SWINDON ROBINS: Right down to the wire
HANS Andersen expects the fight for the Elite League title to go all the way to heat 15 this evening, and if it does, history is on the Robins skipper’s side.
Swindon take a seven-point lead to Wimborne Road this evening after Monday night’s first leg, with the club seeking to end a barren spell of 45 years without a top-flight title.
But Andersen himself does have an Elite League crown to his name having won the play-offs with parent club Peterborough in 2006, with the Dane the key protagonist as his side beat the now-defunct Reading Bulldogs in the most dramatic of fashions.
The Panthers found themselves 12 points down on aggregate with only three heats to go in the tie, but just as the title seemed destined for Berkshire Andersen popped up with a tactical victory in the very next race to claw his side back into it.
Richard Hall and Ryan Sullivan claimed a 5-1 in heat 14 before Andersen and the Australian combined to beat Greg Hancock in the last, and secure the title by a single point.
Andersen is confident the Robins can hold off the Pirates to take the title this evening, but is not overly keen on leaving things quite as late as the Panthers did six years ago.
“I don’t really want to have to go out there and repeat what happened, because getting a 5-1 to win by only a point on aggregate is tough, so it would be nice to have it wrapped up in heat 14,” he said.
“It was one of those things that happened and it was great to be involved in 2006, but all I want to do is make sure we finish the job off this time.
“It is never easy, especially against Poole at their home because they have two 11-point riders at home, but they are beatable and we are a better team than we were earlier in the season.
“We will be in a good position if we can keep it close during the meeting, and they are strong at the end but so are we.
“It will be an exciting night that’s for sure, and it is certainly going to go down to heat 15.
“At the end of the day the best team is going to win, and I think that is going to be Swindon.”
Fans unable to get to Poole tonight can watch all the action unfold on screens at the Abbey Stadium. Entry is free.