REPORT: Poole Pirates v Birmingham Brummies30/08/23
With Dan Ford taking charge of the team for the first time, in the absence of regular home manager Neil Middleditch, and with 2023 prospective Pirate Jack Thomas watching on with his family, with great interest, the Wessex Marine Pirates wasted little time in making this, their final home league match of the 2023 regular programme, another victory.
With a pronounced limp, the legacy of the ankle injury that he sustained in the Championship League Riders Final not being allowed to distract him any, Richard Lawson made the perfect start for Poole and with a brave effort from Kyle Newman in third place, given that he had spent the day suffering from food poisoning, Poole edged into an early lead. Both Anders Rowe and Joe Thompson were sharp away in heat two to extend Poole's lead to six points after just two heats and that gap further widened when Ben and Zach Cook refused to allow Troy Batchelor's starting movement to distract them, as they combined to register the first of three maximums the pairing would record together. Batchelor did get warned post race for his misdemeanours.
Justin Sedgmen arrested the Pirate's total domination as he pulled clear of Steve Worrall, whilst Paul Starke held of the rider he had replaced in the Brummies line-up, Joe Thompson to give the visitors a modicum of hope as they doubled their points tally with that one heat advantage (16-8).
Heat five was full of entertainment as Stefan Nielsen blocked Zach Cook's way round the pit turn to take up the lead for a short while. But Ben Cook wasn't hanging around and he quickly took control, then, off the fourth turn, Zach went by guest Josh Pickering and moved into third place before going under Nielsen on the first turn of lap two to be back in second by the same point of track as he had been forced out a lap earlier. The Cook boys had no intention of letting all that hard work count for nothing and their second 5-1 was built. Lawson delivered another big win in heat six and Newman looked sharp with a move out of turn two, but he couldn't quite manage to see it through on Sedgmen. Steve Worrall produced a tapes-to-flag win in heat seven which was converted to a 4-2 thanks to Rowe's third place. Poole then secured the bonus point through a comfortable 5-1 led by Newman with Thompson riding positively to put Poole 34-14 ahead.
Ben on the outside and Zach on the inside both went by Sedgmen simultaneously in heat nine to inflict further misery on the Brummies and then Lawson stood firm in a shoulder to shoulder battle with Alfie Bowtell down the back straight of heat ten whilst Batchelor was out ahead. Sedgmen gained a tactical substitute win in heat eleven but the Pirates had sealed the match victory (and all three league points) as Rowe stormed round Pickering and then by Worrall for a shared heat, returning themselves back to the top of the table with a two point lead over Oxford. With a different partner it was the same personal outcome for Ben Cook, a race win, in heat twelve and with Thompson adding a point, Poole's score remained twice as high as Brummies total. The visitors did claim a 5-1 in heat thirteen, too little too late to be fair but Steve Worrall would have hoped for a better ride to sign off his final Poole appearance before his date in the GP at the weekend as the British wild card.
Zach Cook and Rowe did more good work at turn two in heat fourteen to get clear, but their efforts were in vain as Bowtell fell at the third turn, rendering a re-run without him. Again the Poole boys dominated with Rowe leading the way, leaving Zach to chalk up his fourth successive paid win of the night. So the two unbeaten Cooks were called on for the final heat and whilst Ben was able to get away, Zach was slow at the gate, later explaining his clutch had burnt out, and then in an effort to try and get by Batchelor he got a little out of shape and that left him far too much to do. Ben, though, remained out front to complete his full maximum.
Richard Lawson 3,3,2,1=9 (4)
Kyle Newman 1,1,3,0=5 (4)
Ben Cook 3,3,3,3,3=15 (5)
Zach Cook 2',2',2',2',0=8+4 (5)
Steve Worrall 2,3,1',0=6+1 (4)
Anders Rowe 3,1,2,3=9 (4)
Joe Thompson 2',0,2',1=5+2 (4)
Josh Pickering 2,1,0,2'=5+1 (4)
Stefan Nielsen 0,0,0,TS=0 (3)
Troy Batchelor 1,2,3,2,1'=9+1 (5)
Alfie Bowtell 0,0,1,FD=1 (4)
Justin Sedgmen 3,2,1,3,3,2=14 (6)
Sam Hagon 1,0,0,0=1 (4)
Paul Starke 0,1,1,1=3 (4)
Ht 1: R.Lawson, J.Pickering, K.Newman, S.Nielsen 4-2 4-2 [59/63]
Ht 2: A.Rowe, J.Thompson, S.Hagon, P.Starke 5-1 9-3 [59.88]
Ht 3: B.Cook, Z.Cook, T.Batchelor, A.Bowtell 5-1 14-4 [59.72]
Ht 4: J.Sedgmen, S.Worrall, P.Starke, J.Thompson 2-4 16-8 [59.44]
Ht 5: B.Cook, Z.Cook, J.Pickering, S.Nielsen 5-1 21-9 [59.81]
Ht 6: R.Lawson, J.Sedgmen, K.Newman, S.Hagon 4-2 25-11 [59.29]
Ht 7: S.Worrall, T.Batchelor, A.Rowe, A.Bowtell 4-2 29-13 [59.19]
Ht 8: K.Newman, J.Thompson, P.Starke, S.Nielsen 5-1 34-14 [61.25]
Ht 9: B.Cook, Z.Cook, J.Sedgmen, S.Hagon 5-1 39-15 [59.62]
Ht 10: T.Batchelor, R.Lawson, A.Bowtell, K.Newman 2-4 41-19 [59.53]
Ht 11: J.Sedgmen, A.Rowe, S.Worrall, J.Pickering, S.Nielsen [Tac Subbed] 3-3 44-22 [59.91]
Ht 12: B.Cook, T.Batchelor, J.Thompson, S.Hagon 4-2 48-24 [60.63]
Ht 13: J.Sedgmen, J.Pickering, R.Lawson, S.Worrall 1-5 49-29 [59.94]
Ht 14: A.Rowe, Z.Cook, P.Starke, A.Bowtell [fell exc] 5-1 54-30 [60.81]
Ht 15: B.Cook, J.Sedgmen, T.Batchelor, Z.Cook 3-3 57-33 [6.047]
SCB Referee Mr Paul Carrington
BIRMINGHAM won toss and chose gates 1&3 | POOLE choose gates 1&3 in heat 15
League Points: POOLE 3 BIRMINGHAM 0
Photo Credit: Tony Hartmann