Report: Play Off Fixture 2 Poole v Edinburgh


Maintaining their 100% group play-off record the Wessex Marine Pirates booked their place in the 2023 Grand Final with a meeting to spare, after beating Edinburgh Stellar Monarchs 55-35 in the first of their two encounters this week. 

Setting their intentions out from the off the Pirates took an early stranglehold on this meeting with Edinburgh having to wait until heat nine before they could celebrate a heat advantage, the Pirates by then already having doubled the Monarchs score at 32-16, a margin that easily could have been greater had it not been for a fall and submission in heats six and seven respectively. 

Richard Lawson recorded a personal best in heat one as he sped away from the pack. Behind him Josh Pickering, who had just managed to beat the time allowance after having to repair a machine that gave up the ghost on the post-introductions lap, managed to pick of Kyle Newman to restrict Poole to a 4-2 but then a brace of 5-1 advantages through Newman and Joe Thompson (heat two) and the Cook brothers (led by Ben) gave the Pirates a healthy ten point lead. Thanks to a sharp piece of gating, Josh Pickering was able to break the sequence of Poole winners but way behind him Joe Thompson was doing an excellent job of keeping the interests of Bastian Borke at bay, to ensure a shared heat. Immediately though, the Cook boys struck again with maximum points from heat five, before Lawson and Pickering had an early battle with, for the second time, the Poole man coming out on top through an excellent move at the pit-turn. A lap later Lawson's partner, Thompson, was getting into trouble at that passing point and he went down. Thankfully though he was able to scurry to safety allowing the race to progress, gifting Wood a point. Skipper Steve Worrall was a clear winner in heat seven and Newman did well to move into second place, but only for a lap as he ground to a halt so a second successive heat produced gifted points to the visitors.

With the scores at 28-14, Kye Thomson did well to split the Pirates on the opening lap and Borke kept Thompson on his toes in the battle for the minor points as Zach Cook maintained his unbeaten performance with his first outright race victory of the night. More issues for the Pirates came in heat nine when Ben Cook suffered a clogged spark plug which forced him to pull up and Pickering collected his second win of the night, whilst Wood banked a point without a challenge.

Paco Castagna was involved in all the heat ten action, clashing with Lawson and then taking advantage of a wide drift by Newman, but it only served to share the points as Thomson was well beaten. Newman took an early opportunity to redeem for his minor heat ten error when Castagna was out again in heat eleven, this time he was able to back up Worrall's victory for a 5-1. Ben Cook put his earlier troubles behind him and negated Edinburgh's tactical move, and as is often the case with Joe Thompson, his point-less ride wasn't through lack of effort as this time he kept Thomson on his guard. throughout.

Lawson and Worrall showed their class as early as the first turn in heat thirteen to edge out Pickering, registering Poole's fifth maximum heat advantage . A tapes offence for Newman cost him dearly in heat fourteen, his place being taken by Joe Thompson and he was in the early mix but then drifted to last place, having held second at one time. Zach Cook tried plenty of different lines as he attempted to reel in white line hugger Castagna, but he couldn't stop the  Monarchs picking up their second heat advantage. 

Heat fifteen saw the bizarre situation of the race having to be stopped due to the tape-restraining bollard, being used because of the high winds, being inadvertently left on the track, a frustration no doubt for Pickering who had just made a pass on Lawson. In the re-start though it was Pickering who made the better start and left it to Lawson to do the chasing, although Poole had already completed their goal of gaining the two group points they needed to reach their third successive second tier play-off final.

Richard Lawson 3,3,2,3,2=13 (5)
Rider Replacement
Ben Cook 3,3,R,3=9 (4)
Zach Cook 2',2',3,2,2=11+2 (5)
Steve Worrall 2,3,3,2',1'=11+2 (5)
Kyle Newman 1,3,R,1',2',XE=7+2 (6)
Joe Thompson 2',1',F,1,0,0=4+2 (6)
Rider Replacement
Lasse Fredriksen 0,1,2,0,0=3 (5)
Kye Thomson 1,0,1',0,1'=3+2 (5)
Michele Castagna 0,2,3,1,2,3,0=11 (7)
Josh Pickering 2,3,2,3,1,3=14 (6)
Dayle Wood 0,1',1,TS=2+1 (3)
Bastian Borke 1,0,0,1=2 (4)
Ht 1:  R.Lawson, J.Pickering, K.Newman, L.Fredriksen 4-2 4-2 [58.53]
Ht 2:  K.Newman, J.Thompson, B.Borke, D.Wood 5-1 9-3 [60.38]
Ht 3:  B.Cook, Z.Cook, K.Thomson, M.Castagna 5-1 14-4 [60.03]
Ht 4:  J.Pickering, S.Worrall, J.Thompson, B.Borke 3-3 17-7 [58.88]
Ht 5:  B.Cook, Z.Cook, L.Fredriksen, K.Thomson 5-1 22-8 [59.78]
Ht 6:  R.Lawson, J.Pickering, D.Wood, J.Thompson [fell] 3-3 25-11 [59.22]
Ht 7:  S.Worrall, M.Castagna, K.Thomson, K.Newman [rtd] 3-3 28-14 [60.44]
Ht 8:  Z.Cook, L.Fredriksen, J.Thompson, B.Borke 4-2 32-16 [60.44]
Ht 9:  J.Pickering, Z.Cook, D.Wood, B.Cook [rtd] 2-4 34-20 [61.53]
Ht 10:  M.Castagna, R.Lawson, K.Newman, K.Thomson 3-3 37-23 [61.04]
Ht 11:  S.Worrall, K.Newman, M.Castagna, L.Fredriksen 5-1 42-24 [61.38]
Ht 12:  B.Cook, M.Castagna, K.Thomson, J.Thompson, D.Wood [Tac Subbed] 3-3 45-27 [60.53]
Ht 13:  R.Lawson, S.Worrall, J.Pickering, L.Fredriksen 5-1 50-28 [60.31]
Ht 14:  M.Castagna, Z.Cook, B.Borke, J.Thompson, K.Newman [tapes exc] 2-4 52-32 [61.41]
Ht 15:  J.Pickering, R.Lawson, S.Worrall, M.Castagna 3-3 55-35 [60.25]

SCB Referee Mr Simon Humphrey-Kennett 
EDINBURGH won toss and chose gates 1&3 | POOLE choose gates 1&3 in heat 15  
Group points: Poole 2 Edinburgh 0

Photo Credit: Tony Hartmann

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