Pirates’ dreams of reaching their tenth play off Grand Final were shattered when Swindon Robins fired home a 5-1 hat-trick between heats
12 to 14 to secure the aggregate advantage, leaving Poole boss Matt Ford disappointed but pragmatic.
“We couldn’t quite see the tie through after keeping it alive for so long. We were not as good as we could have been and we let it slip away rapidly in the end. But considering where we were a couple of months back we did well to even get in to the play-offs. Reaching the final would have been a dream but it wasn’t to be and so now we have to look to next year to be better and stronger.”
Having instantly wiped out the first leg deficit of two points with Kurtz and Holder finishing either side of Adam Ellis in the opening heat, the Volvo Cars Poole Pirates made it a straight fourteen-heat shootout but were confronted by a bouyant Bradley Wilson-Dean who headed the Robins’ scorecard with a 13+2 return from a six ride stint.
His only dropped points came when he covered an Adam Ellis ride in heat 10, the former Pirate having to withdraw from the meeting with a wrist injury after crashing out in heat 8. Ellis had been on a 5-1 with Wilson-Dean but fell on the third turn allowing Poole a share of the spoils at a time when the tie was beginning to slip away.
An excellent point by James Shane’s in heat 9 to support Andersen’s race win gave Poole some hope and when Kennett and Lahti upturned the form book to block out Wilson-Dean the Pirates trailed by four on the night, six overall.
They were handed a large piece of fortune when Nick Morris fell in heat 11 with the Robins’ on an unexpected 5-1, then in the rerun Carr, leading again, failed to negotiate turn four and Poole banked a 5-0 to move ahead on the night by one point, trailing the tie 78-77. But it proved a false dawn as the Robins finished extremely strongly with 19 out of a possible 20 over the concluding four heats to run out 51-38 winners on the night and book their place in next weeks final with a 97-82 aggregate result.

Final Score: Swindon 51 v Poole 38
Swindon – 51: B. Wilson-Dean 13+2 N. Morris 11, T. Musielak 9+1, J. Doyle 8+1, D. Bellego 7, A. Ellis 2, L. Carr 1.
POOLE – 38: H. Andersen 11, B. Kurtz 8, P.Starke 5+2, J. Holder 5+1, J. Shanes 3, T. Lahti 3+1, E. Kennett 3.