CO-PROMOTER Danny Ford heaped praise on super skipper Josh Grajczonek and insisted he had been “coming of age” in a Pirates race jacket.

The Townsville charger delivered when it mattered for Pirates in heat 15 at Wolverhampton on Monday.

He capped off a superb night’s work with a second-place finish to earn Poole a 46-44 SGB Premiership triumph.

Grajczonek totalled 11 paid 13 at Monmore Green to top-score for the visitors.

Ford told the club website: “Josh has been superb this season and has turned in a host of captain’s performances when we’ve really needed him.

“It’s no surprise to the promoters as we’ve always believed in Josh, but I think the supporters are now seeing the best of him and are seeing a rider come of age in front of their eyes.

“It was a tremendous team effort at Monmore Green. I felt we could get something there and the boys really responded from one to seven.

“We’re moving in the right direction ahead of a tough meeting at home to Belle Vue on Thursday, so our aim now is to build some more momentum and really make teams fear facing us.”

Grajczonek was aided by useful contributions from Nico Covatti (9+1) and Nicolai Klindt (8+1) for Pirates, who are now third in the table.

Team boss Neil Middleditch added: “Josh rode well and thoroughly deserved the nomination in heat 15.

“He returned my faith in him by getting the second place, which was what all we wanted.”

Asked about the performances of reserve Covatti, Middleditch replied: “Once he is in front there are not many people who will catch Nico.

“He really rode well and gave his heart and soul to it.”

Defeat to Pirates was Wolves’ sixth on the bounce in the division.

Wolves team manager Peter Adams said: “It was a bad coin toss to lose as you saw how much better the inside gates were early on and Poole were very dominant from that position.

“It was a very poor start to the meeting for us but I was very impressed with the way the boys fought back and got their noses in front.

“But they’re a very solid team and when you have one or two passengers in the main body of the team like we did, it’s difficult to chisel a result out against a team of that quality.”