Pirates look to plunder the points

ELITE League speedway returns after the World Cup with Peterborough visiting Poole for the first time this year in search of more league points on Thursday.

ELITE League speedway returns after the World Cup with Peterborough visiting Poole for the first time this year in search of more league points on Wednesday.

Poole's difficult season has been well documented and they currently sit bottom of the league table with just 16 points from 20 completed matches.

It's somewhat unknown territory for a club which has enjoyed considerable success (3 league championships and 2 KO cups) over the last 6 years and clearly life on the south coast isn't a bed of roses at the moment.

They have won just 5 of their completed 23 matches to date, but it should be noted that 2 of those wins are their last two fixtures and having been allowed by the ruling body to sign Steve Boxall on a lower reduced average has added some strength to their tail end.

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Joe Screen is the only remaining Pirate to have upped his starting average, with Chris Holder, Daniel Davidsson and Captain Bjarne Pedersen all having various problems of one sort or another which has restricted the side's potential.

They are completed by reserve Ben Wilson and Peterborough asset Hans Andersen, whose recent signing, was the subject of much discussion by supporters countrywide.

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Panthers meanwhile track the same team that won 3 matches out of their last 4 fixtures, with several of the team taking advantage of the break in league fixtures, due to the SWC to take a mid season holiday and re charge the batteries.

Kenneth Hansen is looking forward to the trip to the south coast and said “I have ridden at Poole a couple of times and it is a decent track and quite big and I like it, it generally has some grip on the outside and although it isn't going to be easy we are going to be up for it and it's a meeting we have got to win away from home.

To be fair since moving up into the team I haven't really noticed anything different, it's a bit harder and you get less races, but its okay and I am satisfied with what I am getting, I need to be in the team as I feel it's where I've got to be to develop”

Team Manager Trevor Swales said: “This will definitely be a close meeting but it is a track which is one of our happier hunting grounds. We are looking to come away with something and Poole are beatable, the fact that several riders in each team are likely to be lacking match sharpness might come into play and we need to push hard early on.

Poole are experiencing some woes this year and it's a hell of an opportunity for us to get some much needed points on the road, I will be looking for some strong performances from our heat leaders, as they haven't always delivered recently”.

Promoter Mick Bratley said: “If we have play off ambitions, this is a fixture we need to get something out of, although I am sure that Poole will have something to say about that. If we all pull together, and we have the capability, this fixture is very winnable”.

Owner Rick Frost said” We all know we need to win more away matches to secure our place in the play offs so our desire to win is strong. On the other hand Poole have nothing to gain by winning except avoiding the relegation play offs, which we all know are pretty meaningless anyway from a relegation point of view. However extra gate receipts from these relegation play offs are obviously very useful. They may well find motivation to win hard to come by"?.

Teams in alphabetical order (GSA in Brackets)

Poole Pirates: Hans ANDERSEN (9.39), Steve BOXALL (3.00), Daniel DAVIDSSON (3.60), Chris HOLDER (8.40), Bjarne PEDERSEN (7.15) Captain, Joe SCREEN (7.41), Ben WILSON (3.22).

Team Manager - Neil MIDDLEDITCH

Peterborough Panthers: Henning BAGER ( 4.55), Kenneth BJERRE (7.81), Ales DRYML (4.57), Kenneth HANSEN (6.10), Niels Kristian IVERSEN (8.28) Captain, Mads KORNELIUSSEN (6.97), & Claus VISSING (4.00).

Team Managers - Trevor & Wayne SWALES

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