2018 - Platinum Pirates - Postponements To Play-offs

29/05/20

By their own high standards the Pirates had endured two barren seasons in 2016 and 2017 but had still managed to make the play-offs in both. So, after three seasons winning the title preceding that spell, the Pirates were extra keen to try and avoid three-in-a-row without claiming the crown in what was to be their Platinum season.

The campaign was hindered by a glut of postponements in the early months, the Pirates suffering seven rain-offs in the first two months including a star-studded Platinum Anniversary meeting. They were able to win their first league match, defeating Belle Vue at Wimborne Road in April but victories thereafter were to be in short-supply and by the end of June they were sitting in the basement spot six points shy of a play-off position. 

By then, they had lost Stefan Nielsen to a broken leg, parted company with Mateusz Sczepaniak and James Shanes and seen Peter Kildemand's temporary signing, as cover for visa-troubled Chris Holder, ended. It was also apparent that Holder wouldn't be racing that year due to the  on-going problems with his paperwork. They had drafted in Richie Worrall but had become heavily reliant on Kacper Woryna and Brady Kurtz to provide any resemblance of true fire power and so, when in the first week of July, Linus Sundstrom decided to stand down, Matt Ford was left needing to make a marquee signing and by a stroke of luck riders became available when Rye House were forced to fold. Ford immediately went in for Chris Harris and the 'Bomber' made his club debut on July 23rd. 

By then the Pirates had crept up to fifth in a seven-strong league but were still three points short of being in the play-off mix. Frederik Jacobsen had arrived and Nicolai Klindt was back from injury. Team manager Neil Middleditch insisted 'never write off a Pirate', wise words indeed for by the end of August they were just three points behind leaders King's Lynn and that's where they remained by the time the cut-off dates for the play-offs came around. 

Lynn remained top, second-season Somerset were second and Belle Vue, who still had an outstanding league match (against Swindon) to complete sealed the final play-off berth. The Norfolk side chose to take on Belle Vue leaving a local derby semi-final between Somerset and the Pirates, and what a story followed.

Poole were able to restrict the Rebels to just a two-point advantage from the first leg. What happened next can be re-lived on this week's Pirates video-stream on Wednesday night. Not one to miss because this was arguably one of the most remarkable matches in the Poole's extensive play-off history. 

Courtesy of ReRun Productions and Speedway Portal all the action of that Wimborne Road showdown will be Premiered at 7.30pm on June 3rd.

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