Poole 58, King’s Lynn 36
Lynn old boy Darcy Ward returned to haunt his former employers with a five-ride maximum tonight in Elite League table-topping Poole's victory at Wimborne Road.
Ward repeated his paid 15 haul from the Pirates' last home outing against Belle Vue to dent the Stars' play-off ambitions. Rob Lyon's men never looked likely to pick up their fifth consecutive losing league point on the road with Czech World Team Cup duo Tomas Topinka and Filip Sitera failing to score. Lynn, however, remained third in the table with Poole increasing their lead over Eastbourne at the summit to six points.
Holder set the tone in the opener with light drizzle overhead in a 59 second tour – Dennis Andersson shutting out Kenneth Bjerre down the back straight for an opening maximum. Sitera suffered a heavy fall in the reserves around the bottom bend following a tight tussle into turn one between Lasse Bjerre and Renat Gafurov.
Bjerre junior was outnumbered in the re-run, but able to keep Kyle Newman at bay behind the fast-trapping Russian. Lynn skipper Olly Allen provided nuisance value to Davey Watt to allow Mads Korneliussen to briefly check the home onslaught.
Lasse Bjerre replaced Sitera in heat four but had to settle for a watching brief as the imperious Ward opened his account with a stylish gate to subdue Niels-Kristian Iversen – the opposing duo no strangers after both failing in their GP qualifying bid over the weekend in Croatia.
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Jason Doyle hunted down Topinka in the skirmish for the minor spoils in heat five but Watt was too cute for Kenneth Bjerre at the head of affairs to maintain Poole's eight point lead.
Holder's class prevailed in heat six after Iversen trapped in front of the Australian ace before compatriot Ward used every inch of his home track to repel the game Korneliussen. Andersson pick-pocketed Lasse Bjerre in heat eight exiting the final bend, but Newman edged Topinka for another Poole heat advantage to move 14 clear.
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Lyon deployed Iversen on a tactical with partial success – the Danish World Team Cup racer and Lass Bjerre tracking Watt to the flag for a rare away advantage. Holder's heroics again foiled Korneliussen who switched to defensive mode on the last lap under pressure from Andersson.
Kenneth Bjerre appeared on a black and white helmet raid in heat 11, but Ward and Gafurov squared off the race to protect the hosts' huge lead. Ward sealed all three league points in a heat 13 thriller alongside Elite League best pairs' winning colleague Holder before the duo served up an encore in the finale.
• Pirates: Holder 13+2, Andersson 7+1, Watt 11, Doyle 3+2, Ward 15, Gafurov 7, Newman 2.
• Stars: K Bjerre 9, Topinka 0, Allen 1+1, Korneliussen 10, Iversen 8, L Bjerre 8+2, Sitera 0.