MATCH REPORT: Poole throw a spanner in the works!
The curtain came down on the 2016 season at Harbourside, yielding the best possible result for the Comets, with a hard fought victory against their “oldest enemy”, Wednesfield Aces, in a match which turned on its head in the final 6 races.
Poole stormed back from a 6 point deficit at heat 14 to win by a relatively comfortably 7 point margin, although in truth, there was nothing comfortable for either side in this fiercely contested encounter.
The Aces edged the first half with three 6-4 wins, two inspired by Paul Heard from inside gates, while Gavin Wheeler was involved in both the Comets 6-4 race wins.
Two shared heats after the break gave way to what looked like a pivotal 7-3 for the visitors, with Matt Smith and Chris Jewkes shocking the home fans with a comprehensive and unexpected max, with previously unbeaten Dawid Bas trailing.
An even more unexpected 7-3 max followed 3 heats later, following two more shared heats when the strong looking Aces pairing of Aris/Hewittson were comprehensively beaten by Poole reserves Jay Briggs and Wil Bristowe to bring the margin back to just 2 points.
The home crowd had even more to cheer two heats later, when Steve Harris teamed up with Comets skipper Gluchowski for another 7-3, and all of a sudden Poole were leading for the first time in the match, albeit by a slender 2 point margin.
That lead was extended in heat 18, when Lee Kemp picked up the only exclusion of the day for ramming Jay Briggs, giving Poole a 6-3 and a healthy lead 92-87.
Bas reeled off his fifth race win from gate 1 in heat 19 and with Steve Harris bowing out from his 4 years at Harbourside with a stylish 3rd place, the league points were in the bag.
Matiej Ganczarek matched his Polish team mate Bas with a fifth race win in heat 20, but by that time the race outcome was academic.
The Aces will claim that they were missing their talisman Ben Mould and his absence undoubtedly made a big difference. Poole had nothing ride for but their pride and that box was well and truly ticked, with all 9 riders making important contributions.
The outcome of the league title will go down to the final matches on October 5th, with the Wednesfield v Horspath match at Ashmore Park looking decisive.
Dawid Bas 22, Maciej Ganczarek 21, Greg Gluchowski 17, Steve Harris 11, Gavin Wheeler 9, Dean Hook 7, Jay Briggs 6, Wil Bristowe 6, Ben Donohue 4.
Paul Heard 19, Matt Smith 18, Mark Griffiths 17, Chris Jewkes 12, Lee Aris 11, Lee Kemp 9, Mikey Hewittson 7, Matt Haddock 3.
Referee – Robin Spicer