REPORT: SCUNTHORPE CROWNED KO CUP CHAMPIONS21/10/23
The second major trophy of the season has slipped away from the Poole cabinet after Scunthorpe secured the KO Cup with a heat to spare at Wimborne Road.
Extensive track work throughout the afternoon brought the track into condition but just how heavy it was became evident when Anders Rowe and Ryan Douglas clashed entering the first turn, taking tumbles into the air fence. They were soon up on their feet but were resembling more the 'Men In Black' as they were covered in the heavy surface. With no penalty dished out all four came back for the re-start and this time Simon Lambert gave Rowe a forceful nudge entering that first turn and Richard Lawson had to be alert to lay his bike down, a consequence of which being he too was carrying extra weight for the remainder of the meeting. But more crucially, though, was that Rowe was the one adjudged to have been the cause of the second stoppage and was disqualified from the third attempt. That saw 'lucky' Lambert get away smartish for the first of his four straight wins on the night, emphatically steering the direction of the final destiny of the Knockout Cup. With Douglas a comfortable second the aggregate deficit doubled immediately. The red lights were on again in heat two, this time after Kyle Newman had passed Drew Kemp at the pit turn and then Joe Thompson taking advantage of the ex-Poole man locking up round the third and fourth turns. Nathan Ablitt then put himself in the mix but he went too far into the sticky stuff on the south bend on the next circuit and went down. Referee Christina Turnbull was sufficiently convinced that the Poole boys would have held on for their 5-1 and consequently awarded the heat. Heat three saw Zach Cook away and gone but brother Ben was not so sharp and although he closed in on Jake Allen over the course of the final lap the race ended up being shared. Rob Godfrey made an inspired reserve switch in heat four as the incoming Kemp led throughout. Steve Worrall had tried to go round him on the first lap but conditions were against him. The third place for Thompson, under increasing pressure from Michael Palm-Toft, kept the meeting tight with just those four points from the first leg the difference between the two sides.
Lambert gained a flier out of the start in heat five and was allowed to get away with it but not before Ben Cook had buzzed all over him for the fill four laps. Crucially though, Douglas's third place allowed Scunthorpe to regain the lead on the night and extend their overall advantage to six. Lawson's early movement in heat six was punished with a call-back and a warning but second time of asking he was away cleanly and with Rowe slipping under Ablitt on turn four, Poole squaring the scores up on the night again. Allen was the offender in heat seven and in the re-start Connor Mountain seemed to take Newman's front wheel away at the first turn but it was ruled an unsatisfactory start with all four eligible. Worrall made it third time of asking whilst Newman battled furiously to get the third place and steer
Poole into the lead for the first time in the tie, although still two shy on aggregate.
With Rowe being ruled out of the meeting, Newman came in to replace him in heat eight whilst Godfrey again juggled his reserves. Newman tried desperately hard to restrain Lambert in the early stages but then had no answers to the team riding of the Scunthorpe skipper and Kemp , so the meeting swung back the visitors way. Not for long though as the 'chefs' cooked up a quick recovery, both picking off Palm-Toft on separate laps for a 5-1. Newman and Lawson looked set to extend the lead and go ahead on aggregate as they were out front in heat ten, but a loose cut-out caused Lawson to lose power and the Scorpions gods were shining on them as they salvaged a drawn heat . Certainly a turning point in the whole tie, and even more so when Worrall's efforts to hold out the strong pairing of Douglas and Lambert were thwarted and Scunthorpe regained the lead by two on the night, six overall and time rapidly running out for the Pirates.
Battling Ben Cook played his part in trying to retrieve the situation by coming through to win heat twelve, but agony for Newman as he clipped the pit turn fence early doors which impeded his efforts on trying to get amongst the points. Lawson made quick headway in heat thirteen leaving Worrall to try and overcome a resilient Douglas, the resulting 4-2 advantage restoring that start of meeting four point deficit. A good race was developing in heat fourteen, one the Pirates could ill-afford to lose and positions were changing rapidly until Newman ran out of room leaving the second turn on the second lap to earn a disqualification. Zach Cook then knew he had to win the heat to give the Pirates any chance of retaining the trophy but he just came up short, despite a digging-in effort and Kemp's win took the Scorpions over the line for their first trophy in eleven years and the KO Cup for the first time.
Lambert had been unbeaten up to this stage and was a shoe-in for heat fifteen but a personal maximum couldn't be added to his proudest moment as Lawson won in style while Douglas and Worrall battled for second and third. Perhaps on back-marker Lambert's mind was the up and coming honour of lifting that trophy.
Richard Lawson 1,3,0,3,3=10 (5)
Anders Rowe FD,1,NS,NS=1 (2)
Ben Cook 0,2,2',3,1=8+1 (5)
Zach Cook 3,0,3,2=8 (4)
Steve Worrall 2,3,1,1=7 (4)
Kyle Newman 3,1,1,3,0,0,FD=8 (7)
Joe Thompson 2',1',0,RS=3+2 (3)
Ryan Douglas 2',1,2',2,2=9+2 (5)
Simon Lambert 3,3,3,3,0=12 (5)
Connor Mountain 2,2,1',2=7+1 (4)
Jake Allen 1',0,2,1=4+1 (4)
Michael Palm-Toft 0,2,1,0=3 (4)
Drew Kemp 1,3,RS,2',RS,1',3=10+2 (5)
Nathan Ablitt FD,RS,0,RS,0,NS=0 (3)
Ht 1: S.Lambert, R.Douglas, R.Lawson, A.Rowe [fell exc] 1-5 1-5 [60.9]
Ht 2: K.Newman, J.Thompson, D.Kemp, N.Ablitt [fell exc] 5-1 6-6 [awd]
Ht 3: Z.Cook, C.Mountain, J.Allen, B.Cook 3-3 9-9 [60.75]
Ht 4: D.Kemp, S.Worrall, J.Thompson, M.Palm-Toft 3-3 12-12 [60.88]
Ht 5: S.Lambert, B.Cook, R.Douglas, Z.Cook 2-4 14-16 [60.81]
Ht 6: R.Lawson, M.Palm-Toft, A.Rowe, N.Ablitt 4-2 18-18 [60.46]
Ht 7: S.Worrall, C.Mountain, K.Newman, J.Allen 4-2 22-20 [60.22]
Ht 8: S.Lambert, D.Kemp, K.Newman, J.Thompson, A.Rowe [NS] 1-5 23-25 
Ht 9: Z.Cook, B.Cook, M.Palm-Toft, N.Ablitt 5-1 28-26 [60.63]
Ht 10: K.Newman, J.Allen, C.Mountain, R.Lawson, A.Rowe [NS] 3-3 31-29 [61.81]
Ht 11: S.Lambert, R.Douglas, S.Worrall, K.Newman 1-5 32-34 [62.19]
Ht 12: B.Cook, C.Mountain, D.Kemp, K.Newman 3-3 35-37 [61.72]
Ht 13: R.Lawson, R.Douglas, S.Worrall, M.Palm-Toft 4-2 39-39 [61.57]
Ht 14: D.Kemp, Z.Cook, J.Allen, K.Newman [fell exc], N.Ablitt [NS] 2-4 41-43 [62.82]
Ht 15: R.Lawson, R.Douglas, B.Cook, S.Lambert 4-2 45-45 [61.75]
SCB Referee Christina Turnbull
SCUNTHORPE won toss and chose gates 1&3 | POOLE choose gates 1&3 in heat 15
Photo Credits: Anthony Burchall