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Slender loss at Poole

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Elite League

Poole Pirates 46 Lakeside Hammers 44

A last-heat maximum from Darcy Ward and Chris Holder denied Hammers victory at Wimborne Road last night.

But the result was almost an irrelevance as both sides paid tribute to Hammers captain Lee Richardson, who died on Sunday night following a crash in Poland.

The two sets of riders lined up on the track prior to the meeting to pay their respects to the 33-year-old Richardson.

And his teammates then combined to produce a battling performance, which almost brought about a fitting victory.

Davey Watt won his first two races and the match remained level at 18-18 after six heats.

When Watt completed a hat-trick of victories ahead of Kauko Nieminen in the next, Hammers moved four points clear.

And the gap grew to eight after Richie Worrall and Stuart Robson combined for another maximum in heat eight.

Ward and Holder celebrated wins in three of the next four races, but Peter Karlsson’s heat 11 success ensured Hammers remained 39-33 up with three races to go.

Adrian Miedzinski and Holder reduced the deficit to two with a maximum, but Hammers remained in front heading into heat 15.

Given the tragic circumstances surrounding the meeting, a draw between two of Richardson’s former clubs might have been pertinent.

But Ward and Holder held off Watt and Karlsson to earn Pirates victory, albeit a hollow one.

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