The second leg of the Elite League Knockout Cup between Coventry and Poole took place under difficult conditions at Brandon tonight. Coventry began as slight favourites after holding Poole to just a four point advantage but it was Poole who came back from the dead to add the KoC to the Elite League title.

Coventry made light of the rainy conditions with a scorching series of heat advantages - including three straight maximums - to go in to a fourteen point aggregate lead after heat seven. At this point they must have felt ultra-confident of hanging on to that, lifting the cup and gaining some revenge on the Pirates who beat them in the Elite League championship play-off a few days ago.

But heat eight saw a change of momentum as the Poole fight back began. The Pirates sent in world number four Leigh Adams as a tactical substitute to partner Bjarne Pedersen and that paid bagged a timely 5-1 to cut the aggregate deficit to ten points.

Consecutive wins from Tony Rickardsson in heats nine and ten were nullified by the Coventry riders packing in behind to share the points as each heat they could do that made it a safer bet that they would be getting their hands on the silverware.

Poole clawed four points back over heats eleven and twelve but Coventry held the aces entering the crucial heat thirteen standing six ahead on aggregate with three heats remaining. The Poole powerhouse paring of Adams and Rickardsson made the start but Andreas Jonsson settled Coventry nerves by speeding past the pair of them and taking the lead.

That left Poole needing the maximum 5-1 advantages from the final two heats. A tall task but being six points behind on the night they still had the option of one last tactical substitution. And they nominated Mark Loram - in for the injured Lukas Dryml - four heat fourteen.

He and Garry Stead did the business to set up an all-or-nothing final heat on which the destination of the Knockout Cup rested and four grand prix riders would decide it. Adams and Rickardson lined up against Jonsson and Lee Richardson in a repeat of heat thirteen.

However this time Adams and Rickardsson powered over the line in the major positions and in so doing made the Poole comeback complete. The Pirates can make it a treble winning season if they get the better of Eastbourne in the British League Cup final next week.

 

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