MEETING REPORT: Poole Pirates v Oxford Cheetahs


The Wessex Marine Pirates recorded their second win of the season by completing the double over Oxford in the BSN series, with a 57-33 home win

Poole broke into the lead after a great gate from Adam Roynon set up his first win as a Pirate as early as heat two and with fellow reserve Kyle Newman moving himself into second place, the huge holiday crowd were cheering on a 5-1 as well as offering up a sporting round of applause to Luke Killeen, who had fallen at the entry to turn two but quickly scurried off the track to allow the race to continue. 

The packed terraces had witnessed Sam Masters take charge of heat one, just the first of four straight wins he was to reel off, although having shown all the signs of being on for his first Cheetahs' maximum, he hadn't bargained for the brilliance of Richard Lawson in the latter stages of the meeting. Steve Worrall did give chase in that opener but couldn't get close enough to mount the challenge, but behind him Anders Rowe, on his home debut, was quick to go by Cameron Heeps, not a bad scalp given the way that Heeps had ridden on Wednesday.

Australian Ben Cook stuck to his guns in heat three as he rounded Lewis Kerr on the back straight and with brother Zach forcing his way by too, the Pirates were celebrating back to back maximums. Lawson delivered his first win of the 2023 season, doing so under pressure from Scott Nicholls and enduring it for five laps, although the positions after four were unchanged, with Roynon in third to further extend Poole's advantage. 

Matching his time of heat one Masters' heat five win made it two from two, although he had to see off a challenge from Zach Cook who had found some good speed off turn two to fire by his brother and put some early pressure on the Cheetahs number one. Ben had Heeps breathing down on him but he remained steadfast and for the second time a heat was drawn.

Needing to try and close the ten point deficit, Peter Schroeck deployed Masters as an immediate tactical substitute to pair up with his fellow big hitter Scott Nicholls, and from the gate the two Cheetahs delivered the required 5-1, as Worrall lost valuable ground when he locked up a bit trying to split them at turn two of the opening lap.

Through sheer first turn dominance for the Pirates, Newman and Lawson immediately countered that previous heat score to restore Poole's double figure lead and then Rowe claimed his maiden Poole victory, in some style, in heat eight. Partner Roynon snaked leaving the starting tapes start but amazingly had still made second place by the first turn, although he still neediedto be on his toes with Heeps all over him for two full laps.
A Ben Cook blast from the back saw him take control of heat nine and for half the race there were expectations of Poole racking up three successive 5-1 advantages as  Zach was working hard in holding off Nicholls , until the veteran prevailed in his endeavours to split the Cooks.  Worrall flew by Kerr in heat ten to ensure that all Pirates had recorded either a win or paid win on the night, before Masters remained unbeaten with victory in heat eleven once he had re-passed Lawson, who had exited turn two superbly, to take up the early running. Lawson momentarily dropped back into third when he ran too wide around the south bend, but he battled back well to eventually split the Cheetahs. 

Kerr passed Ben Cook in the twelfth but with Roynon sharing the heat, the Wessex Marine Pirates were assured of winning the meeting with seventeen points separating the scores and only three heats remaining.

A splendid outside pass by Lawson denied Masters his maximum, and the heat thirteen victory was achieved in the fastest time of the night, underwriting Lawsons' Rocketman tag. Kyle Newman shot from the tapes in heat fourteen but the ride was about Zach Cook's determination to get by Jenkins successfully to bring the fifty up for the Pirates and then Lawson and Cook put the icing on the cake of this fine team performance by combining for Poole's sixth maximum heat score, with Masters beaten and Nicholls running his second last place of the meeting, just 48 hours after his unbeaten performance at Sandy Lane.

Poole 57
Steve Worrall 2,0,3,1=6 (4)
Anders Rowe 1',1,3,0=5+1 (4)
Ben Cook 3,1',3,2,2'=11+2 (5)
Zach Cook 2',2,1,2'=7+2 (4)
Richard Lawson 3,2',2,3,3=13+1 (5)
Kyle Newman 2',3,0,3=8+1 (4)
Adam Roynon 3,1,2',1'=7+2 (4)
Oxford 33
Sam Masters 3,3,3,3,2,1=15 (6)
Cameron Heeps 0,0,1,1=2 (4)
Lewis Kerr R,1,2,3=6 (4)
Jordan Jenkins 1,0,1',1=3+1 (4)
Scott Nicholls 2,2',2,0,0=6+1 (5)
Henry Atkins 1,TS,0,0=1 (3)
Luke Killeen F,0,0,0=0 (4)
Ht 1:  S.Masters, S.Worrall, A.Rowe, C.Heeps 3-3 3-3 [60.5]
Ht 2:  A.Roynon, K.Newman, H.Atkins, L.Killeen [fell] 5-1 8-4 [61.12]
Ht 3:  B.Cook, Z.Cook, J.Jenkins, L.Kerr [rtd] 5-1 13-5 [61.07]
Ht 4:  R.Lawson, S.Nicholls, A.Roynon, L.Killeen 4-2 17-7 [60.24]
Ht 5:  S.Masters, Z.Cook, B.Cook, C.Heeps 3-3 20-10 [60.5]
Ht 6:  S.Masters, S.Nicholls, A.Rowe, S.Worrall, H.Atkins [Tac Subbed] 1-5 21-15 [61.24]
Ht 7:  K.Newman, R.Lawson, L.Kerr, J.Jenkins 5-1 26-16 [61.75]
Ht 8:  A.Rowe, A.Roynon, C.Heeps, L.Killeen 5-1 31-17 [61.18]
Ht 9:  B.Cook, S.Nicholls, Z.Cook, H.Atkins 4-2 35-19 [60.56]
Ht 10:  S.Worrall, L.Kerr, J.Jenkins, A.Rowe 3-3 38-22 [60.56]
Ht 11:  S.Masters, R.Lawson, C.Heeps, K.Newman 2-4 40-26 [61.28]
Ht 12:  L.Kerr, B.Cook, A.Roynon, H.Atkins 3-3 43-29 [60.91]
Ht 13:  R.Lawson, S.Masters, S.Worrall, S.Nicholls 4-2 47-31 [60.18]
Ht 14:  K.Newman, Z.Cook, J.Jenkins, L.Killeen 5-1 52-32 [62.06]
Ht 15:  R.Lawson, B.Cook, S.Masters, S.Nicholls 5-1 57-33 [60.15]

REFEREE:  Simon Humphrey-Kennett 
Oxford won toss and deferred choice to heat 15; Poole chose gates 1&3 |Oxford choose gates  in heat 15  
League Points: Poole 3  Oxford 0

photos copyright and courtesy of Anthony Burchell

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