Pirates built up a thirty point lead to take into the second leg of this of this play off semi final


Sunday's decision to abandon the scheduled first leg of this semi-final, much against the want of the Poole camp, certainly stoked the fires that were already burning bright in the Pirates' bellies and they handed out the same medicine as they had done in the previous two home matches, smashing opponents by thirty points.

The Pirates were determined to take a decent lead with them back to Scotland this coming weekend and with opening back-to-back 5-1 advantages, headlined by Nathan Ablitt picking himself up off the deck in heat two to make a terrific charge round the first arc in the re-run, gave the Tigers an insight into just how formidable they can be, as they had previously demonstrated against Plymouth (play-off quarter final) and Leicester (Knockout cup semi-final).

Glasgow may have thought they had 'stemmed the tide' as the next three heats saw the points shared out equally, but the protagonists of heat one, Danny King and Ben Cook, struck again in heat six to take the Pirates into a double figure advantage. Broc Nicol was a bit too keen to get away in heat seven but it went unpunished by the referee until after the heat. The attempted swift start though didn't serve the American too well as both Richard Lawson and Zach Cook struck hard, the Australian holding his British namesake, Craig pegged back in third. Evidence that there were some new 'Cooks on the block' came to the fore in heat eight when the Poole brothers prevailed for the third successive maximum heat score, building a twenty-point lead for the Pirates.

The Tiger's fans hadn't seen one of their riders win a heat over the first half of the meeting, and although they had something to celebrate in heat nine, the victory came from their guest Paul Starke, and it was further stifled as  Poole packed the minor placings. Nicol offended again in heat ten and was given his marching orders, with Connor Bailey replacing him. Ben Cook was out ahead, establishing yet another personal home maximum and King was having to work hard to try to get round Craig Cook when mechanical problems beleaguered the Poole skipper and Poole stayed nursing that twenty lead. 

2021 hero Ben Basso made a great start in heat eleven but he was back in third place as the race reached the pit gate turn for the first time, such was the determination of both Lawson and Zach Cook to zap by him. Steve Worrall had no problems in holding out Craig Cook in heat twelve, Ablitt's early pace in the heat fading the longer the race went on. Heat thirteen was all about first turn supremacy and Lawson and King had that in spades and when Drew Kemp came to the party in heat fourteen to partner home Zach Cook the Pirates looked likely to even better that scoreline of the past two Wimborne Road appearances. 

But Craig Cook made his best start of the night in heat fifteen, messing up Lawson's maximum aspirations and with Worrall missing out in the run to the first turn the Tigers  were able to pack their equipment away on the back of their one and only heat advantage

Danny King,3,3,R,2'=8+1 (4)
Ben Cook,2',2',3,3=10+2 (4)
Steve Worrall,3,3,2,3,0=11 (5)
Drew Kemp,0,0,RS,2'=2+1 (3)
Richard Lawson,3,3,3,3,2=14 (5)
Zach Cook,3,2',2',1',2',3=13+4 (6)
Nathan Ablitt,2',0,RS,0=2+1 (3)
Ben Basso,1,2,1,1,1=6 (5)
Rider Replacement
Craig Cook,1',1,2,2,3=9+1 (5)
Broc Nicol,2,1',0,XE,0=3+1 (5)
Tom Brennan,2,1,1,0,0=4 (5)
Paul Starke,0,1,0,3,R,RS,1=5 (6)
Connor Bailey,0,1',0,1',1',RS=3+3 (5)
Ht 1:  D.King, B.Cook, B.Basso, P.Starke 5-1 5-1 [59.5]
Ht 2:  Z.Cook, N.Ablitt, P.Starke, C.Bailey 5-1 10-2 [60.13]
Ht 3:  S.Worrall, B.Nicol, C.Cook, D.Kemp 3-3 13-5 [60.19]
Ht 4:  R.Lawson, T.Brennan, C.Bailey, N.Ablitt 3-3 16-8 [60.53]
Ht 5:  S.Worrall, B.Basso, B.Nicol, D.Kemp 3-3 19-11 [59.47]
Ht 6:  D.King, B.Cook, T.Brennan, P.Starke 5-1 24-12 [59.93]
Ht 7:  R.Lawson, Z.Cook, C.Cook, B.Nicol 5-1 29-13 [60.63]
Ht 8:  B.Cook, Z.Cook, T.Brennan, C.Bailey 5-1 34-14 [59.41]
Ht 9:  P.Starke, S.Worrall, Z.Cook, T.Brennan 3-3 37-17 [60.25]
Ht 10:  B.Cook, C.Cook, C.Bailey, D.King [rtd], B.Nicol [tapes exc] 3-3 40-20 [59.96]
Ht 11:  R.Lawson, Z.Cook, B.Basso, P.Starke [rtd] 5-1 45-21 [60.78]
Ht 12:  S.Worrall, C.Cook, C.Bailey, N.Ablitt 3-3 48-24 [59.59]
Ht 13:  R.Lawson, D.King, B.Basso, T.Brennan 5-1 53-25 [60.16]
Ht 14:  Z.Cook, D.Kemp, P.Starke, B.Nicol 5-1 58-26 [60.1]
Ht 15:  C.Cook, R.Lawson, B.Basso, S.Worrall 2-4 60-30 [60.43]
REFEREE: Simon Humphrey-Kennett 
POOLE won toss and chose gates 1&3 | GLASGOW choose gates  in heat 15  
Photos courtesy of Anthony Burchell

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