Neil Middleditch admitted that he was a relieved man at the end of Poole's opening league title defence, having seen his side fight back to eventually secure an eight-point victory (49-41) claiming "I didn't think they were going to hit us that hard so early on.

We just weren't making starts early doors, but the track was a little bit different again tonight but there are no excuses as it is the same for both teams. I got the boys together at the interval at heat eleven and I told them they had to do something here and luckily they responded and we got the win and the points, so that was the main thing.

"Dougie (Ryan Douglas) was outstanding, I have got to say that. Hats off to him he was absolutely brilliant but once again I think our strength in depth shone through. Everybody played a part. I mean, Adam's (Roynon) ride, not many have talked about him tonight, but his last ride was outstanding, because he had bike trouble early on and then I pulled him out of one and he was straight up and helping to clean Kyle's (Newman) bike and everything. He goes a bit crazy in the pits  but he went out there a did a good job. I certainly did a few laps tonight pacing round the pits, but there is no easy match in this sport. I mean, you could look down their line-up and see what can be perceived as weaknesses, but I said to our boys on the track walk do not underestimate any of them. You know, I've been in this game too long now and know that you can get a shock and they certainly gave us a shock. I think we were like stunned mullets for the first half a dozen to eight heats and I was looking at it and wondering just where we were going to get it back, but the boys dug deep and got the job done."

The visitors number one Ryan Douglas stormed to an untouchable six-ride eighteen-point maximum as the Scorpions frustrated the Pirates for much of the meeting. Pirates stand-in guest Justin Sedgmen, deputising for the injured Richard Lawson, was the only member of the Poole side to generate two race wins, although Kyle Newman had an outright victory (heat two) and followed Zach Cook home in heat fourteen to put the match out of reach of Scunthorpe. Two heats earlier Roynon produced a vital backup ride to Ben Cook's victory, the Poole reserve having to be on his guard with Connor Mountain putting him under intense pressure. That heat in itself gave the Pirates the breathing space they needed, underlining Middleditch's comments about the importance of a strength-in-depth side.

POOLE 49 - Steve Worrall 9+2 (2,2,2',2,1') ,Ben Cook 9 (0,2,2,3,2) ,Kyle Newman 8+1 (3,1,0,2,2') ,Zach Cook 7+2 (2,1',1',3) ,Justin Sedgmen 7+1 (3,3,1',0) ,Anders Rowe 6+1 (0,1',2,3) ,Adam Roynon 3+1 (1,R,RS,2')
SCUNTHORPE 41 - Ryan Douglas 18 (3,3,3,3,3,3) ,Jake Allen 8+1 (1',3,3,0,1,0) ,Simon Lambert 7 (1,3,2,1,0) ,Connor Mountain 6 (2,2,0,1,1,0) ,Max Clegg 2 (1,0,0,1) ,Nathan Ablitt 0 (0,0,0,RS)

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