Poole Pirates v Ipswich Witches9/05/19
The No.1 Carpet Cleaning Pirates scraped through this Premiership Supporters Cup fixture to come out winners without having led at any time of the meeting, until guest Scott Nicholls paired up with skipper Josh Grajczonek to seal things with an emphatic 5-1 in heat 15.
The visitors had good cause to consider themselves a shade unfortunate not to have taken all available points, rather than just the consolation they picked up for losing by less than seven points.
Their skipper, Danny King, had a troublesome night, feeling the track no fewer than three times, whilst Chris Harris, such a favourite amongst the Poole faithful after his exploits last season in bringing the Premiership trophy home, now riding against Poole, suffered the cruellest piece of luck in heat five after a vintage battle with his old adversary, Nicholls, that gave Poole a 4-2 rather than Ipswich.
Poole were on the back foot after Richard Lawson and Chris Harris took an all-too easy 5-1 for the Witches in heat one and a fast starting Jake Allen made certain of the win in heat two, the Pirates again conceding as Nico Covatti failed to keep pace with Cameron Heeps. Still Poole awaited a race winner as the speedy Krzystian Pieszczek took the honours in a re-started third heat, the first attempt being called back when King was squeezed out at the first turn.
Heat four was something quite special as Harris and Nicholls were giving each other the run around, Harris having produced a classic overtake to assume the lead, only to see it snatched from him with a mechanical fault on the very last turn. That gave Poole the 4-2 advantage, rather than Ipswich, and in the final analysis that proved critical.
After his first ride last place, Holder turned things around with a tapes to flag win in heat 6, the first of a sequence of four unbeaten rides for the Pirates' number one. Both King and Pieszczek were fortunate to walk away unscathed in heat 7 as King fell and his stray machine richocheted into his team-mate whilst they were sitting on a likely 5-1 advantage. In the restart, there was further drama after Pieszczek and Nicolai Klindt's machines became entangled as they left the tapes, but once that was sorted out it was Pieszczek who came out best in the third attempt. Jake Allen and Richard Lawson put some breathing space between the scores in favour of the visitors with a 5-1 but a win from Josh Grajczonek was most timely as David Bellego overcame Nicholls who in turn had to be alert in fending off Cameron Heeps. The Poole advantage trimmed the margin to four points and when Holder and Worrall cleared away from King and the falling Pieszczek the scores were all level at 30 each with ten heats completed.
Ipswich wasted no time in re-establishing the lead, Lawson and Harris getting the better of the Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen and Nicolai Klindt in heat 11 but Poole's response was equally as good, Grajczonek and Holder pairing up for a match-levelling 5-1 as King fell again. Now was not the time for any Poole mistakes but Klindt charged through the tapes and was replaced by compatriot Busk Jakobsen who then fell leaving Poole to battle out heat 13 with sole representative Nicholls only.
For much of the race Nicholls looked as though he was going to deliver, but a slight lift as he exited turn two on lap three allowed room for the persistent Harris to move into, and inch the visitors ahead yet again.
Holder completed his comeback with victory in the Twitter-nominated heat 14 where he defiantly held off the incessant interests of Harris, a significant outcome as it kept Poole still in the match, with just two points behind the sides, and needing a 5-1 from the final heat and Nicholls just about clinched the Rider of The Night nomination as he took victory with the Pirates' skipper in tow and also clinching three points in the group table in this competition.
N.Busk Jakobsen 2,1,1,FD=4
Ht 1: R.Lawson, C.Harris, R.Worrall, J.Holder 1-5 1-5 |59.56]
Ht 2: J.Allen, N.Busk Jakobsen, C.Heeps, N.Covatti 2-4 3-9 [61.16]
Ht 3: K.Pieszczek, S.Nicholls, J.Grajczonek, D.King 3-3 6-12 [60.19]
Ht 4: N.Klindt, D.Bellego, J.Allen, N.Covatti 3-3 9-15 [60.19]
Ht 5: S.Nicholls, R.Lawson, J.Grajczonek, C.Harris (Rtd) 4-2 13-17 [60.47]
Ht 6: J.Holder, C.Heeps, R.Worrall, D.Bellego 4-2 17-19 [60.87]
Ht 7: K.Pieszczek, N.Covatti, N.Klindt, D.King (Fell d/q) 3-3 20-22 [60.65]
Ht 8: J.Allen, R.Lawson, N.Busk Jakobsen, R.Worrall 1-5 21-27 [61.56]
Ht 9: J.Grajczonek, D.Bellego, S.Nicholls, C.Heeps 4-2 25-29 [60.25]
Ht 10: J.Holder, R.Worrall, D.King, K.Pieszczek (Fell) 5-1 30-30 [61.32]
Ht 11: R.Lawson, C.Harris, N.Busk Jakobsen, N.Klindt 1-5 31-35 [61.22]
Ht 12: J.Grajczonek, J.Holder, D.Bellego, D.King (Fell) 5-1 36-36 [60.81]
Ht 13: C.Harris, S.Nicholls, K.Pieszczek, N.Busk Jakobsen (Fell d/q) 2-4 38-40 [60.87]
Ht 14: J.Holder, C.Harris, R.Lawson, N.Klindt 3-3 41-43 [61.28]
Ht 15: S.Nicholls, J.Grajczonek, J.Allen, K.Pieszczek 5-1 46-44 [61.60]
Gates: POOLE won toss and chose gates 1&3 | Ipswich took gates 2&4 in heat 15
Referee Paul Carrington
Rider of the Night: Scott Nicholls
Poole 3 points Ipswich 1 point