Poole Pirates 58 v Newcastle Diamonds 32


If Poole fans thought that this would be a formality of a meeting they were given an early wake-up call when the Diamonds opened with a heat gain.

Their guest Kyle Howarth was put under intense pressure by Zach Cook for three-quarters of the first lap but a slight wobble by Cook cost him dearly as he distanced himself back in fourth place. There was a hint in heat two that Poole might totally wipe out the deficit and pick up a meeting lead of the same magnitude when Drew Kemp and Nathan Ablitt gated on a 5-1, but Lee Complin's persistence paid dividends as he found a way by Ablitt on lap three, thus ensuring the meeting was squared at six-a-piece. Ben Cook lifted leaving the tapes but was still strong enough to get the bike under control and get through the first turn with only partner Steve Worrall ahead of him, and things stayed thus as Poole moved into a lead, which was instantly doubled when lady luck deserted the Diamonds in heat four. A good tussle had developed between Ablitt and George Congreve, the pair passing each other for third place before Paul Starke packed up. Congreve then fell but recognised the importance of remounting for a point, all the while Richard Lawson was extending his unbeaten home form.

Further problems beset the visitors when Matthew Wethers, who had experienced bike problems on the pre-meeting parade, packed up again within half a lap of heat five. Worrall was clear of Howarth and the Pirates moved into a double figure advantage. Complin was very late in arriving at the tapes of heat six but wasted no time in getting away and it took the best part of the opening lap for King to overhaul him. Zach Cook then moved into second place but Complin kept the pressure on to make it a hard-earned five-one for the Pirates who could well be forgiven for thinking they were well in command. Max Clegg was withdrawn from heat seven in favour of a tactical substitute ride for Howarth and it was a shrewd move as he and James Wright inflicted a rare Wimborne Road defeat on Lawson and a chunk of that meeting lead had been chipped away, with the scores moving to 26-16. Zach Cook ensured no further reduction in the margin as he raced away with heat eight. Ablitt's only reward for his concerted efforts was a fall that earned recognition from referee, Simon Humphrey-Kennett, for his swift clearance of the track. Worrall and Ben Cook built on the Pirates lead with a fairly comfortable 5-1 from heat nine and then King enjoyed a tapes to flag victory in the tenth, behind him Zach Cook, despite intense efforts, just couldn't budge Max Clegg out of the third place. Newcastle fired in a pre-interval 'comeback' courtesy of Howarth and Wethers, the latter being resilient to the determined moves from Kemp.

After the break Poole showed no mercy and reeled off four consecutive 5-1's to take their score to 58 points for the third time this term. The highlight being the successive passing of Howarth in heat thirteen as first Richard Lawson blitzed by him and then King followed suit.

The Pirates gave their thumbs up to the newly dressed racing strip with team manager Neil Middleditch acknowledging that the track was probably the best he had seen for a very long time.

D.King 2,3,3,2',3=13+1 (5)
Z.Cook 0,2',3,0=5+1 (4)
S.Worrall 3,3,3,2',2'=13+2 (5)
B.Cook 2',1,2',3=8+2 (4)
R.Lawson 3,1,0,3=7 (4)
D.Kemp 3,0,1,3,2'=9+1 (5)
N.Ablitt 1,2',F,RS=3+1 (3)
K.Howarth 3,2,2',3,1,1=12+1 (6)
M.Wethers 1,R,1',2'=4+2 (4)
J.Wright 1,3,2,1,0=7 (5)
M.Clegg R,TS,1,1=2 (3)
P.Starke R,0,1,0=1 (4)
L.Complin 2,1,2,RS,R,0=5 (5)
G.Congreve 0,1,RS,0,RS=1 (3)
Ht 1:  K.Howarth, D.King, M.Wethers, Z.Cook 2-4 2-4 [59.44]
Ht 2:  D.Kemp, L.Complin, N.Ablitt, G.Congreve 4-2 6-6 [60.12]
Ht 3:  S.Worrall, B.Cook, J.Wright, M.Clegg [rtd] 5-1 11-7 [60.44]
Ht 4:  R.Lawson, N.Ablitt, G.Congreve, P.Starke [rtd] 5-1 16-8 [61]
Ht 5:  S.Worrall, K.Howarth, B.Cook, M.Wethers [rtd] 4-2 20-10 [59.78]
Ht 6:  D.King, Z.Cook, L.Complin, P.Starke 5-1 25-11 [60.47]
Ht 7:  J.Wright, K.Howarth, R.Lawson, D.Kemp, M.Clegg [Tac Subbed] 1-5 26-16 [60.84]
Ht 8:  Z.Cook, L.Complin, M.Wethers, N.Ablitt [fell] 3-3 29-19 [60.22]
Ht 9:  S.Worrall, B.Cook, P.Starke, G.Congreve 5-1 34-20 [60.72]
Ht 10:  D.King, J.Wright, M.Clegg, Z.Cook 3-3 37-23 [60]
Ht 11:  K.Howarth, M.Wethers, D.Kemp, R.Lawson 1-5 38-28 [61.75]
Ht 12:  D.Kemp, S.Worrall, J.Wright, L.Complin [rtd] 5-1 43-29 [60.5]
Ht 13:  R.Lawson, D.King, K.Howarth, P.Starke 5-1 48-30 [60.57]
Ht 14:  B.Cook, D.Kemp, M.Clegg, L.Complin 5-1 53-31 [61]
Ht 15:  D.King, S.Worrall, K.Howarth, J.Wright 5-1 58-32 [61]
REFEREE:  Simon Humphrey-Kennett 
NEWCASTLE won toss and chose gates 1&3 | POOLE choose gates 2&4 in heat 15  
League Points: POOLE 3 NEWCASTLE 0

Photographs: Anthony Burchall

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