Kent Kings v Poole Pirates27/07/21
Pirates came back strong after rocky waters in the first few races suggested that their current unbeaten streak might be ended, but in the end had the four league points in the bag to complete a full house of away returns in the league from the five meetings ridden so far.
Signs of a tough meeting were evident from the off. Heat one was pulled back when Scott Nicholls and Jack Thomas fell on the first turn and the re-start was hindered as Dan Gikes rode through the tapes. Third time of asking a Poole victory was being designed with Rory Schlein keeping lookout for his guest partner Jack Thomas.
But whilst Schlein was glancing across to his right Scott Nicholls cunningly slipped up the inside to take command.
Stepping into the limelight to mastermind this victory was rising star Danyon Hume who dropped just a single point from his final four rides after openingwith two third places. He was unlucky not to have delivered a better return as he was leading heat two with partner James Wright when the Poole guest fell.
The lone Pirate in the re-run Hume conceded gound to his opposing reserves as Kent opened up a four point lead. But two heats later Hume's second point of the night, heading home Dan Gikes as Danny King took the win over Cameron Heeps, enabled Poole to square the meeting.
From this point on the Pirates never looked back and Hume just grew in stature.Schlein was stylish as he weighed up a perfect move on Paul Starke in the heat 5 re-run after Paul Hurry had been disqualified after losing control around the pits turn. Thankfully, he appeared from the other side of the fence somewhat unscathed but had to watch from the pits as Poole broke the deadlock.
A brilliant piece of gate anticipation from Danny King served only to have heat six pulled back and he was third out in the rr-run, but he was superb in his quest to make it two wins from two, passing Morley and Nicholls on laps two and three respectively. Young Morley was again showing good form as he pulled clear of Steve Worrall early in heat eight, but the classy Pirate found a way through and with Stefan Nielsen backing up in third Poole moved into a 19-23 advantage.
Hume had Thomas with him in heat eight until Dan Gilkes moved into second place and Thomas was then passed by Hurry.
A second fall of the evening summed up Wright's troublesome evening, the race being awarded in favour of a Kent 4-2 as Starke was leading King at the stage of the stoppage. A Steve Worrall victory over Nicholls was hard earned but crucially set up a 4-2 as Nielsen was clear of Gilkes for third place. Hume was called upon in heat eleven to replace Thomas and he made a terrific start. Partner Schlein gave himself a bit of work to do to pass Cameron Heeps but the resulting 5-1 gave the Pirates a little bit of breathiing room whilst also opening the door for a Kent tactical substitution.
Unquestionably, that was given to Nicholls and again Hume was handed some overtime, replacing the luckless Wright. But it was Starke who hit the headlines leading all the way whilst Hume and Worrall were just content to offer up no openings to the King's number one and protect their eight point lead at 29-37.
Schlein made the running in heat thirteen but skipper King was left out in the cold and whilst a league point was all but certain the Pirates were on the hunt for that elusive four-pointer.
Nielsen and Hume gallantly saw to it that tonight was the night and heat fifteen was just there for personal pride as Danny King took victory over Starke and Schlein in third saw Poole stretch the winninng margin to 14 points.
Ht 1: S.Nicholls, R.Schlein, J.Thomas, B.Morley, (D.Gilkes exc.Tapes) 3-3 3-3 |57.4]
Ht 2: B.Morley, D.Gilkes, D.Hume, J.Wright (Fell d/q) 5-1 8-4 [60.5]
Ht 3: S.Nielsen, P.Starke, S.Worrall, P.Hurry 2-4 10-8 [58.5]
Ht 4: D.King, C.Heeps, D.Hume, D.Gilkes 2-4 12-12 [58.3]
Ht 5: R.Schlein, P.Starke, J.Thomas, P.Hurry (Fell d/q) 2-4 14-16 [58.5]
Ht 6: D.King, S.Nicholls, B.Morley, J.Wright 3-3 17-19 [59.3]
Ht 7: S.Worrall, B.Morley, S.Nielsen, C.Heeps 2-4 19-23 [59.6]
Ht 8: D.Hume, D.Gilkes, P.Hurry, J.Thomas 3-3 22-26 [59.4]
Ht 9: P.Starke, D.King, P.Hurry, J.Wright (Fell d/q) 4-2 26-28 [awd]
Ht 10: S.Worrall, S.Nicholls, S.Nielsen, D.Gilkes 2-4 28-32 [59.2]
Ht 11: D.Hume, R.Schlein, C.Heeps, B.Morley 1-5 29-37 [59.9]
Ht 12: P.Starke, D.Hume, S.Worrall, S.Nicholls 3-3 32-40 [58.9]
Ht 13: R.Schlein, S.Nicholls, C.Heeps, D.King 3-3 35-43 [58.3]
Ht 14: S.Nielsen, D.Hume, B.Morley, D.Gilkes 1-5 36-48 [59.1]
Ht 15: D.King, P.Starke, R.Schlein, C.Heeps 2-4 38-52 [58.8]
Gates: POOLE won toss and chose gates 2&4 | KENT took gates 1&3 in heat 15
Referee Paul Carrington
Rider of the Night: Danyon Hume