REPORT: Plymouth Gladiators v Poole Pirates6/06/23
Visiting the Coliseum for the third time the Pirates went in search of league points this time around and came through in a tense, if not controversial, meeting.
Falling behind in heat one when Kyle Howarth took the victory, the Poole reserves of Adam Roynon and Kyle Newman, remedied the situation with a maximum advantage in the re-run of heat two after Jake Turner, an early leader, fell on lap two once relegated to third place, earning a disqualification. Ben Barker was quick away in heat three, not so Zach Cook who was tracking Dan Gilkes before the Plymouth rider fell in front of him at the third turn, but quickly cleared the track to avoid another race stoppage. Roynon gated well in heat four but was soon overhauled by Ben Trigger and Richie Worrall, the former claiming his maiden SGB Cab Direct Championship race win in the process. Barker was able to seal off the outside where Steve Worrall was looking to formulate a pass on the opening lap of heat five, but Rowe's ability to keep Gilkes at arm's length behind him shared the heat, with just two points between the sides, Plymouth holding a 16-14 lead.
Lawson produced a good heat six ride, seeking the outside line to build up his speed and pull away from the rest of the field. Kyle Newman was able to pass new boy (for the season at least) Ben Morley to square the scores and that was the way things stayed in heat seven when the Cook brothers put the squeeze on Turner coming around the second turn whilst R.Worrall led the proceedings. Anders Rowe hit the front on the first lap of heat eight and, eventually, Newman was able to join him on the last lap after first getting away from Trigger. Dan Gilkes came to the party in heat nine and led home Lawson with Ben Barker a surprise third. The Cook boys gated again well in heat ten to claim the scalp, with room to spare, of Howarth as Poole moved into a six point lead.
In tactical territory, Gladiator's boss Garry May wasted no time and drafted in Barker to replace Jake Turner, but whilst Richie Worrall was not punished for movement at the start and able to get away super quick, the home fans were frustrated as Barker slid off on turn three and, although rapidly remounting, the drop had left him unable to make any impact on Rowe who was tucked in behind skipper Steve.
Another strange decision was made at the commencement of the second attempt of heat twelve, the first never getting under starter orders as Trigger's bike problems meant he turned back from the tapes with the clock clicking down. May opted to put in Turner off scratch as a replacement, quite possibly to give himself options in the forthcoming heat fourteen as this would now be Turner's third outing. The New Zealander, along with Kyle Newman were both able to avoid the carnage caused by Barker colliding with Cook as they hit the first turn. It looked as if Barker had machine problems as he didn't appear in control and indeed was unable to steer himself away from the safety fence. Both he and Cook took a few moments to get to their respective feet and many were expecting a re-run without the Plymouth favourite, but all four back was the ruling. The two to make the gate were Turner and Barker and although Newman looked determined to get into the mix, his route was foiled by Barker who seemed to second guess him. The result was a 5-1, with Turner collecting his first league race win and only his second in this country (his only other victory coming against Poole in the BSN) and so just two points separated the sides again, Poole ahead 37-35.
It was Howarth's turn to make the flying start in heat thirteen and with Steve Worrall unable to get by his brother the meeting again swung in Plymouth's favour and the tension was immense. Turner apparently moved early in heat fourteen, noticed by the referee who had opted to stop the heat before the Kiwi slid off at the first turn, thus declaring an all four re-start with a warning to the Gladiator's reserve. In an almost identical spot, Turner fell again in the re-run and once more the verdict was all four back, much to the understandable annoyance of the back straight Poole fans. But with a clean start at the third attempt, favouring Zach Cook and Newman the 5-1 restored Poole's lead and they were just a heat share away from victory.
Impressed by Zach's tapes escape in fourteen, Neil Middleditch had no doubts in deploying him again, this time with brother Ben his partner and pitched against two very sharp starters, Howarth and Worrall, the pressure was very much on the Cook boys shoulders. Zach responded perfectly and won by a huge distance, inflicting defeat on his former club and doubling Poole's early league tally.
Kyle Howarth 3,2,1,3,2=11 (5)
Ben Morley 1,0,1,0=2 (4)
Ben Barker 3,3,1,0,2'=9+1 (5)
Dan Gilkes F,0,3,1=4 (4)
Richie Worrall 2',3,3,2',1'=11+3 (5)
Jake Turner FD,0,TS,3,0=3 (4)
Ben Trigger 1,3,0,N2=4 (3)
Steve Worrall 2,2,2,1=7 (4)
Anders Rowe 0,1',3,1'=5+2 (4)
Ben Cook 2,1',3,0,0=6+1 (5)
Zach Cook 1',2,2',3,3=11+2 (5)
Richard Lawson 1,3,2,0=6 (4)
Kyle Newman 2',1,2',RS,1,2'=8+3 (5)
Adam Roynon 3,0,RS,0,RS=3 (3)
Ht 1: K.Howarth, S.Worrall, B.Morley, A.Rowe 4-2 4-2 [50.62]
Ht 2: A.Roynon, K.Newman, B.Trigger, J.Turner [fell exc] 1-5 5-7 [52.72]
Ht 3: B.Barker, B.Cook, Z.Cook, D.Gilkes [fell] 3-3 8-10 [50.94]
Ht 4: B.Trigger, R.Worrall, R.Lawson, A.Roynon 5-1 13-11 [51.91]
Ht 5: B.Barker, S.Worrall, A.Rowe, D.Gilkes 3-3 16-14 [51.56]
Ht 6: R.Lawson, K.Howarth, K.Newman, B.Morley 2-4 18-18 [51.22]
Ht 7: R.Worrall, Z.Cook, B.Cook, J.Turner 3-3 21-21 [50.94]
Ht 8: A.Rowe, K.Newman, B.Morley, B.Trigger 1-5 22-26 [52.28]
Ht 9: D.Gilkes, R.Lawson, B.Barker, A.Roynon 4-2 26-28 [51.5]
Ht 10: B.Cook, Z.Cook, K.Howarth, B.Morley 1-5 27-33 [51.25]
Ht 11: R.Worrall, S.Worrall, A.Rowe, B.Barker, J.Turner [Tac Subbed] 3-3 30-36 [52.15]
Ht 12: J.Turner, B.Barker, K.Newman, B.Cook 5-1 35-37 [53.32]
Ht 13: K.Howarth, R.Worrall, S.Worrall, R.Lawson 5-1 40-38 [52.13]
Ht 14: Z.Cook, K.Newman, D.Gilkes, J.Turner 1-5 41-43 [51.54]
Ht 15: Z.Cook, K.Howarth, R.Worrall, B.Cook 3-3 44-46 [51.85]
SCB REFEREE: Ms BARBARA HORLEY
PLYMOUTH won toss and deferred choice to heat 15; POOLE chose gates 1&3 |PLYMOUTH choose gates 1&3 in heat 15
League Points: PLYMOUTH 0 POOLE 2