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Swindon steal a point in south-coast thriller
SWINDON took advantage of Poole’s depleted line-up to snatch a point in a 48-42 Elite League blockbuster at Wimborne Road, coming within a single race of ending the Pirates’ run of nine Elite League victories in a row.
And while Swindon’s heat leaders failed on fire on a night dominated by Poole’s top end, enormous credit must go to Swindon reserves past and present, Peter Kildemand and Jason Doyle, who clocked up 23 of the visitors’ 42 points.
The efforts of those riders proved critical in the grand scheme of the meeting, with their 5-1 maximum in heat 14 stunning the hosts, who must have thought they had done enough to secure all three points come the penultimate race.
The staging of the Swedish Final meant Dennis Andersson and Ricky Kling were missing for Poole, while Swindon’s Robin Aspegren was also involved in his homeland competition.
Even though no rider could get near Pirates number one Darcy Ward in the opener, Swindon’s overall start was a solid one as they kept the Pirates within reach.
The reserves’ race saw the points shared before the same occurred in heat three, and then ex-Poole man Doyle picked up his first heat win of the night.
That was the pattern for the next two heats as well, with Chris Holder and Darcy Ward gaining expected victories, but Poole edged back into the lead after seven, when Adrian Miedzinski and guest Timo Lahti picked up a 4-2 against Kildemand and Simon Stead.
Doyle triumphed from Lahti in heat eight to level matters again, only for the red-hot Poole combination of Miedzinski and Holder to slam in the first 5-1 of the evening.
Undeterred, Kildemand stunned the home crowd by beating Ward and preventing him pick up his fifth straight Elite League maximum, and Stead’s third place took Swindon to within two points.
Robins number one Hans Andersen then kicked into gear by beating Miedzinski, only for Holder to win from the gate before Miedzinski and Ward teamed up for a big 5-1.
Doyle and Kildemand came up with the perfect reply to ensure Swindon went home with at least a point, but Holder and Ward proved too much for the same two riders in each heat, the latter completing a fine paid maximum.
Swindon are due to take on Poole in a rematch at the Abbey Stadium tonight but at the time of writing, heavy rain was forecast for last night and throughout today.
The Robins have Elite League fixtures scheduled against King’s Lynn at the Norfolk Arena on Monday and Wolverhampton at Blunsdon in seven days’ time.