Monday August 27, 2018
SWINDON’S play-hopes remain alive after a 47-42 win over Poole in an incident-packed Bank Holiday clash at the Abbey.

The CFS Filtration Robins still have a top-four glimmer thanks to Wolverhampton snatching a dramatic 46-44 win over Belle Vue despite losing two riders in Heat 1 at Monmore.

It means fourth place is still possible for the Robins, who must beat Belle Vue in their final league match of the season at home next Thursday (September 6) and then hope the Aces lose at home to Somerset on September 10.

In addition, the Robins need Wolves to gain no more than one win from their remaining matches, which are all against the top three – away at Somerset and Poole, and at home to King’s Lynn.

Swindon had to take care of their own business first on Monday, and it was far from easy against a Pirates side in a good run of form.

And their top two riders were both on the receiving end of 5-1s in their opening rides, as Troy Batchelor and Nick Morris lost out in Heats 1 and 4 respectively.

But there was a sensational Heat 2 effort from guest Tom Brennan to partner Zach Wajtknecht to a 5-1 over Kacper Woryna (who had scored paid-17 in the Pirates’ earlier home win over Somerset) and Frederik Jakobsen.

A nip-and-tuck encounter followed with the Robins edging 4-2s in Heats 6 and 8 to move level, both races won by David Bellego – the latter with a brave outside pass on Jakobsen going into the second lap.

Tobiasz Musielak and Adam Ellis then combined to hold off the thrusting Chris Harris in Heat 9 to put the Robins ahead for the first time, and a 4-2 from Bellego and Batchelor in the next extended the gap to six.

But the Pirates hit back when Morris came to grief in Heat 11 as he ran out of room trying to split the visiting duo going into lap two, and after a 5-1 in the re-run the scores were levelled when the impressive Jakobsen headed Ellis in Heat 12, whilst Wajtknecht’s late challenge on Richie Worrall proved unsuccessful.

Batchelor and Morris gave the Robins just the result they wanted from Heat 13 with a big 5-1 over Harris and Brady Kurtz, before Heat 14 provided high drama.

Poole initially held a 5-1 before a stunning move by Musielak split the visitors, and just as he was rounding Nicolai Klindt for the lead, Jakobsen hit the fence on turn two and crashed heavily, fortunately without injury.

But in the re-run it was Musielak’s turn to hit trouble as he lifted on the second bend and couldn’t get the bike down before falling, leaving Klindt to head Wajtknecht for a 3-2 in the re-run with the Robins reserve nursing his bike over the finish line after problems on the last lap.

That meant Poole needed a 5-1 from Heat 15 to snatch victory, but Batchelor came up with another big start to control the race, whilst Bellego added insurance with a clever move to get the better of Klindt for third place.

Robins boss Alun Rossiter said: “We knew we had to win tonight, and it didn’t matter whether Poole got a point or not. We just had to win.

“Heat 13 was very important and Nick was a bit sore after being knocked off at Newcastle on Sunday and then crashing again, but he and Troy worked hard during the interval to sort their bikes out and it paid off.

“That was an all-important 5-1 which made things easier although it didn’t help with Tobi in Heat 14 – he likes to make me sweat a bit! But when you look at it, we were solid all the way through tonight.

“It was great to see young Tom go out and get a 5-1 in Heat 2, and in fairness he was racing hard all night which was a pleasure to see, and he looks good for the future.

“It’s in the hands of everybody else, but there’s still an outside chance, so it isn’t over until the fat lady sings!”

SWINDON 47: David Bellego 10, Troy Batchelor 9, Adam Ellis 7+1, Nick Morris 6+1, Tobiasz Musielak 6, Zach Wajtknecht 6, Tom Brennan 3+1.
POOLE 42: Brady Kurtz 9+1, Frederik Jakobsen 7+1, Chris Harris 7, Josh Grajczonek 6+2, Nicolai Klindt 6+1, Richie Worrall 6+1, Kacper Woryna 1.

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