MATCH REPORT: Horspath defeat Poole to take Elite League 2014 title

Horspath duly wrapped up their Elite League title quest by taking the league points at Harbourside, despite the absence of newly crowned Euro champion Marcin Paradinski and Chris Timms, such has been the depth of their riding resources during this campaign. Poole were missing three from their line-up from their narrow victory at Ipswich but could still have sprung a surprise were it not for a disastrous three heat spell before the interval.
Gavin Wheeler skillfully held Euro Junior champ Bartek Grabowski in last place for a shared heat 1 followed by a Harris/Gluchowski 6-4 and a share of the spoils in heats 3 and 4. Problems for Poole started in heat 5 with a Nowacki/Osborne 7-3 and a costly tumble from Arek Szymanski in the following race which gifted the Hammers another maximum. Worse was to come in heat 7 when the visitors picked up a 7-2 after Gavin Wheeler was ruled out at the tapes and with two more shared heats before the break, the champions elect were cruising at 50-39.

The gap extended to 13 points after the break with a 6-4 from Osborne/Kolata but the home crowd sprung to life to heats later in response to a tactical masterclass from Gavin Wheeler who skillfully team rode his partner Hayden Chant to Comets’ only 7-3 heat win of the day. More cheers in the following race greeted a fine pass by Szymanski on Nowacki to share the spoils but an Osborne/Boaler maximum in heat 14 effectively secured the match and the title.

Poole 84
Greg Gluchowski 15, Arek Szymanski 14+2, Steve Harris 12, Gavin Wheeler 11+3, Dean Hook 11+1, Hayden Chant 11, Arron Morgan 7, Kyran Yeatman 3.

Horspath 95

Lewis Osborne 17+1, Bartek Grabowski 15, Mark Boaler 14+ 4, Marcin Kolata 14, Lukasz Nowacki 13 +2, Zac Payne 13+1, Andy Johnson 8+2, George Horsley 1.

Referee – Robin Spicer


Picture by Denis Murphy

Poole strengthened their bid for runners up position in the Elite League Division 2 in a match which was nip and tuck until the addition of 53 penalty points after the visitors could only track one young rider leaving the remaining places taken by the likes of messrs Boaler and Nowacki – surely a concern for all!

It was good to see Leyton Glover back in action for the Comets after a short break, while new recruit Brandon Hague showed further promise.

Poole 117 (64+53 p/pts)
Luke Armes 14+2, Brandon Hague 12+1, Pete Chant 11+1, Callum Albin 11, Callum Smith 9, Leyton Glover 7

Horspath 66
Andy Johnson 16, Lukas Nowacki 15, Zac Payne 10+3, Mark Boaler 9+1, George Horsley 9+1, Owen Johnson 7