MIDDLO: STILL WITHIN OUR REACH
Friday 19th October 2012, 12:47
Poole boss Neil Middleditch paid tribute to his Pirates after they staged a late rally to give themselves a chance of lifting a second straight Elite League title in tonight’s Grand Final against Swindon at Wimborne Road.
The Dorset side was 18 points down after nine heats in the first leg at Blunsdon on Monday, but they hit back to lose 51-44 and earn a seven-point deficit they will feel far more confident of overcoming.
Pirates have called up Ludvig Lindgren to replace Sam Masters after the Aussie suffered two mechanical failures at Swindon, while Linus Eklof comes in for Kyle Howarth.
Middleditch will hope his lower order can back up top three Chris Holder, Darcy Ward and Krzysztof Kasprzak. But he admits he is pleased to be going into the decider within touching distance of Swindon after the Robins appeared to be storming into the distance.
"I think the boys did tremendously well. After being 18 down, to come away just seven behind is fantastic."
- Neil Middleditch
He said: “I think the boys did tremendously well. After being 18 down, to come away just seven behind is fantastic. I’ve always said that being seven to eight behind is tough, but it’s attainable. It could so easily have been four.
“When they banged in two 5-1s at the start, it was tough for us. But we traditionally come strong towards the latter part of a meeting and we proved that again.”
Meanwhile, Swindon boss Alun Rossiter paid tribute to absent Robin Jason Doyle, who sits out the trip to his parent club after breaking his neck in the Premier League Riders Championship at Sheffield last Sunday.
The former Pirate’s Wimborne Road knowledge will be missed by Swindon tonight, although the in-form Sebastian Alden could prove a more than able replacement.
Doyle has been one of the stars of Robins’ season and Rossiter admits the tenacious Aussie would have been on track if he was remotely fit enough to help his team.
Rosco told the Swindon Advertiser: “He would have been out there and would have been on the phone to me every five minutes if there was a chance he could have ridden.
“He reminds me of a young Phil Crump, and he would have to be absolutely at death’s door to stop riding.
“He has been fantastic for us, and he has a lot of fire in his belly, but if you take that away from someone they are not the same rider or the same person. While he has calmed down a lot from what he used to be, he has still got the same aggression and the same fire.”
- 19/06: EMIL'S RUSSIAN RESCUE BID
- 19/06: IVERSEN'S UNHAPPY ENDING
- 19/06: SUNDSTROM'S SGP LIFELINE
- 19/06: KK'S DANISH DEAL
- 18/06: CHAMP PIPS PEDERSEN FOR PIRATES
- 18/06: HOLDER HANGING ON TO EMIL
- Play18/06: TAI'S RIDE
- 17/06: TOP THREE FOR TAI?
- 17/06: MIDDLO'S TEAM GB CHALLENGE
- 17/06: SGP QUALIFICATION DRAW