Blogs & Opinion


Elite League Final 2013: Poole Pirates to win title in Birmingham

Kelvin Tatum Posted 11th October 2013 view comments

Poole were outstanding in the first leg of the Elite League Final.

The Pirates will take a 21-point lead into Tuesday's second leg with Birmingham, mainly because their world-class riders were in world-class form at Wimborne Road.

They had a touch of fortune when Birmingham's Jason Doyle touched the tape in heat one, but Darcy Ward and Thomas H Jonasson achieved a 5-1 and that really set the tone for the night as Poole ran out 57-36 winners.

Oh, Mr Darcy: Ward will be key for Poole, says Kelvin

Oh, Mr Darcy: Ward will be key for Poole, says Kelvin

Thinking about the meet whilst driving home afterwards, it became apparent that when it comes to big nights Poole have an edge over Birmingham, with Greg Hancock performing on these sorts of stages for a considerable time.

Ward, meanwhile, looks like he is taking his job a little more seriously since breaking his shoulder blade a while back, while he is also relishing being Poole captain in the absence of the injured Chris Holder.

Ward is a remarkable rider, possibly the most eye-catching one in world speedway.

Kelvin Tatum
Quotes of the week

ELITE LEAGUE SPEEDWAY FINAL

7pm, Tue, Sky Sports 4

Darcy is a remarkable rider, possibly the most eye-catching one in world speedway.

He slips up every now and again and you sometimes question him, but he is only 21 and hasn't been in the game very long so you can excuse the odd mistake.

Ward won a Grand Prix event in Copenhagen in June and I think he could follow in the footsteps of Britain's Tai Woffinden and become a world champion, because he really is that good.

Collectively

Birmingham would have wanted to be calm and relaxed last week and take the final as just another night - but that's not what happened; they felt the pressure and when Poole hit them hard, they couldn't recover.

It was really disappointing for them as they had a great season up until then - topping the standings at the end of the regular campaign - but they will know that they didn't do themselves justice collectively at Poole.

The Brummies have been great at home recently but to come back from a 21-point deficit will be incredibly difficult because Poole can use two tactical moves and also have the quality of Hancock and Ward.

Birmingham beat the Pirates by 14 points at Perry Barr earlier in the year and that sort of figure is realistic again, but I just can't see them winning by 22.

Doyle, though, has been brilliant for the Brummies; it was a shame what happened to him early on last week but he did redeem himself later in the meeting and picked up some valuable points.

He has been very solid throughout the season and been a real trump card.

Birmingham will go in with nothing to lose and everything to gain and I think they will win the leg to salvage some pride - but I fully expect Poole to be crowned Elite League Champions.

Monday's second leg has been postponed until Tuesday due to rain.

back to top

Other Speedway Experts:

Latest Posts in Speedway:

Kelvin Tatum

The contenders

Kelvin Tatum runs through the teams and riders ahead of the 2014 Elite League Speedway season....

Kelvin Tatum

Kelvin's 2013 Review

Kelvin Tatum salutes Poole's hierarchy and Tai Woffinden in his round-up of the speedway season....

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Rich re-Ward

Poole, and the dynamic Darcy Ward, will wrap up the Elite League title at Perry Barr, says Kelvin Tatum....

comments

Latest News RSS feeds

Coventry win local derby

Coventry sealed their second Elite League victory on the road this season after a 50-40 success against Leicester.

Poole win big on Good Friday

An action-packed Good Friday programme included reigning champions Poole Pirates doing the league double of Swindon.

King's Lynn close on top spot

King's Lynn closed on league leaders Lakeside after a 52-38 win over Belle Vue Aces at the Norfolk Arena.

British semi-finals draw

The draw for the British championship semi-finals has been made with Tai Woffinden starting his defence at Rye House.

Unhappy Hammers to complain

Lakeside Hammers are set to make an official complaint to the SCB about events following a crash at Leicester.

Features

Elite League Speedway: Download a free Sky Sports programme

Elite League Speedway: Download a free Sky Sports programme

Make sure you make the most of your Elite League speedway action with the Sky Sports programme.

Sky Sports and British Speedway, Sky Tickets have an exclusive offer for all live meetings

Sky Sports and British Speedway, Sky Tickets have an exclusive offer for all live meetings

To celebrate the partnership between Sky Sports and British Speedway, Sky Tickets have an exclusive offer.

2014 Elite League season preview

2014 Elite League season preview

Sky Sports brings you an extensive preview of the new Elite League speedway season, which looks set to be the most exciting for years.