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Looking back: How Robins v Pirates unfolded last year
6:00am Monday 23rd September 2013 in Sport
Tonight’s meeting is a repeat of last season’s Elite League Grand Final, where the Robins hosted the first leg and ended the night with a seven point lead. At one stage Swindon led by 18 before tactical victories from Chris Holder and Darcy Ward dragged the Pirates back into the contest, but Alun Rossiter’s side eventually hung on to claim the title. Will lightning strike twice?
THE destiny of the Elite League title remained firmly in the balance after Poole stormed back from 18 points down to cut the Robins’ lead to only seven going into the deciding second leg.
The home side made a lightning start with victory in the opening three heats and led 36-18 at the end of heat nine, but successive tactical wins from powerhouse duo Chris Holder and Darcy Ward dragged the Pirates back into it as the Robins failed to take a heat advantage from any of the final six races.
The racing was as tough and unforgiving as a final should be as Hans Andersen and Peter Kildemand hit double figures for the Robins, while the trio of Holder, Ward and Kryzystof Kasprzak scored all-but six of the visitors’ points on an evening played out in front of a bumper Blunsdon crowd.
It looked as though the Robins could rue a succession of thrown-away points at the back end of the meeting, and boss Alun Rossiter admitted his side could not afford to do the same again at Wimborne Road.
“The lead should have been more because we made some silly mistakes, but it is not over yet by a long shot,” he said.
“This is a final and it is in the balance, although it is closer than we really wanted after the tacticals got them back into it.
“We were in point-scoring positions and we got sloppy, and we can’t do that at Wimborne Road. I am not too despondent but we have to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again.”
SWINDON 51: Hans Andersen 11+1, Peter Kildemand 10, Sebastian Alden 8+2, Simon Stead 8+2, Nick Morris 6+2, Troy Batchelor 5, Dawid Lampart 3+1.
POOLE 44: Darcy Ward 15, Chris Holder 13, Krzysztof Kasprzak 10, Sam Masters 3+1, Ricky Kling 2, Kyle Howarth 1, Piotr Pawlicki R/R.
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