SGB Premiership
Poole Pirates 47 (3), Somerset Rebels 43 (1)

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, writes Stephen Allen.

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.

The narrow defeat did offer up the Rebels a league point, which moves them level with Swindon on 32 apiece.

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 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.

With nearly half of the heats being shared, it was evident that there was little to choose between the two side.

May said: "We achieved six of those shared heats by filling second and third places, thus avoiding too many zeroes on the scorechart... and you have to be happy with those sort of performances."

Being six down going into heat 11, May played his master card, 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 up Holder with Doyle, and the combination worked perfectly as they left Harris and Jakobsen wanting.

The same duo claimed a counter 4-2 in heat 13 following the Pirates' 4-2 in heat 12, 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 tomorrow (Wednesday) night, when they host Belle Vue.

Next week they will have two home matches to contend with, after Leicester agreed to a date change that freed up August 29 for the Rebels to re-stage last week's rained-off match against Wolverhampton.

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.

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')