Wolverhampton Wolves v Poole Pirates24/06/19
The No.1 Carpet Cleaning Pirates recorded a league double over Wolverhampton, following up their 51-39 home win a week ago with a nerve-tingling 46-44 away triumph at Monmore.
Uncharacteristically the Pirates began the stronger of the two sides, storming into a ten point lead within the space of just three heats with a 5-1 from reserve pairing of Nico Covatti and Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen followed by a matching score by Nicolai Klindt and Josh Grajczonek to back up Jack Holder's winning ride from heat one, the Poole number one hitting the front through a gap created by partner Richie Worrall as he ran Kyle Howarth wide before Howarth was able to fight his way back into second .
A fourth-bend fall for Brady Kurtz halted heat four which was re-run forcing Luke Becker to have to try and make the running again. The American did just that, holding off an attack from Busk Jakobsen before Rory Schlein moved up to give the home side a 5-1. That sparked a run of three fight-back heats for the Wolves, all finishing 5-1 giving them the overall lead on the night.
An intense response came from Klindt in heat seven as he tried to keep abreast of Schlein but the Wolves skipper pulled clear to shape out a shared heat. There was early hope for Poole as Busk Jakobsen made a strong start but by the time he was heading down the back straight he had three riders ahead of him but at least Richie Worrall was squeezed in between Becker and Howarth to minimise the damage. Covatti worked really hard to retain second place in heat 9 as he had Jacob Thorssell breathing down his neck and in doing so enabled Poole to claim another 5-1 and level the affair.
A noisy engine blow-up cost Kyle Howarth dearly as he came out the final turn for the last time in heat 10, for his loss of speed allowed Klindt to somehow avoid him (unlike his earlier weekend adventures with a Moose in Denmark that wrote his van off) and sneak in for a point to give Poole a 4-2 advantage as skipper Grajczonek had led throughout. Another dramatic finish ensued in heat 11 too. Poole were heading towards a 5-1 with Worrall tucked in behind Holder but Rory Schlein was probing his way up the inside. As Worrall went to close out the danger the two collided, Schlein going down in some discomfort.
The race was awarded as a shared heat with Worrall disqualified as the apparent cause and mercifully there was no lasting damage sustained by Schlein. Heat 12 proved rather pivotal as Klindt worked a passage by Luke Bekker to join Covatti for another Poole maximum and a lead of six points with three heats remaining.
Wolverhampton's response was a comprehensive 5-1 from Masters and Schlein at the expense of Holder and Kurtz but a fall by reserve switch Becker in heat 14 did the home side no favours although Nick Morris was able to sneak his way between Grajczonek and Covatti to leave the option of a draw still on the table.
Grajczonek though was in no mood to allow Wolves the grandstand finish they had hoped for and it was all down to the skipper to hold firm once Klindt pulled up at the back. Masters seemed blissfully unaware just how close Schlein was to Grajczonek, at a time when the Wolves were in dire need of some team riding.
Ht 1: J.Holder, K.Howarth, R.Worrall, S.Masters 2-4 2-4 |54.78]
Ht 2: N.Covatti, N.Busk-Jakobsen, M.Clegg, L.Becker 1-5 3-9 [55.35]
Ht 3: N.Klindt, J.Grajczonek, J.Thorssell, N.Morris 1-5 4-14 [55.22]
Ht 4: L.Becker, R.Schlein, N.Busk-Jakobsen, B.Kurtz (Fell d/q) 5-1 9-15 [56.25]
Ht 5: J.Thorssell, N.Morris, R.Worrall, J.Holder 5-1 14-16 [55.19]
Ht 6: S.Masters, K.Howarth, B.Kurtz, N.Covatti 5-1 19-17 [55.97]
Ht 7: R.Schlein, N.Klindt, J.Grajczonek, M.Clegg 3-3 22-20 [56.15]
Ht 8: L.Becker, R.Worrall, K.Howarth, N.Busk-Jakobsen 4-2 26-22 [56.43]
Ht 9: B.Kurtz, N.Covatti, J.Thorssell, N.Morris 1-5 27-27 [56.5]
Ht 10: J.Grajczonek, S.Masters, N.Klindt, K.Howarth 2-4 29-31 [56.75]
Ht 11: J.Holder, R.Schlein, M.Clegg, R.Worrall (D/Q) 3-3 32-34 [56.25]
Ht 12: N.Covatti, N.Klindt, L.Becker, J.Thorssell 1-5 33-39 [56.72]
Ht 13: S.Masters, R.Schlein, J.Holder, B.Kurtz 5-1 38-40 [57.09]
Ht 14: J.Grajczonek, N.Morris, N.Covatti, L.Becker (Fell) 2-4 40-44 [56.91]
Ht 15: S.Masters, J.Grajczonek, R.Schlein, N.Klindt (Rtd) 4-2 44-46 [56.8]
Gates: POOLE won toss and chose gates 1&3 | WOLVERHAMPTON took gates 1&3 in heat 15
Referee Craig Ackroyd
League Points WOLVERHAMPTON 0 POOLE 3
Rider of the Night: Josh Grajczonek