Thursday August 22, 2019
SWINDON’S play-off chase gathered further momentum with a clear 53-37 win over table-topping Poole at the Abbey.

The CFS Filtration Robins are up to third in the Premiership standings and could even go top on Bank Holiday Monday as they kept up their excellent run of form on a night of terrific action.

Mid-season signing Rasmus Jensen was again the Robins’ star turn as he dropped just one point in five rides, but Alun Rossiter’s team gave a complete display and the result was never seriously in doubt.

Track conditions allowed for plenty of overtaking, and the Robins got off to a flyer with a 5-1 from Jason Doyle and Adam Ellis in the opening race, Ellis neatly going inside Nico Covatti on the second leg to join the skipper up-front.

Jensen started his terrific night by rounding Nicolai Klindt on the third bend to win Heat 3, although the Poole rider repelled the challenge of Tobiasz Musielak for a shared race.

The visitors edged two points back in Heat 4 but Jensen and Musielak hit straight back for the hosts with a 5-1 in the next, and Doyle and Ellis both worked their way past Covatti in Heat 6 although Brady Kurtz was ahead for the Pirates.

Troy Batchelor switched inside Klindt to win Heat 7 with Ellis Perks, an impressive winner of the reserves’ race, coming to grief as he battled with Klindt and Josh Grajczonek, but the Robins put the match out of the Pirates’ reach in the next three races.

Heat 8 was so nearly a 5-1 from Ellis and Claus Vissing only for Grajczonek to steal second place on the line, but Heat 9 was a disaster for the Pirates as Kurtz touched the tapes and was unable to make an impression on Musielak and Jensen from the handicap – and a further 5-1 followed in the next from the Doyle/Ellis combination.

Pirates boss Neil Middleditch paired Kurtz as a tac sub with Jack Holder in Heat 11 but they were prevented from taking a 5-1 as Batchelor re-passed Holder on the last lap, whilst another Poole 4-2 in Heat 12 saw Covatti pop out of the start to spoil Jensen’s maximum after another fierce battle.

But Swindon finished well with Doyle winning Heat 13 as Batchelor again got the better of Holder for third, Perks again took a point off Covatti in the next, and a splendid final race saw the Robins gate on a 5-1 before Grajczonek cleverly worked his way to the front – only for Jensen to respond and come back through on the last lap.

Said Jensen: “It’s a great win for us, and I think it shows that not many teams will fancy coming here if we make the play-offs, so it was good to bang in a big win.

“We need to try and win home and away and see what the total score is, and we could be against Poole again in the play-offs, so this result looks good for us. Making the play-offs is the goal and then we’ll take it from there.

“Paid-14 is great for me, I felt a bit like the Poole loss down there (on Monday) was on my shoulder, but it’s all good now.”

Robins are now three points behind Poole and Ipswich, and with a superior points difference – and they host Ipswich at the Abbey on Monday whilst the Pirates visit Wolverhampton.

SWINDON 53: Rasmus Jensen 13+1, Jason Doyle 11, Troy Batchelor 9, Adam Ellis 8+3, Tobiasz Musielak 7+1, Ellis Perks 4+1, Claus Vissing 1.
POOLE 37: Brady Kurtz 12, Josh Grajczonek 10+1, Nicolai Klindt 5+1, Nico Covatti 5+1, Ricky Wells 3, Jack Holder 2, Richie Worrall r/r.

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