Poole Pirates expect backlash from Birmingham in tonight's Elite League Grand Final
POOLE Pirates boss Matt Ford is expecting a backlash from the Birmingham Brummies in tonight’s rearranged Elite league Grand Final decider at Perry Bar.
Poole take a hefty 21-point lead to Birmingham – making a Birmingham comeback unlikely. However, Ford expects Birmingham to do all they can to pry Poole’s hands off the Elite League championship.
“There is no getting away from the fact that the performance in the first leg was absolutely brilliant” explained Ford.
“But I have absolutely no doubt that when the bikes are wheeled out at Perry Barr, the home side’s hurt from what happened last Monday will make them even more dangerous.
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“Without question, they will attack from the off and we will need to be on our toes and guard against it. Our philosophy will be to forget about our first leg lead to an extent – and stop them getting the heat advantages they are going to need.”
Poole’s last trip to Birmingham won’t boost the Pirates’ confidence as they lost by 14 points in June.
Pirates team manager Neil Middleditch has warned his side not to take their healthy lead for granted – speaking from experience about letting an advantage slip.
“I rode for Eastbourne back in 1974 and we took a 16-point lead to the old Birmingham in the National League cup final – but had that wiped out and more when only Paul Gachet and Pete Jarman managed to win for us that night” explained Middleditch.
“It was heart-breaking and I’ll be telling the lads just what an awful feeling it is and urge them to make this performance at Birmingham a far more memorable occasion for me.
“The boys worked really hard in the first leg and we have probably exchanged the underdogs label for favourites – but nothing has been won yet, although I do believe we have the team capable of finishing the job off if we retain our focus.”
Birmingham Selco Brummies: Josh Auty 4.90; Ben Barker 6.47; Nicolas Covatti 4.50; Jason Doyle 7.30; Chris Harris 6.82; Daniel King (capt) 7.46; Martin Smolinski 7.56
Poole Coastal Aluminium Pirates: Josh Grajczonek 4.48; Greg Hancock 8.77; Maciej Janowski 6.95; Tomas H Jonasson 5.69; Kyle Newman (guest) 3.42; Rider Replacement for Rohan Tungate 4.59; Darcy Ward (capt) 9.07