MATCH REPORT: Poole on top in top of the table clash

A sunny afternoon at Harbourside and the prospect of the top two South West and Wales teams going head to head attracted a healthy crowd for the Comets v Hammers encounter, and they were not disappointed.

Ben Mould lined up for the home side for his first match since returning from Australia, having last ridden for the Dorset club back in 2012 when he was crowned British Junior champion.

Poole opened up with two maximum heat wins, but any suggestion that this would be a one sided affair soon receded as this was to be the last time in the match that this would be repeated until the penultimate race.

Horspath produced their one maximum heat win in the final race after Mould picked up the only exclusion of the match at the tapes.

Dean Hook and Matiej Ganczarek, along with Mould, formed a powerful spearhead for the Comets, winning ten races between them, while Fraser Garnett chipped in with another two.

Will Jeffery looked to be back to his best for the Hammers, notching a couple of race wins, while Jake Neighbour and Zac Payne managed one apiece. European Champion Lukas
Nowacki is still on the road back to full fitness after his injury but still managed a creditable 14 including one win.

PHOTOS: Graham Robins caught the action at Harbourside

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But this was not just a match about race winners, as all 16 riders battled for every point and it was often the scraps for minor places that provided the crowd with the most entertainment.

League racing of this standard is still able to produce an entertaining public spectacle but looking around the regions, such opportunities seem sadly fewer these days.

Maciej Ganczarek 18+1, Dean Hook 17, Ben Mould 16, Fraser Garnett 14, Wil Bristow 12, Ben Tinsdale 9, Jay Briggs 8, Rob Haywood 3.

Will Jeffrey 15+2, Zac Payne 15+2, Lukas Nowacki 14, Jake Neighbour 13+1, David Leiberman 9, Jack Ellis 8+1, Andy Johnson 7+1, Alice Neighbour 1.