Replacement riders key as Poole Pirates continue playoff push at Lakeside Hammers
POOLE Pirates return to Elite League action tonight - looking to edge ahead of the Lakeside Hammers in the race for the playoffs.
Matt Ford's side were dealt a blow with defeat against Peterbrough, but a win tonight would shift the momentum back in favour of the Pirates.
It won't be easy for Poole though, as Tomas Jonasson, Rohan Tungate and Josh Grajczonek will all miss the trip to Essex.
"There's no question that the Hammers promotion will have their team fired up" explained Ford.
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"Sadly I would have preferred to have been going into this meeting at full strength, but the fact is it falls on the day before the Grand Prix Challenge and with Somerset also riding against Ipswich - it means we have riders missing.
"I have to thank Maciej Janowski whose attitude in wanting to ride for Poole so close to the GP Challenge is an outstanding offer of loyalty under the circumstances."
Ford has drafted in Eastbourne Eagles' Timo Lahti as rider replacement for Jonasson - while Kyle Howarth will cover in place of Grajczonek.
Lakeside will make one change to the side that has won their last three meetings, with rider replacement in effect for the injured Sebastian Ulamek.
"With the likes of Darcy Ward, Greg Hancock and Maciej Janowski in 12 of the 15 heats, hopefully we can be dangerous" added Ford.
"Equally, I am looking for Timo (Lahti), Kyle (Howarth) and Micky (Dyer) to make life difficult for the home side."