Swindon hit form ahead of title deciders
10:56am Friday 20th September 2013 in Sport
CHAMPIONS Swindon will face Poole in a repeat of last year's Grand Final when the play-offs begin at the Abbey Stadium next Monday (September 23).
And boss Alun Rossiter insists his side don't fear the powerhouse Pirates, who include Grand Prix superstars Greg Hancock and Darcy Ward.
A massive crowd is expected at Blunsdon as the Robins look to build a handy lead to take down to Dorset for the return on September 30.
Swindon ended their regular league programme with a 54-38 win over Lakeside at Blunsdon on Monday, which guaranteed Poole’s place in the top four.
Now the two sides will battle it out over two legs and Rossiter says the reigning champions are up for the challenge.
He said: "There’s no fear there at all, we’re up for it. It’s going to be a fantastic fixture and with Swindon Town facing Chelsea the following day to our first leg, it's great for the town.
"Our goal was to make the play-offs and we've done that now, now it's about going and giving it everything to try and finish the job off. Four of the guys in the team were in this scenario last year and they know how much it means."
Rossiter says last year’s semi-final with Birmingham was the reason they took the home leg first.
He said: "Last year we went away first and beat Birmingham quite convincingly and then for the second leg we got a bit complacent so we want to make sure that doesn’t happen this year.
"We’ve got to try and get what we can at home but we’ve got to be careful too."
After a slow start at the Abbey, Swindon soon found form against a Lakeside team desperate for the win they needed to dislodge Poole in the top four, with skipper Hans Andersen racing to a 15-point maximum.
After a tough few weeks, the Dane is now close to hitting top form again according to Rossiter.
"Hans has been struggling at home a bit recently but he had a bit of his old swagger back," said Rosco. "It's been a bit difficult to motivate the guys recently because we kind of knew we’d made the play-offs – even I have struggled.
"Now we’re in the play-offs we’ll move up a gear and we’'ll be right again, we know how it feels to win and we want to do the double – we’re up for it."
SWINDON: Hans Andersen 15, Peter Kildemand 13, Troy Batchelor 9+1, Nick Morris 7+2, Edward Kennett 5+1, Kyle Howarth 5+1, Ashley Birks 0.
LAKESIDE: Seb Ulamek 10+1, Richard Lawson 7+1, Piotr Swiderski 6, Lewis Bridger 5, Cameron Woodward 4+2, Davey Watt 4, Tyson Nelson 2+1.
n THE date for the Elite League Riders Championship has been changed and will now take place at Swindon on Saturday October 19 (5.00pm).
The event was originally scheduled for the Abbey Stadium on Saturday October 12, but has been moved back a week to ease possible fixture congestion at the Wiltshire track.