||Last Updated: Nov 28th, 2010 - 10:22:29
A truly determined performance by the Poole Castle Cover Pirates in the first leg of their semi-final Elite league play-off saw them not only maintain their unique statistic of never having lost a play-off meeting since the scheme was introduced, but has made next Monday's home leg against Wolverhampton effectively a one-off meeting, having claimed a draw at Wolverhampton.
And it was a score-line rarely seen in speedway - 44.5 v 44.5 - after referee Craig Ackroyd studied every possible angle but could not split skipper Dave Watt and Fredrick Lindgren in a dramatic heat 13. The SCB referee ruled a dead heat with both riders scoring two and a half points each, and with Chris Holder's third place it maintained Poole's fightback and left just one point between the two sides.
With Wolverhampton failing to provide a finisher in heat 14, both Tai Woffinden and then Matthew Wethers being disqualified for falling in the two attempts to run the penultimate heat Poole snatched a 5-0 advantage through Leon Madsen and Artur Mroczka to edge them ahead for the one and only time on the night.
Freddie Lindgren and 2008 Pirate Adam Skornicki gained a 5-1 revenge in heat 15 so the scores will start from an all square position for the second leg.
A delighted Matt Ford said afterwards "This was a terrific team performance and you really can't fault any of riders as they really threw everything into it. You have to remember that Wolverhampton have an incredible home record and trying to break them at Monmore was never going to be easy. Our aim was to run it as close as possible and you really can't get any closer than that can you? That said we have to remind ourselves that we are only at the halfway stage of the tie and we can learn something from our achievement tonight - that is, if we can do it away then so might Wolverhampton. So we can't take anything for granted and we will honestly need all the support we can get to spur us on to finish the job on Monday night. Our fans can certainly be our 8th man and I really hope that they come along to give the lads the support they justly deserve".
In the other semi-final Coventry recovered from a jittery start against Peterborough to run out 52-38 winners and they will therefore take a 14 point lead with them on Monday for their second leg.
Wolverhampton 44.5 - F.Lindgren 14.5, A.Skornicki 10+1, L.Lindgren 5, T.Proctor 4, M.Wethers 4, T.Woffinden 4 ,N.Klindt 3+1,
Poole 44.5 B.Pedersen 10 (3,2,2,3), D.Watt 9.5 (2,2,3,2.5,0), C.Holder 9+1 (2,2',3,1,1); D.Ward 7+1 (1'3,2,1), L.Madsen 6 (2,FD,0,1,3), A.Mroczak 3+2 (0,0,1,2'), J.Doyle 0 (0,0,0)
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