Poole picked up their 13th league point of the week and it proved to be lucky 13 as it sealed their final league finishing position of fourth to take the Volvo Cars Poole Pirates into the play-offs.
Poole never led the Rebels in this final fixture until a dramatic heat 15 maximum advantage from Brady Kurtz and skipper Hans Andersen gave them a 48-45 victory on the night.

Acknowledging his side’s achievement Andersen admitted “We are so pleased to have settled things tonight. We have achieved the play-offs in our own right. We are there and will now do our best to go on and make the most of it, the title is still there to be won and we will give it our best shot. We need to put some of the performances of the season behind us and go out and ride the way we are capable of.”
Although Rye House picked up a further three points by becoming the side to end Swindon’s 17 match unbeaten run in a rain-truncated 10 heat battle in Hoddesdon the Pirates three league points put them out of reach of the Rockets who still have two meetings to complete.
The Rebels looked rampant in the early exchanges of this SGB Premiership fixture and without a race winner to their name Poole found themselves needing to chance their hand at the tactical as early as heat 5. Brady Kurtz made it pay with a fine victory although Charles Wright separated him from Timo Lahti to restrict Poole to just halving the 10 point deficit.
The Rebels came back just as strong and across the next three heats rebuilt a 9 point lead and Poole’s hopes looked forlorn. However the reliable combo of Lahti and Andersen delivered a 5-1 over Wright and a struggling Hougaard in heat 9 before Starke and Kennett stunned the large crowd with a back-to-back maximum, Grajczonek and Kerr the victims. It was one of a number of good rides by the battling Kennett who looked better as the meeting progressed.
The Pirates just couldn’t find a way to ease into the lead but equally denied the Rebels any room to extend their advantage and with at least one league point confirmed the battle went into the final heat with Poole needing a heat gain. Kurtz made a strong start and had daylight ahead of him, Andersen inched by Lawson and managed to hang on to that position despite an intense recovery from Lawson to seal the Pirates fate in the play-offs, an achievement that a few weeks ago looked beyond their capabilities.

Final Score: Somerset 45 v Poole 48
Somerset – 45: C. Wright 12 (3,2,3,1,3), R. Lawson 10 (3,3,3,FD,1), J.Grajczonek 10 (3,3,1,3,R), L. Kerr 6+3 (1′,2′,1,1,0,1′), P. Hougaard 4+1 (2′,0,0,2), K. Doolan 3 (1,2,0,0,0)

Poole – 48: T. Lahti 12+1 (2,3,1,1′,3,2,0), B. Kurtz 12+1 (0,6,1′,2,3), E. Kennett 10+1 (1,2,2′,2,3), H. Andersen 8+3 (1,2,2′,1′,2′), P. Starke 6+1 (FD,R,2,3,1′), G. Wood 0 (0,R,R)