Poole Pirates v Scunthorpe Scorpions18/08/21
Pirates created a small piece of history, riding against a Scunthorpe side for the first time, and the resulting 57-33 victory elevated the Dorset side back into second place in the SGB Championship, just a point behind leaders Glasgow but with matches in hand.
Whilst it wasn't the Scunthorpe side that the Pirates had expected to face, with Adam Ellis and Josh MacDonald, both in Poole's original plans for their first season back at second tier racing, missing through injuries sustained the previous evening at Plymouth, the Pirates still had to dig deep at times for race points.
The all too convincing start of four maximum heat scores in the space of the first five heats arguably made it something of a no-contest but skipper Danny King found himself having to work hard for his victory in heat seven when he missed the start. It took him nearly a lap to reel in Dutchman Theo Pijper but did so with plenty of speed and it was a similar story for Steve Worrall in heat nine. Poole's leading point scorer of 2021, so far, had a lot of distance to make up as he first picked off young British hot-shot Jordan Palin, then rounded team-mate Stefan Nielsen before putting Scorpions's guest Broc Nicol under pressure but the chequred flag came just in time for the American to hold on for his first win of the night.
Nicol added another victory against a battling Poole heatleader, when he and Danny King slugged out an impressive heat thirteen. Whilst King looked the faster of the two and was making some good lines to attack every turn it was Nicol who kept matters under control and the heat finished as only the fourth one not to result in a Pirate's advantage, Rory Schlein's third place securing a heat share.
With two wins under his belt Nicol was thrown in to heat fourteen as a tactical substitute but he had no hope of keeping up with runaway leader Ben Cook, enjoying himself on his return from injury, registering a very creditable eight points. Nicol though had his other issues to contend with, as Stefan Nielsen showed intense determination to first pass Jordan Palin and then set about trying to join Cook out front. Eventually, there was no way through and Nicol had saved Scunthorpe from a sixth maximum heat defeat.
Making it three rides in as many heats, Nicol had no answers to the pace of King in heat 15 as the Poole captain blasted wide round the pit turn whilst partner Steve Worrall had an unchallenged ride once Simon Lambert began to suffer mechanical issues.
All in all it was a very solid Poole performance with all seven riders chipping in with decent scores, although with their injury crisis and the clash with the Danish league ruling Thomas Jorgensen out, Scunthorpe were a much weakened outfit than they have been fielding this season.
Ht 1: A.Bowtell, R.Schlein, S.Lambert, B.Nicol 5-1 5-1 |60.22]
Ht 2: J.Palin, B.Cook, D.Hume, D.Ruml 3-3 8-4 [60.9]
Ht 3: S.Nielsen, S.Worrall, T.Pijper, T.Aarnio 5-1 13-5 
Ht 4: D.King, D.Hume, S.Lambert, J.Palin 5-1 18-6 [60.91]
Ht 5: S.Worrall, S.Nielsen, B.Nicol, S.Lambert (Rtd) 5-1 23-7 [59.91]
Ht 6: R.Schlein, T.Pijper, D.Ruml, A.Bowtell 3-3 26-10 [60.94]
Ht 7: D.King, T.Pijper, T.Aarnio, B.Cook 3-3 29-13 [61.06]
Ht 8: S.Lambert, D.Ruml, D.Hume, A.Bowtell 1-5 30-18 [62.07]
Ht 9: B.Nicol, S.Worrall, S.Nielsen, J.Palin 3-3 33-21 [62.19]
Ht 10: R.Schlein, J.Palin, A.Bowtell, T.Pijper 4-2 37-23 [61.57]
Ht 11: B.Cook, D.King, S.Lambert, B.Nicol 5-1 42-24 [62.06]
Ht 12: S.Worrall, J.Palin, D.Hume, T.Pijper 4-2 46-26 [62.04]
Ht 13: B.Nicol, D.King, R.Schlein, T.Aarnio 3-3 49-29 [61.52]
Ht 14: B.Cook, B.Nicol (TS), S.Nielsen, J.Palin 4-2 53-31 [61.85]
Ht 15: D.King, B.Nicol, S.Worrall, S.Lambert 4-2 57-33 [61.44]
Gates: SCUNTHORPE won toss and chose gates 1&3 | POOLE took gates 2&4 in heat 15