Poole Pirates v Leicester Lions28/07/21
With some solid speedway racing these two top teams put on some good entertainment as Poole did an excellent job of staving off any backlash from Leicester after inflicting a rare home defeat on the Lions last weekend. The determined Pirates were able to restrict the strongly tipped East Midlands side to just three race winners and one heat advantage all evening.
Nevertheless, Poole didn't have it all their own way and there were blemishes on the scoresheet for all bar skipper Danny King, who put in a powerful 14 point, dropping his single point to Ryan Douglas in a shared heat four.
The night started disastrously for Drew Kemp as he suffered bike problems whilst digging in for heat one with just seconds left on the two-minute timer. His place was taken by a rushed Danyon Hume and the hero from the previous evening, giving it everything as he chased Dan Thompson for a possible point to add to Rory Schlein's three for the win. It wasn't to be on that occasion but immediately out again in heat two and Hume emphatically opened his account, ably backed up by guest James Wright as Poole broke into an early four point lead.
One-time Pirate Kyle Howarth refused to allow Poole to double that margin as he found a way round Stefan Nielsen to split the Pirates solid mid-order combination, Steve Worrall's victory though setting up the 4-2 that moved the scores to 12-6.
Having been unable to pass Joe Thompson in the reserves heat, Hume turned the tables on the other twin and cannily kept the other twin at bay for a shared heat as Ryan Douglas broke the sequence of home winners. But Worrall and Nielsen resumed their normal service in the fifth to go ten up and a great ride by Schlein to get by Douglas was enough to share the heat six spoils.
King and James Wright were first to show in heat seven but the illumination of the red lights signalled that Wright had moved too soon as the race was called back, and although he was there again second time of asking, and fairly too, he couldn't retain position in the mix in the King-led re-run. Guest Drew Kemp had better fortunes in heat eight as he seized on a mistake from Zaine Kennedy to gain the win, converted to a 4-2 through Hume's point.
Worrall and Nielsen didn't quite have the lines to prevent Douglas from marching on after the first turn but no damage was done effectively, as Poole still held a 12-point lead and the Lions had already used their tactical option to no avail the last time he had met the Poole pair (heat 5).
Rory Schlein had nothing but a race win on his mind in heat 10 and never allowed either Howarth or Nick Morris to offer up a realistic challenge. Matters round the first turn were tight in heat eleven and King went down on pit-corner. It was adjudged that he had been clipped by Dan Thompson and the Lions were reduced to just one representative (Andersen) in the re-start.
The former Poole rider made a good start but clearly King was hungry as he quickly made light of the gap and produced a ruthless inside move round the southern turn, running Andersen out in the process with very little room and few options for the Dane. He had to give way, and Poole banked a 4-2 (40-26) going into the interval.
Whilst Worrall and Morris battled out the front two positions after the break, Hume and Kennedy were doing likewise at the back, but sadly for Hume he was unable to cross the line intact with his machine as he lost control with the chequered flag in sight, but thankfully was able to pick himself up, dust himself down and offer up a quiet curse to himself.
A spectacle of a race ensued in heat 13 as both Wright and Nielsen power their way by Kennedy to break up a potential Lions 5-1 but a late fall from Nielsen on the pit-turn denied the Pirates a shared heat and gave the visitors their only heat gain of the night. Poole looked set early doors to see the night out with a maximum of their own as both King and Worrall gated, but Howarth and Andersen had other ideas and they both went either side of him but King was totally at ease out front.
Ht 1: R.Schlein, H.Andersen, D.Thompson, D.Hume 3-3 3-3 |60.57]
Ht 2: D.Hume, J.Wright, J.Thompson, Z.Kennedy 5-1 8-4 [61.17]
Ht 3: S.Worrall, K.Howarth, S.Nielsen, N.Morris 4-2 12-6 [60.68]
Ht 4: R.Douglas, D.King, D.Hume, J.Thompson 3-3 15-9 [61.31]
Ht 5: S.Worrall, S.Nielsen, H.Andersen, R.Douglas 5-1 20-10 [60.41]
Ht 6: R.Schlein, R.Douglas, Z.Kennedy, D.Kemp 3-3 23-13 [60.5]
Ht 7: D.King, K.Howarth, N.Morris, J.Wright 3-3 26-16 [60.65]
Ht 8: D.Kemp, Z.Kennedy, D.Hume, D.Thompson 4-2 30-18 [61.34]
Ht 9: R.Douglas, S.Worrall, S.Nielsen, J.Thompson 3-3 33-21 [61.25]
Ht 10: R.Schlein, N.Morris, K.Howarth, D.Kemp 3-3 36-24 [60.94]
Ht 11: D.King, H.Andersen, J.Wright, D.Thompson (D/Q) 4-2 40-26 [61.03]
Ht 12: S.Worrall, N.Morris, Z.Kennedy, D.Hume (Fell) 3-3 43-29 [59.97]
Ht 13: D.King, H.Andersen, R.Schlein, R.Douglas 4-2 47-31 [60.78]
Ht 14: K.Howarth, J.Wright, Z.Kennedy, S.Nielsen (Fell) 2-4 49-35 [61.69]
Ht 15: D.King, H.Andersen, K.Howarth, S.Worrall 3-3 52-38 [61.03]
Gates: LEICESTER won toss and chose gates 1&3 | POOLE took gates 1&3 in heat 15
Referee Dave Robinson
Rider of the Night: Danny King