TRICK'S TWO TRACK RECORDS STEERS PIRATES TOWARDS FINAL - ON THIS DAY 2002

5/10/20

This week in Tony Rickardsson overcame his only dropped points of the meeting to steer the Pirates to a Craven Shield aggregate triumph over Sussex rivals Eastbourne on this day in 2002 and to set up a potential Grand Final appearance as they sought to defend their 2001 title.

Poole had travelled along the South Coast some seventeen days after their final home group match, also against the Eagles, to complete their group fixtures, with their sights firmly set on a place in the three-team Grand Final. 

Eastbourne looked intent on blocking their progress however as the Eagles soared into a 21-9 lead after the first five heats.

Among those five races, Tony Rickardsson an 18-point maximum man from that Wimborne Road meet, had suffered the cruellest of fortunes when leading heat 4 that gifted the home reserves, Joonas Kylmalorpi and Jamie Smith a second 5-1. That formed the middle of three such scores, sandwiched between 5-1's from Joe Screen and Dean Barker. 

Rickardsson though put the disappointment behind him and went on to complete the programmed heats unbeaten, and twice claim the track record! 

He blasted round the Arlington circuit in heat 11 to record a time of 55.3 seconds and then went one-tenth of a second faster in heat 15 to collect the win which was just enough to leave just eight points between the two sides - the very same margin by which they had won by on September 18th. 

It was a victory therefore that forced the meeting into an extra race, for the aggregate bonus point. Eastbourne nominated Mark Loram (12 from 5) whilst Poole naturally opted for Rickardsson. The bonus point was at one stage in that match race seemed destined to stay in Sussex but Rickardsson cleverly reeled in his GP rival and secured the extra point, meaning group opponents Oxford would need to win also at Eastbourne to deny the Pirates a place in the final.

Eastbourne 49: Joe Screen 14+1 (3,3,2,2,3,1'), Mark Loram 12 (3,2,3,2,2), Joonas Kylmakorpi 11+1 (3,3,1,1,0,1,2'), Dean Barker 10+3 (2',2',2,1',3), Jamie Smith 2+1 (0,2',Fx,0), Dan Giffard 0 (0,Mx,0).
Poole 41: Tony Rickardsson 17+1 (R,3,2',3,3,3,3), Lars Gunnestad 9 (2,1,3,2,1,0), Bjarne Pedersen 7+1 (1',1,3,1,1), Henrik Gustafsson 6 (2,1,1,0,2,0), Paul Clews 2+1 (1',1,Fx,0), Hans Andersen 0 (0,0) 

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