Thursday October 10, 2019
SWINDON marched into the Premiership Grand Final with an emphatic 58-32 win over semi-final opponents Wolverhampton at the Abbey.

Victory on the night added to their away success at Monmore 24 hours earlier meant the CFS Filtration Robins were triumphant on aggregate by a massive 36-point margin, and it sets up a showdown for the title with Ipswich next week.

Robins will travel to Foxhall for the first leg on Monday before staging the decider back at the Abbey on Thursday October 17.

With a ten-point lead behind them going into the meeting, Robins simply needed to avoid a rapid Wolves response – and in fact they put the tie virtually beyond their visitors in the space of four dominant heats.

Three of those races resulted in Swindon 5-1s, with skipper Jason Doyle and Adam Ellis giving them the perfect start as Sam Masters was eased out from the outside in Heat 1.

After Claus Vissing had held off Ryan Douglas to win Heat 2, Robins notched another maximum in the next when Rasmus Jensen blasted inside Nick Morris going into turn three to join Tobiasz Musielak up-front – and Wolves were left shell-shocked when Vissing got the better of Jacob Thorssell on the second lap of Heat 4 as Troy Batchelor took the win.

The visitors did threaten a response in Heat 5 but Jensen superbly sliced between Masters and Kyle Howarth off turn two, and another Doyle/Ellis 5-1 over Thorssell in Heat 7 meant the Robins were running away with the second leg.

Morris came to grief in Heat 7 before a terrific battle in the re-run saw Batchelor re-pass Rory Schlein to take his second victory.

Wolves began to get to grips with conditions and picked up 4-2s in the next two races to delay the Robins’ progression, but aggregate victory was confirmed by Doyle and Ellis, who underlined the strength of their partnership with yet another 5-1 in Heat 10.

Despite being through to the Grand Final, Swindon kept the pressure on with wins in the next four races and two more 5-1s, including perfect team-riding from Musielak and Vissing in Heat 12 to defeat Schlein, whilst Doyle completed a 12-point maximum alongside Batchelor in the next.

Wolves did have the final say with a battling win from Howarth in Heat 15 to spoil Batchelor’s own undefeated night, but there was no question the best team over the two nights had gone through.

Swindon boss Alun Rossiter said: “The message beforehand was not to take anything for granted, and Jason was very vocal in our talk – that was my message anyway, and Jason really re-iterated that.

“That was the right attitude to have, because it’s easy to think you’re ten points up and cruising, and you take your finger off the pulse and that’s when you get caught out.

“The boys really got the job done in a professional fashion, after a lot of hard work on Wednesday night. We still had a job to do here, and we did it properly.

“We’ve been pretty good at home this year once we got dialled-in, and whilst the track was a bit slicker than usual, with the rain that’s been around we had to get it on and thankfully we had a dry meeting.”

SWINDON 58: Troy Batchelor 13+1, Jason Doyle 12, Rasmus Jensen 10+1, Adam Ellis 9+4, Claus Vissing 7+2, Tobiasz Musielak 6, Ellis Perks 1
WOLVERHAMPTON 32: Kyle Howarth 10+1, Jacob Thorssell 6, Rory Schlein 5, Ryan Douglas 5, Luke Becker 3+2, Sam Masters 3+1, Nick Morris 0
Swindon win 107-71 on aggregate

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