REPORT Oxford Cheetahs 46-44 Poole Pirates KO Cup Semi Final 1st Leg


In typical Poole Pirates style the team had to "dig in" to avoid this semi-final first leg from slipping away from them, to such an extent that after being eight points adrift two thirds of the way through, they went into the last heat with an advantage.

But the two point lead they held was turned over as the Oxford Cheetahs pairing of Scott Nicholls and Sam Masters claimed the 5-1 that means the Pirates will need to come from behind in the second leg if they want to keep their grip on the trophy they have won for the past two seasons.

Masters gave a wheel perfect performance in heat one, getting across from heat four to lead home Steve Worrall, with Cameron Heeps backing up in third place. Adam Roynon's hopes of being in a competitive position in heat two went south as he slid off, and, although able to remount, had lost too much ground to be able to support Poole's race-leader Kyle Newman. Both the Cook boys gated sharply in heat three, stretching the distance between themselves and pursuer Lewis Kerr and steering Poole into a two point lead. Scott Nicholls produced an awesome pass on back-from-injury Richard Lawson in heat four, Roynon this time staying aboard and sharing the heat with his third place over Ryan Kinsley.

The first track grade seemed to serve Oxford well as Jordan Jenkins and Kerr both blasted clear of Worrall, who couldn't find the right line round the first turn off the outside. Lawson was ultra-determined not to be caught again when he banked the win in heat five and fair play to Newman, although finishing behind both Heeps and Masters he was well in the mix throughout. The nigh-on unstoppable Nicholls showed class again but Zach Cook produced a vital pass off turn two to share the spoils of heat seven. In the length of the backstraight Anders Rowe passed Kinsley for third and Heeps went by Newman for the win in heat eight as the Cheetahs clung to their two point advantage.

Jenkins trapped well in heat nine and Lawson looked to have the better of him but had to be mindful of the route Kerr was taking to storm through and take the lead. Lawson was unable to close the gap and the Oxford fans were sent into hysterics as the gap between the two sides went to six. That advantage could have entered double figures in heat ten had it not been for an excellent move by Ben Cook to split Masters and Heeps on the second lap, but despite some good speed off turn four on the final circuit couldn't quite catch Heeps and so the sides went into the break with Oxford leading 34-26. 

Neil Middleditch was far from happy with the margin of deficit and told the team so. It was a pep talk that seemed to do some good as both Newman, replacing Rowe, and Worrall were away the quickest, but again Nicholls had everything in control and thus heat eleven was shared. Ben Cook managed to recover from a rearing bike, maintain his cool and position alongside Newman in heat twelve, inspite of Kerr's intense pressure. Deficit halved, 38-34. 

Crucially, Worrall proved that Nicholls was beatable and with a good gate was able to dictate the line and block Nicholls' every move. Likewise Lawson was doing the same on Masters and, perhaps, against the rub, the Pirates came out on top with a 4-2 from heat thirteen. The race of the night though was still to be run, heat fourteen proving to be a classic as Zach Cook and Newman made the running but had Jenkins pushing and prodding every inch of the way. Somehow the Pirates managed to counter everything Jenkins could muster and Middleditch had been given the response he had been asking for. Poole were ahead and whatever happened in heat fifteen they would be heading into the second leg in a position that he would be happy with. 

It wasn't however to be an advantage of their own as Nicholls and Masters combined to swing the margin back into Oxford's favour, with a final first leg score of 46-44.

Heat details

Sam Masters 3,1',3,0,2'=9+2 (5)
Cameron Heeps 1,2,3,1=7 (4)
Lewis Kerr 1,2',3,1=7+1 (4)
Jordan Jenkins 0,3,2',1=6+1 (4)
Scott Nicholls 3,3,3,2,3=14 (5)
Henry Atkins 1',0,0,0=1+1 (4)
Ryan Kinsley 2,0,0,0=2 (4)
Steve Worrall 2,1,1',3,1=8+1 (5)
Anders Rowe 0,0,1',RS=1+1 (3)
Ben Cook 2',2,2,3,0=9+1 (5)
Zach Cook 3,1',0,3=7+1 (4)
Richard Lawson 2,3,1,1=7 (4)
Kyle Newman 3,0,2,RS,2,2',2'=11+2 (6)
Adam Roynon F,1',RS,R,RS=1+1 (3)
Ht 1:  S.Masters, S.Worrall, C.Heeps, A.Rowe 4-2 4-2 [57.94]
Ht 2:  K.Newman, R.Kinsley, H.Atkins, A.Roynon [fell] 3-3 7-5 [59.21]
Ht 3:  Z.Cook, B.Cook, L.Kerr, J.Jenkins 1-5 8-10 [57.87]
Ht 4:  S.Nicholls, R.Lawson, A.Roynon, R.Kinsley 3-3 11-13 [58.22]
Ht 5:  J.Jenkins, L.Kerr, S.Worrall, A.Rowe 5-1 16-14 [59.13]
Ht 6:  R.Lawson, C.Heeps, S.Masters, K.Newman 3-3 19-17 [58.78]
Ht 7:  S.Nicholls, B.Cook, Z.Cook, H.Atkins 3-3 22-20 [58.03]
Ht 8:  C.Heeps, K.Newman, A.Rowe, R.Kinsley 3-3 25-23 [59.9]
Ht 9:  L.Kerr, J.Jenkins, R.Lawson, A.Roynon [rtd] 5-1 30-24 [57.82]
Ht 10:  S.Masters, B.Cook, C.Heeps, Z.Cook 4-2 34-26 [59.9]
Ht 11:  S.Nicholls, K.Newman, S.Worrall, H.Atkins 3-3 37-29 [59.41]
Ht 12:  B.Cook, K.Newman, L.Kerr, R.Kinsley 1-5 38-34 [59.82]
Ht 13:  S.Worrall, S.Nicholls, R.Lawson, S.Masters 2-4 40-38 [59.57]
Ht 14:  Z.Cook, K.Newman, J.Jenkins, H.Atkins 1-5 41-43 [60.76]
Ht 15:  S.Nicholls, S.Masters, S.Worrall, B.Cook 5-1 46-44 [60.38]

POOLE won toss and chose gates 1&3 | OXFORD choose gates 1&3 in heat 15 


Upcoming events See all events

07/06/23 - 19:30
Poole Stadium
Poole Pirates
Plymouth Gladiators
14/06/23 - 19:30
Poole Stadium
Poole Pirates
Belle Vue Aces
16/06/23 - 19:30
ECCO Arena
Redcar Bears
Poole Pirates

Pirates Track shop

This site uses some unobtrusive cookies to store information on your computer. By using our site you accept our Terms And Conditions and Privacy Policy.