REPORT: Berwick Bandits v Poole Pirates5/08/23
Pirates broke their Berwick bogey as a solid team performance once again demonstrated their strength as a side.
Opening with a good first turn by Richard Lawson and then fending off the interests of Rory Schlein, the Pirates intentions were evident and when both Anders Rowe and Lee Complin made solid starts in heat two, with Rowe squeezing his way between Steve Boxall and Connor Coles whilst Complin found the pace round the outside, Poole entered into an early lead.
It might well have stayed that way had Leon Flint not worked overtime to steal second place on the line from Zach Cook in heat three, before debutant Hans Andersen stormed his way between Steve Worrall and Complin off the second turn. Skipper Steve tried everything he could muster to try and recover the situation but the Dane held on to share the heat, 12-12.
Lawson made up a lot of early lost ground before blasting by Jye Etheridge in heat five and he closed tightly in on leader Flint, but the flag came too soon and the Bandits took the lead for the first time. Only briefly though as Steve Worrall was away and gone in heat six. Rowe was riding possibly a little too narrow and that allowed Schlein a route by him but, ultimately, banking third place was enough to restore parity. Zach Cook made an excellent pass on Andersen in heat seven, a move that Ben Cook tried to replicate on the final lap, but not quite so successfully though. Nevertheless the resulting 4-2 to the Pirates edged them ahead again and when Kyle Newman produced a decent start and saw Complin alongside him it was pretty plain sailing in heat eight, although for Connor Coles it had a painful conclusion as he fell on the final arc only for Jonas Knudsen to run into him. Steve Worrall was in another postcode as he stormed to a heat nine victory , Rowe again riding much more deservingly than his last place suggested, but with a gap of six points the Bandits threw in their big hope by giving Hans Andersen a tactical ride to partner Schlein in heat ten. Andersen made his presence known by giving a huge shoulder on Zach, a move that even forced outside gater Ben to run out wider. Whilst Zach momentarily fought back from his diversion, Andersen had the better run and re-established second place, with Schlein out ahead, as the home side claimed their second maximum heat score of the night.
But that first turn incident just seemed to stoke the Pirates passion a little more and Lawson gave Andersen a lesson on how to be forceful but fair at first turns as he dictated the line the Dane needed to take. Newman was wise to the intentions of his teammate and checked back, allowing him a free run to partner Lawson home for a 5-1 . Another followed in heat twelve as Ben hit the first turn with a clear passage ahead of him and Anders alongside him . Whilst Etheridge gave it a go, he couldn't get near enough to worry the Poole pair and the bonus point was in the bag. It was that elusive victory though that the Pirates were after and after more tough first turn action it was Lawson coming out on top supported by a great move from Worrall over Schlein that sealedl the meeting, and give the Pirates a sequence of three straight maximum heat advantages.
Zach Cook was all over Flint in the early stages of heat fourteen but couldn’t get by the GB rider. Schlein and Lawson did battle again in heat fifteen with the ex-Poole man holding firm in a finish that arguably needed a check on the transponders.
Rory Schlein 2,2,3,1,3=11 (5)
Jonas Knudsen 1',0,1,TS=2+1 (3)
Jye Etheridge 3,1,2,1=7 (4)
Leon Flint 2',3,1',3,1=10+2 (5)
Hans Andersen 3,2,2',1,R=8+1 (5)
Steve Boxall 1,0,0,0,1=2 (5)
Connor Coles 0,0,FD,RS=0 (3)
Richard Lawson 3,2,3,2',2=12+1 (5)
Kyle Newman 0,0,3,2'=5+1 (4)
Ben Cook 0,1,0,3=4 (4)
Zach Cook 1,3,1,2=7 (4)
Steve Worrall 2,3,3,3,0=11 (5)
Anders Rowe 2',1,0,2'=5+2 (4)
Lee Complin 3,1',2',0=6+2 (4)
Ht 1: R.Lawson, R.Schlein, J.Knudsen, K.Newman 3-3 3-3 [66.2]
Ht 2: L.Complin, A.Rowe, S.Boxall, C.Coles 1-5 4-8 
Ht 3: J.Etheridge, L.Flint, Z.Cook, B.Cook 5-1 9-9 [67.5]
Ht 4: H.Andersen, S.Worrall, L.Complin, C.Coles 3-3 12-12 [67.5]
Ht 5: L.Flint, R.Lawson, J.Etheridge, K.Newman 4-2 16-14 [68.1]
Ht 6: S.Worrall, R.Schlein, A.Rowe, J.Knudsen 2-4 18-18 [67.3]
Ht 7: Z.Cook, H.Andersen, B.Cook, S.Boxall 2-4 20-22 
Ht 8: K.Newman, L.Complin, J.Knudsen, C.Coles [fell exc] 1-5 21-27 [68.8]
Ht 9: S.Worrall, J.Etheridge, L.Flint, A.Rowe 3-3 24-30 [67.4]
Ht 10: R.Schlein, H.Andersen, Z.Cook, B.Cook, J.Knudsen [Tac Subbed] 5-1 29-31 
Ht 11: R.Lawson, K.Newman, H.Andersen, S.Boxall 1-5 30-36 [69.2]
Ht 12: B.Cook, A.Rowe, J.Etheridge, S.Boxall 1-5 31-41 [67.8]
Ht 13: S.Worrall, R.Lawson, R.Schlein, H.Andersen [rtd] 1-5 32-46 [67.6]
Ht 14: L.Flint, Z.Cook, S.Boxall, L.Complin 4-2 36-48 [68.5]
Ht 15: R.Schlein, R.Lawson, L.Flint, S.Worrall 4-2 40-50 [68.1]
SGB Referee: Mr Gary Allan
POOLE won toss and deferred choice to heat 15; BERWICK chose gates 2&4 |POOLE choose gates 2&4 in heat 15
League Points: BERWICK 0 POOLE 3
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