There was a melancholy sense of glee and frustration at Wimborne Road as Poole aimed to try and put a disappointing start to the season behind them. However, they couldn’t quite find that end result as the points were shared in a hotly contested 45-45 draw with Wolverhampton Wolves.
The Pirates struggled to find an early rhythm with sluggish starts from the gates costing them points yet again this season. The visitors capitalised on this with a one-two finish in heat 4, with Wolves captain Rory Schlein shrugging off a hand injury to take his first of three heat wins and 10 points on the night.
Wolverhampton then extended their lead to eight points in heat 7 with Sam Masters and Cameron Heeps taking first and third place respectively.
The Pirates then found their stride, taking a 4-2 victory in a very spirited eighth heat. The lead changed several times with Linus Sundstrom eventually coming out on top.
Poole battled on with a one-two of their own through Josh Grajczonek and tactical substitution Brady Kurtz. Followed by another win in heat 10 to level the score at 30-30.
Poole had the lead going into heat 12 however, a nasty looking injury to Stefan Nielsen halted the race. Nielsen looked to rear up trying to build up some speed on the straight and was taken away in an ambulance.
Following the lengthy delay, the race restarted with only three riders. Wolves took advantage with a 2-4 victory to level the tie at 36-36.
The meeting would eventually be decided in heat 15. With the score at 41-43, Wolves had the advantage. A superb race from Brady Kurtz looked to win it, but Linus Sundstrom could not find a way past Sam Masters. Sundstrom finished third ensuring it was honours-even at the end of the race.
Rider of the Night: Linus Sundstrom
‘Volvo Cars’ Poole Pirates: 45
Brady Kurtz (1*,2,2*,1,2,3) 11+2, Linus Sundstrom (2,1*,3,3,1) 10+1, Josh Grajczonek (c) (0,2,3,2) 7, Kacper Woryna (1,1*,2) 4+1, Richie Worrall (1,2,3,0) 6, Mateusz Szczepaniak (r) (3,0,1,1*) 5+1, Stefan Nielsen (r) (1,0,1,FN) 2
Wolverhampton ‘Parry’s International’ Wolves: 45
Jacob Thorssell (3,0,0,1) 4, Kyle Howarth (0,3,2,2) 7, Cameron Heeps (2*,1,FN,1) 4+1, Sam Masters (3,3,2,3,2) 13, Rory Schlein (c) (3,3,1,3,0) 10, Nathan Greaves (r) (0,0,3,0) 3, Ashley Morris (2,2*,0,0) 4+1
(x) = score in each heat
3 = first place in a heat
2 = second place
1 = third place
0 = fourth place
* = paid bonus point
FN = did not finish race and did not feature in restart
+ = score plus bonus point
(c) = captain
(r) = reserve rider