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Poole Pirates: Legend Boyce hails Darcy Ward as best ever
PIRATES legend Craig Boyce last night elevated Darcy Ward to royal speedway status by labelling his compatriot “the most talented rider the world has ever seen”.
Boyce, one of Pirates’ favourite sons, is widely regarded as the Dorset outfit’s best performer as he holds the club’s all-time points record with a mammoth 4,498.
And having seen and competed alongside some of the shale game’s greats during his distinguished career, Boyce has ranked Ward among the very best.
Having watched Pirates’ stand-in skipper turn on the style in Poole’s 57-36 grand final first leg win over Birmingham last Monday, Boyce told the Daily Echo: “It was outstanding with Greg Hancock and Darcy Ward – the most talented rider the world has ever seen, in my eyes.”
And speaking ahead of tonight’s rescheduled return fixture at Birmingham (7pm), Boyce propelled Ward to speedway’s summit and predicted that he would go on to set the standard.
“If you consider when I first came over, I rode with the likes of Hans Nielsen and Tony Rickardsson and so on, so I have seen a fair few in my time,” said Boyce.
“But I don’t think I have ever seen anybody with balance on the bike like Darcy Ward. I reckon he is going to set the bar for everyone over the next five years.”
Discussing what impressed him about the 21-year-old sensation, Boyce continued: “The way he can maintain speed on a bike and the way he is forward thinking.
“If something is going on in front of him, he has already thought about it and done it before they have even thought about it. And he doesn’t lose speed on the bike when he changes direction. He is just an out-and-out racer.
“Chris is very much the same. Chris was world champion last year and that was awesome. It was even better because I am friends with the family and have been since we were kids.
“They are both called the Turbo Twins. They are both unbelievably good on a bike.”
The fear for Pirates supporters is whether Poole will be able to retain the swashbuckling duo for the 2014 campaign, both due to team-building limits and uncertainty over television funding for Elite League clubs.
But Boyce, who will be among the crowd at the Blue Riband tomorrow before returning to live in Australia in December, wants to see the duo in the skull and crossbones next year.
He added: “I hope they do (keep them) and it is tough. I remember that Crumpy (Jason Crump) and I were in the same team but we got split up in 1995 and I ended up going to Swindon.
"Matt Ford, fair play to him, has kept them in the team for the past couple of years and has sacrificed a lot of strength down the bottom of the team to put those two guys in.
"But, once again, his good judgement has prevailed and the team has been flying.
“It is not always going to be easy when you have two riders with a near 10-point average but how can you take them apart?”
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