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WHEN Poole made the bold decision to swap the SGB Premiership for the Championship just weeks after finishing top of the table, the move sent shockwaves through the sport.

Even Pirates team manager Neil Middleditch was taken aback by the decision made by club owner Matt Ford and co-promoter son Danny.

Would fans accustomed to the caviar of watching superstars like Tony Rickardsson, Leigh Adams, Jason Crump, Chris Holder, Darcy Ward, Greg Hancock and Maciej Janowski really get behind second-tier speedway?

Any doubts about that were blown away in the closing nights of 2021 as the Dorset side celebrated a sensational league and cup double as hard as any other triumph in their illustrious history.

Season review 2021 SGB Championship

Silverware is silverware as far as the Poole team, management and supporters are concerned, as their double success of 2021 testifies. PAUL BURBIDGE caught up with Neil Middleditch...

The league may have been different, but the challenge was every bit as great and Middleditch insists his 24th and 25th trophies since taking the Wimborne Road hotseat were every bit as special as the top-flight ones.

to say I thoroughly enjoyed the season.

“If you look at the riders in the Premiership, there are only a few now who don’t double down. The quality of racing at the top end is certainly comparable to the Premiership.

He said: “At the start of the season, everyone knows I wasn’t an advocate of moving into the Championship. But I have

“Perhaps I didn’t think it would be quite so great at the start of the season, but having won it, I am absolutely thrilled to

Down at Win-bo

6 speedway star November 27, 2021

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