MATCH REPORT: First win for Stars

Sheffield 98 – 78 Poole, Elite League, Sunday 15th June 2014

Poole arrived at the Graves to face Sheffield knowing this would be their best chance to claim a first win of the season, with both sides yet to put any points on the board this season, a stark contrast to both teams fortunes last season. This was the Comets strongest team yet, Arek Szymanski & Dean Hook making their season debuts for the south coast outfit, while it was a home debut for Sheffield’s Bobby McMillan as Myke Grimes, Andy Angell and Richard Hudson returned to the side.

After the first five heats, the scores were level on 25 after a 6-4 apiece amongst three drawn heats, but the Handke-Zareba pairing took a 7-3 off the tapes over the Smith-Szymanski pairing to give the home side a 4 point lead, extending that to 9 when the Idzioreck-McMillan pairing took a 7-2 over Wheeler, after Morgan was excluded for slowing the race down. A 5-5 in heat eight steadied the ship, but another 7-3 for the Stars in heat nine from the Zareba-Grimes pairing over the Hook-Szymanski pairing put Sheffield 13 clear heading into the interval.

Straight out after the interval & Sheffield continued where they left off as Hudson passed Smith to let Handke through, giving Sheffield another 7-3, followed up by a 7-2 from the Parr-Angell pairing from Morgan after Wheeler was excluded for use of the leg. Szymanski won from McMillan & Idzioreck to try and claw something back for Poole, and they reduced the deficit in heat 13 when Zareba took second behind Gluchowski after Handke fell & was forced to withdraw through injury when shouldering Harris. A 5-5 from the tapes & then a 6-4 for the away side as Morgan held Angell from the tapes made it look like the action was over; however, heat 16 saw a drawn heat appear the likely result until Smith passed McMillan, forcing Zareba to pass Gluchowski to make that possible. Heat seventeen was a start-to-finish 5-5, but heat eighteen saw Grimes take the win from Harris and the ever chasing Angell after Wheeler was adjudged to have moved at the tapes, ending the match in a 98 to 78 win for Sheffield.

Pawel Idzioreck rode exceptionally and was well supported by Damian Zareba, Gavin Parr and Myke Grimes, while Radek Handke will feel aggrieved after that fourth race fall which ruined any chances he had of tensing unbeaten. Greg Gluchowski lost to only one opponent after his first race fourth, while Steve Harris had a solid performance and Arek Szymanski picked up two fourths & three wins. But overall, Sheffield’s team riding won them the match, as they rode sensible and fought off the attempts of this Poole side to put pressure on them.

Sheffield 98
Pawel Idzioreck 15+2 (5), Damian Zareba 15+1 (5), Gavin Parr 14+2 (5), Andy Angell 13+2 (5), Myke Grimes 12+2 (4), Bobby McMillan 12+1 (5), Radek Handke 11+1 (4), Richard Hudson 6 (3), Kyle Holland DNR
Poole 78
Greg Gluchowski 16 (5), Arek Szymanski 14 (5), Steve Harris 13 (5), Aaron Morgan 9+1 (5), Gavin Wheeler 9 (5), Aaron Smith 8+1 (5), Dean Hook 8 (5), Luke Armes 1 (1), Jay Briggs DNR
Referee: Mike Hack (Manchester)


The combination match was just as exciting and hard fought a match as the first team was with the match coming down to a vital race, Poole eventually claiming the win. For Sheffield, James Bunting had a much better match than at Ipswich, while Adam Watson was superb and Vicky Brown was fast and smooth. For Poole, Wil Bristowe and Callum Albin rode exceptionally good matches, and Chris Blundell took the chances he needed to support them.

Sheffield 68
Adam Watson 14+2 (5), James Bunting 14 (4), Vicky Brown 12 (4), Zac Smurthwaite 8+1 (3), Kyle Holland 7+2 (4), Richard Hudson 6 (3), Niall Morton 4+1 (3), plus 3 penalty points
Poole 70
Callum Albin 17+1 (5), Wil Bristowe 15+1 (5), Sandra Tamborska 9 (4), Luke Armes 8+1 (4), Chris Blundell 8+1 (4), Jay Briggs 7 (4), plus 6 penalty points
Referee: Rob Mawhood (Yorkshire)

Report by Sheffield