HOLDER: ROUGH RIDE FOR PIRATES
Monday 1st October 2012, 16:02
Poole skipper Chris Holder says winning this year’s Elite League title would be his hardest-fought triumph since joining the Pirates, as he prepares for tonight’s play-off semi-final with Lakeside.
The table-topping Dorset side go into the second leg at Wimborne Road leading 47-43 following their victory in the opener at the Arena-Essex Raceway last Monday.
Pirates have relied heavy on the scoring might of Holder, who could clinch his maiden World Championship at the FIM Torun SGP of Poland on Saturday.
The 25-year-old has had plenty of support from compatriot Darcy Ward and GP Challenge winner Krzysztof Kasprzak. But Ward has missed meetings through injury and Pirates had to battle hard to bring KK back to the club when Adrian Miedzinski’s short-term deal ended in June.
Poole have been without the likes of Dennis Andersson and Sam Masters due to injury during the campaign and battled through meetings with under-strength sides.
Holder has already reached three play-off finals in four years as a Pirate and could make it four out of five tonight. He is gunning for his third Elite League crown, and says the 2012 title would be the perfect way to end a dogfight of a season for the club.
"It definitely hasnâ€™t been as easy as what people are saying. This year has been a struggle and weâ€™ve fought for every point."
- Chris Holder
He said: “It definitely hasn’t been as easy as what people are saying. This year has been a struggle and we’ve fought for every point. If we can win it this year, this would be the toughest one I’ve been involved in.
“We’ve had so many last-heat deciders – even on our home track it has been quite difficult.
“We deserve to be in the final and if we do our thing tonight, I’m sure we’ll be there. But we’re not counting our chickens yet, so fingers crossed it works out.”
Holder is urging his side not to get complacent against the Hammers, despite bringing a four-point lead to Wimborne Road.
He added: “It’s speedway and anything could happen. Riders could have an off-night and we definitely don’t have a foot in the door by any means.
“We’ve got a good head start. If we can just go out there and do our normal thing and work as a team, I’m sure we’ll be fine. But you’re never in the final until it’s done. You’ve really got to concentrate and make the most of it.”
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- 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