz in the final races spearheaded two 5-1s for the visitors to level the contest and seal two league points.

Middleditch, who had held on to use Kurtz as a tactical substitute in race 14, told the Daily Echo: “It was unbelievable. At 16 down to pull that back was absolutely fantastic.

“Jack (Holder) and Brady team rode in the last ride classically.

“Brady and Jack were like Darcy (Ward) and Chris (Holder) of old. The two riders sort of seemed to know where each of them were going to be.

“To keep Max Fricke behind them, who is a very quick rider round Belle Vue, is some achievement.

“I only had one card to play and that was the tactical ride. I was hanging on with it to see if we were close enough and if we could pull it back to play it in heat 14 – which we were.

“It just fell into place lovely.”

In the opposite to proceedings at Wimborne Road on Thursday, it was the turn of the Aces to kick off with a maximum in heat one.

Steve Worrall led from gate with Aussie ace Fricke passing Poole’s Richie Worrall to take second and a another 5-1 was recorded by the hosts in race two.

Aces reserves Dimitri Berge and Jaimon Lidsey teamed up to get the better of Nico Covatti and Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen.

Rising star Bewley then opened his account with victory in heat three for the Aces after surging past Pirates ace Nicolai Klindt. With Ricky Wells in third ahead of Josh Grajczonek – Belle Vue dialled in another heat advantage.

Pirates hit back through Kurtz in race four with the Australian charger having led from the gate to spearhead a 4-2. Busk Jakobsen sealed third for Pirates after Lidsey’s bike packed up at the tapes.

But Mark Lemon’s side remained ruthless on their own patch as Bewley and Wells combined for a maximum. Richie Worrall and Holder were left trailing from the outset as Belle Vue took a commanding 21-9 lead.

Kurtz again got out of the gate in front to lead heat six but countryman Fricke manoeuvred past him to earn the Aces a 4-2.

After a shared heat seven, Steve Worrall got the better of twin brother Richie in the following race with a pass on lap two, as Belle Vue extended by two points their advantage.

Trailing by 16, Pirates attempted to rally and got themselves back into contention with back-to-back 5-1s.

Covatti and Kurtz led home Bewley and Wells before Grajczonek got round Steve Worrall on the final bend of heat 10 to join race winner Klindt – reducing to eight points the deficit.

Holder secured his first race win of the meeting in a shared heat 11, before Covatti and Klindt took the minor places in a level race 12.

After Fricke claimed the spoils ahead of Holder and Kurtz in a shared heat 13, Kurtz was used as a tactical substitute for the penultimate heat in place of Busk Jakobsen.

And the switch from team boss Middleditch paid dividends as Kurtz led from the gate in heat 14 with Grajczonek in second to force a 5-1 and reduce to four points the gap.

And the comeback to seal a dramatic draw was secured as Kurtz and Holder held off the challenge of Fricke and Bewley in the final heat to land a 5-1 and - with Pirates having trailed all meeting – they secured two league points and a level contest.


BELLE VUE 45: 1 Max Fricke (2*, 3, 0, 3, 1) 9+1, 2 Steve Worrall (3, 1, 3, 1) 8, 3 Dan Bewley (3, 3, 1, 3, 0) 10, 4 Ricky Wells (1, 2*, 0, 0) 3+1, 5 Kenneth Bjerre (2, 3, 2, 0) 7, 6 Dimitri Berge (2*, 0, 1*, 1), 4+2, 7 Jaimon Lidsey (3, ret, 1, 0) 4.

PIRATES 45: 1 Jack Holder (0, 1, 3, 2, 2*) 8+1, 2 Richie Worrall (1, 0, 2, 0) 3, 3 Nicolai Klindt (2, 1*, 3, 1*) 7+2, 4 Josh Grajczonek (0, 2, 2*, 2*) 6+2, 5 Brady Kurtz (3, 2, 2*, 1*, 3, 3) 14+2, 6 Nico Covatti (1, 0, 3, 2) 6, 7 Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen (0, 1, 0) 1.

HT 1: S Worrall, Fricke, R Worrall, Holder, (5-1) 60.66.

HT 2: Lidsey, Berge, Covatti, Jakobsen, (10-2) 61.09.

HT 3: Bewley, Klindt, Wells, Grajczonek, (14-4) 60.40.

HT 4: Kurtz, Bjerre, Jakobsen, Lidsey (ret), (16-8) 60.34.

HT 5: Bewley, Wells, Holder, R Worrall, (21-9) 61.19.

HT 6: Fricke, Kurtz, S Worrall, Covatti, (25-11) 61.88.

HT 7: Bjerre, Grajczonek, Klindt, Berge, (28-14) 61.56.

HT 8: S Worrall, R Worrall, Lidsey, Jakobsen, (32-16) 63.47.

HT 9: Covatti, Kurtz, Bewley, Wells, (33-21) 63.56.

HT 10: Klindt, Grajczonek, S Worrall, Fricke (34-26) 62.60.

HT 11: Holder, Bjerre, Berge, R Worrall, (37-29) 63.12.

HT 12: Bewley, Covatti, Klindt, Lidsey, (40-32) 62.35.

HT 13: Fricke, Holder, Kurtz, Bjerre, (43-35) 62.59.

HT 14: Kurtz (ts), Grajczonek, Berge, Wells, (44-40) 63.37.

HT 15: Kurtz, Holder, Fricke, Bewley, (45-45) 63.25.