DOYLE'S PAIN AT POOLE
Jason Doyle admits team riding cost him on the night Somerset were denied an SGB Premiership final spot by Chris Harris’ heroics for Poole.
09 / 02 / 2019, 12:00
Aussie star Jason Doyle admits team riding cost him on the night Somerset were denied an SGB Premiership Grand Final spot by Chris Harris’ heroics for Poole.
Fans watching at Wimborne Road and live on BT Sport were treated to an epic showdown between the near neighbours, with Rebels holding a 12-point aggregate lead seven heats into the second leg, only for Poole to peg it back to 87-87 going into a last-heat decider.
Then world champion Doyle was leading – a result which would have sent the tie to golden heats. But Harris had other ideas, taking to the fence to build up speed before producing a spectacular dive under the Newcastle-born racer on lap four, turn three, before powering around him on the run to the line to snatch the win and send Pirates through.
Fair play to Bomber; he loves riding the fence and he’s a great rider when he does stuff like that. Hats off to him and no excuses; he deserved to win that race and for Poole to make it into the final.
An incredible race went viral on social media but that was of little comfort for Doyle, who was gutted he didn’t leave partner Richard Lawson behind and stretch out a sufficient advantage to deny Harris his moment of ecstasy.
He said: “It was only me that stuffed it up for us not to make the final after that famous Bomber move around me.
“I guess I should have just gone and not waited for Richard. That was my only downfall. For two laps, I was kind of team riding and didn’t get a big enough lead to stop Bomber doing his two big laps.
“Fair play to Bomber; he loves riding the fence and he’s a great rider when he does stuff like that. Hats off to him and no excuses; he deserved to win that race and for Poole to make it into the final.”
Pirates went on to lift their eighth top-flight title of the 21st century, despite King’s Lynn topping the table. While that’s nothing unusual in the era of play-offs, Doyle admits he felt some sympathy for the Stars.
He said: “I don’t think the right team won the league. King’s Lynn was top of the game all year and it just came down to injuries once again for the final.”
Doyle is back in Swindon colours this year alongside the likes of Troy Batchelor, Adam Ellis and Tobiasz Musielak. He would love to see Robins soar to the summit during the regular season and deliver the trophy in the play-offs.
He said: “Hopefully we win it fair and square. A win is a win, but we have a great team and we have to go from the first match to the end to be champions. I am looking forward to it and I think we have a good chance to be league champions in 2019.
“It’s a good job by Terry and Wayne Russell and Rosco to put a good team on paper. Sometimes you have a good team on paper, but things can happen and you can have a not-so-good season. But at the moment, we have a very good team and hopefully we can do well for Swindon. It will all come down to what happens at the start of April when we kick off.”