A hard-fought point at Wimborne Road pleased team boss Garry May as his charges went down 47-43 on a night when the home side moved to top of the SGB Premiership table.
The Rebels went into the final heat still with hopes of gaining a draw from this fixture but a perfect start from Chris Harris denied them such a result but the narrow defeat did offer up the Rebels a league point which moves them level with Swindon on 32 a-piece.
May said “Overall I am happy to have got that point, it was a very good match and we had our chances but to come away from here with something, especially now that Poole have found some solid form, is encouraging. We have home matches to come and I have said before we need to win those and just try and pick up what we can on our travels. That should put us into the play-offs and that is where we want to be.”
Masterminding the Pirates’ victory was very much their skipper, Josh Grajczonek. The former Rebel roared to four straight wins across his programmed rides but was then denied a maximum when pegged back into last place in that deciding heat 15.
The Rebels had slipped to a six-point deficit mid-meeting, after being the first to break the deadlock when Jake Allen and Bradley Wilson-Dean won the reserves heat, which Poole countered in heat 4, and with nearly half of the heats being shared it was evident that there was little to choose between the two side.
“We achieved six of those shared heats by filling second and third places, thus avoiding too many zeroes on the scorechart” added May, “and you have to be happy with those sort of performances.”
Being six down going into heat 11 May played his mastercard, bringing in Jack Holder to replace Aaron Summers, who earlier had suffered a ‘big-off’ when he ran into Nicolai Klindt on the final lap of heat 5. It paired Holder up with Doyle and the combination worked perfectly as they left Harris and Jakobsen wanting. The same duo claimed a counter 2-4 in heat 13 following the Pirates 4-2 in heat 13, but Richard Lawson couldn’t hold off the attentions of Klindt in heat 14 and that enabled Poole to stretch their lead to four points.
So, realistically the Rebels could only go for that draw but that start for Harris was telling enough leaving Somerset with just that consolation point.
The Rebels are back in action on Wednesday night (15th) when they host the visit of Belle Vue and then next week will have two home matches to contend with, after Leicester agreed to a date change that freed up the 29th August for the Rebels to re-stage last week’s rained off match against Wolverhampton.
Promoter Debbie Hancock announced the date changes explaining “Thanks to the kindness of Marc Bates we have brought forward the fixture originally scheduled for the 29th against Leicester to next Wednesday 22nd. It means two in a week for us, with Poole visiting on Monday, but without them helping us out like they have then we may not have been able to slot Wolves in. Wolverhampton will now be our opponents on the 29th so I can’t thank Leicester enough for their co-operation. We have all had problems with dates this year, there having been so many postponement and with fixed race nights generating many more clashes within the league and it is refreshing to have someone willing to help out another club, so I am very grateful to Leicester for their gesture.”
Bottom-placed Leicester inflicted a big defeat on Belle Vue with a 58-32 win on Monday night and the Rebels will be hoping to follow suit when they host the Aces on Wednesday.
Scores from Poole:
POOLE – 47: J.Grajczonek 12 (3,3,3,3,0), C.Harris 11+1 (2′,3,1,2,3), K.Woryna 8 (1,3,0,3,1), N.Klindt 8+1 (3,1′,1,3), R.Worrall 6 (0,2,3,1), B.Kurtz 2+1 (FD,2′,0,0), F.Jakobsen 0 (0,0,0)
SOMERSET – 43: J.Doyle 12+1 (2,3,3,3,1′), J.Holder 9+1 (1,1,2,2′,1,2), R.Lawson 8 (2,2,2,2), B.Wilson-Dean 5 (3,0,2,0,F), N.Covatti 5+3 (1′,1′,1′,2), J.Allen 2+1 (2′,0,0), A.Summers 2+2 (1′,FD,1′)