Blogs & Opinion

Pirates to sink?

Kelvin expects Poole to come unstuck against Swindon

Kelvin Tatum Posted 3rd August 2012 view comments

Poole and Swindon are the top two sides in the Elite League table and Monday's meet could be a dress rehearsal for the Grand Final.

Swindon had a nightmare 2011, finishing bottom of the division, but were very proactive in the off-season, changing six of their seven riders, and now have a strong line-up.

The second-placed Robins haven't always performed brilliantly as a team but they are now, with Hans Andersen growing in confidence and Troy Batchelor hitting some big scores.

Holder: Pirates star is not fully fit

Holder: Pirates star is not fully fit

Poole, meanwhile, are reigning Elite League champions and you have to give great credit to promoter Matt Ford for putting another powerful unit together.

Averages become an issue when you win a championship and the Pirates did lose Pole Adrian Miedzinski and talented Australian Davey Watt over the winter, so they have done well to remain competitive.

Holder has the ability to dominate our sport, but he has been carrying an injury and may not be at his best on Monday night.

Kelvin Tatum
Quotes of the week

Elite League Speedway
Swindon v Poole

7.30pm, Mon, Sky Sports 3 HD
Watch on the move with Sky Go
How to remote record

The host of rain-offs we have had means that both Swindon and Poole face a lot of meets in quick succession.

That gives both sides the chance to generate a lot of momentum, but the respective team managers will be praying that their star names can stay fit with so little recovery time.


Swindon will be confident going into Monday's clash, despite losing at Poole earlier this season, and will be able to call upon the ever-reliable Simon Stead.

Stead, who celebrates his testimonial with the Robins this month, is not an out-and-out number one rider, but he is crucial to the team.

He always comes in with a six-to-nine point score, is experienced, knows his job and is good at coming up with something when the chips are down.

Swindon's line-up will also include Jason Doyle, a man who knows what winning is all about, having grabbed the Elite League title with Poole last year.

Doyle can be a meeting winner as on his night he is capable of bettering some high-profile riders, while at 28 years of age, he is no longer overwhelmed by the occasion.

Poole's key men for their trip to Blunsdon will undoubtedly be Darcy Ward, who is top of the Elite League averages list, and Chris Holder.

Holder is a wonderful talent and I hope he is a speedway rider in England for the next 10 years or so, but he could be tempted away if he becomes Grand Prix champion.

The Australian sits fourth in this term's Grand Prix standings and he has the ability to dominate our sport, but he has been injured and may not be at his best on Monday.


Therefore, a lot could rest on Krzysztof Kasprzak.

The 27-year-old tends to get himself in trouble with the authorities and there have been some issues with his governing body in Poland. However, he is a proven performer and a great replacement for the departed Miedzinski.

Poole have also drafted in Leicester rider Linus Eklof to bolster their ranks and he has the potential to do a good job.

However, you are never quite sure how Premier League performers will fare in the higher division and Pirates chief Neil Middleditch will be hoping the Swede can hold his nerve on such a big night of speedway.

Middleditch and his counterpart, Swindon team manager Alun Rossiter, are good friends but they love beating each other and both will be desperate for victory on Monday.

I would expect the Robins to come out on top, though, considering they have the home advantage and the fact Poole star Holder will not be fully fit.

Comments (1)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Tim Cole says...


Posted 12:54 5th August 2012

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

back to top

Other Speedway Experts:

Latest Posts in Speedway:

Kelvin Tatum

Back on track

Lakeside can make it two wins over Belle Vue Aces in four days, says Kelvin Tatum, but it'll be close!...


Kelvin Tatum

Hit the road

Swindon are struggling this season but will fancy their chances at Birmingham, says Kelvin Tatum....


Kelvin Tatum

Racing away

Belle Vue are unbeaten at home but Kelvin Tatum asks if they can transfer that form at Swindon....


Latest News RSS feeds

Bees, Pirates seize initiative

Coventry and Poole will take slender leads into the second legs of the Elite League semi-finals after wins on Monday.

Woffinden makes swift return

World Champion Tai Woffinden has made a shock return to the track just five weeks after a serious crash at Eastbourne.

Playoff tickets deal

Get a great deal on tickets to the Elite League Playoffs as Swindon take on Coventry.

Mixed fortunes for Belle Vue

It was a night of mixed fortunes for Belle Vue Aces as they beat Kings Lynn Stars before losing to Coventry Bees.

Harris seals 2015 GP place

Chris Harris put in a stunning performance in the Grand Prix Challenge in Lonigo to book his place in the 2015 GP series


Elite League Playoffs: Enjoy all the action with Sky Tickets

Elite League Playoffs: Enjoy all the action with Sky Tickets

Get a great deal on tickets to the Elite League Playoffs as Swindon take on Coventry on October 6, 7.30pm.

The Sky Sports Open Day on August 16th

The Sky Sports Open Day on August 16th

Sky Sports are giving non-Sky Sports customers a day of world-class sport at no extra cost.

Sky Sports News HQ: Breaking news... but not as you know it, says Mike Wedderburn

Sky Sports News HQ: Breaking news... but not as you know it, says Mike Wedderburn

Now we are starting the countdown to Sky Sports News' relaunching as Sky Sports News HQ.