Eastbourne Eagles v Poole Pirates


The opening heat of the season took three attempts to get underway before a result could be achieved, the Pirates banking an early five point lead after first Edward Kennett was disqualified for falling on the first turn.

Then the three remaining riders, Tom Brennan, Rory Schlein and Zane Keleher all went down as they headed, undivided, towards the pits turn. With all three called back the Pirates were left unopposed by Brennan when he packed up on the second lap, having looked quite competitive prior to the gremlins biting. Eastbourne opened their account with a 4-2 in the reserves heat before Steve Worrall's first win of the night shared the heat three spoils as Stefan Nielsen was caught by Kyle Newman halfway through.
Poole pushed on with a maximum heat return in the fourth race of the night, Danny King and Danyon Hume making smart starts and Rory Schlein cleverly prevented any instant return by the Eagles in heat five as he split Lewis Kerr and Newman.

Young Brennan had better fortunes in his second outing, leading with Kennett in close support as Poole suffered a 5-1 reverse with neither Danny King or Ben Cook able to make any impact, but then Worrall and Nielsen rallied to the Pirates' cause, securing a 5-1 over Jason Edwards and a sluggish Richard Lawson. This restored the Pirates five point lead and with the sun causing visibility issues for the riders an early interval was taken. 
Keleher had a bumpy ride in heat eight, clipping the fence as he left the pit turn, then falling on the next turn before scrambling back aboard his machine, only to see third place Drew Kemp too far in the distance. Danyon Hume was splitting the Eagles and so just three points separated to the two sides. There was no change in that margin as King collected his second win in three starts, but Cook could make no inroads.

Worrall showed class as he weaved his way by both Kennett and Brennan in the early stages of heat 10. By the time the flags were coming out Nielsen had seized on an opportunity to take advantage of Brennan's struggling machine, converting a near certain shared heat into a Poole advantage to move the scores on to 27-32 in favour of the Pirates.
Eastbourne replied with a 4-2, Keleher's one-time third place being taken from him by Edwards. A spectacular crash by Cook as he left the third turn on the opening lap caused a re-start without him. Worrall having to work hard to overcome Newman to maintain his perfect Pirate start to the season. Away from the tapes in heat 13 the Eagles looked set to overturn the deficit but both King and Schlein found openings to exploit, so whilst Lawson took the honours, Poole remained the meeting leaders. Kerr was the victor for the home side in heat 14 but again the minor places were packed by Pirates and the only way the home side could deny Poole a league win was with a maximum advantage from heat 15.

The respective winners of heats 13 and 14 combined perfectly to do just that, ending Worrall's perfect scorechart, as three league points became one to launch Poole's return back in second tier British racing.

E.Kennett F,2',2,0=4+1
T.Brennan R,3,3,0=6
K.Newman  1',1,1',2=5+2
L.Kerr 2,3,2,3,2'=12+1
R.Lawson 1,0,3,3,3=10
J.Edwards 3,1,1,0=5
D.Kemp 1,0,1,1'=3+1

R.Schlein 3,2,2,1'=8+1
Z.Keleher 2',0,0,0=2+1
S.Worrall 3,3,3,3,1=13
S.Nielsen 0,2',1,2=5+1
D.King 3,1,3,2,0=9
B.Cook 2,0,0,FD=2
D.Hume 0,2',2,1'=5+2

Ht 1:  R.Schlein,  Z.Keleher,  T.Brennan  (Rtd),  E.Kennett  (Fell) 0-5  0-5 |58.6]
Ht 2:  J.Edwards,  B.Cook,  D.Kemp,  D.Hume 4-2  4-7 [58.2]
Ht 3:  S.Worrall,  L.Kerr,  K.Newman ,  S.Nielsen 3-3  7-10 [57.3]
Ht 4:  D.King,  D.Hume,  R.Lawson,  D.Kemp 1-5  8-15 [58]
Ht 5:  L.Kerr,  R.Schlein,  K.Newman ,  Z.Keleher 4-2  12-17 [56.9]
Ht 6:  T.Brennan,  E.Kennett,  D.King,  B.Cook 5-1  17-18 [57.8]
Ht 7:  S.Worrall,  S.Nielsen,  J.Edwards,  R.Lawson 1-5  18-23 [58.2]
Ht 8:  T.Brennan,  D.Hume,  D.Kemp,  Z.Keleher 4-2 22-25 [57]
Ht 9:  D.King,  L.Kerr,  K.Newman ,  B.Cook 3-3  25-28 [57.1]
Ht 10:  S.Worrall,  E.Kennett,  S.Nielsen,  T.Brennan 2-4  27-32 [58.1]
Ht 11:  R.Lawson,  R.Schlein,  J.Edwards,  Z.Keleher 4-2  31-34 [58]
Ht 12:  S.Worrall,  K.Newman ,  D.Kemp,  B.Cook  (Fell d/q) 3-3  34-37 [58.6]
Ht 13:  R.Lawson,  D.King,  R.Schlein,  E.Kennett 3-3  37-40 [57.5]
Ht 14:  L.Kerr,  S.Nielsen,  D.Hume,  J.Edwards 3-3  40-43 [58.2]
Ht 15:  R.Lawson,  L.Kerr,  S.Worrall,  D.King 5-1  45-44 [58.4]58.4
Gates: EASTBOURNE  deferred choice of gates POOLE chose 1&3 | EASTBOURNE  took gates 1&3 in heat 15
Referee S.Humphrey-Kennett
League points: Eastbourne 3 Poole 1
Rider of the Night: Steve Worrall

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