PIRATES kept their slim chances of a top-two finish alive with a convincing win over Redcar Bears in their final meeting of the regular league season, with Neil Middleditch’s charges recording a 55-34 win.
Captain Danny King and Ben Cook starred throughout the meeting, taking home five race wins between them.
Standing water on the track threatened to curtail the evening’s entertainment before it had even started.
After mammoth efforts from Pirates’ staff to ensure the meeting went ahead, Poole’s number one Steve Worrall picked up a heat one win, with Redcar racers Charles Wright and Jason Edwards ensuring the spoils were shared.
In the second race it was a similar story, with Zach Cook comfortably beating Redcar’s Jordan Jenkins and Poole-born Kyle Newman.
Nathan Ablitt effectively gave up after falling behind early on, meaning he was unable to capitalise when Newman slipped off his bike just in front of the finishing line.
However, Ablitt was too far back to overtake his opponent, who quickly remounted and finished, sparing his blushes.
Pirates edged into the lead when skipper King was followed by Ben Cook for a maximum heat victory in race three.
Richard Lawson’s first race win of the evening was tempered by Lewis Kerr and Jenkins, who came second and third respectively.
Ben Cook and King combined again in heat five, with Poole’s skipper this time finishing second behind the young Australian.
Heat six came to a halt when Worrall clipped the back of Kerr’s bike, causing him to collide and wipe out teammate Drew Kemp.
Luckily for Pirates both riders returned to the pits under their own steam, with Worrall ruled out for the re-run – and the rest of the meeting, withdrawing due to shoulder injury.
Kemp returned for the restart, a race that finished with just two riders, as Redcar’s Jenkins fell at bend four. Kerr edged out Kemp for a 3-2 win.
Pirates earned another convincing race win in heat seven via Lawson and Zach Cook.
A reserve change in race eight almost paid off as Zach Cook almost defeated Bears number one and skipper Wright, but the more experienced rider overtook his younger rival on the final bend, giving the guests their second race win of the evening, a 4-2 heat victory.
Ben Cook and King returned for their third 5-1 of the evening in heat nine, before Lawson and Kemp replicated the feat in race 10.
Lawson made it back-to-back race wins in heat 11 in a 3-3 draw, before another slip from a Redcar racer allowed Ablitt to steal third, supplementing King’s first placed finish in race 12.
Heat 13 saw Kerr claim first, although King and Lawson ensured the points were split.
The Cook siblings chased former Pirate Newman throughout race 14, but they were unable to overcome the Redcar rider, settling for another heat draw with Zach in second and Ben following in third.
Ben Cook was chosen alongside Drew Kemp to return for the final heat, with the Australian taking home his third race win of the evening.
Pirates move up to second, overtaking Glasgow Tigers, who enjoy two meetings in hand over their nearest rivals.
Pirates 55: Steve Worrall 3, Drew Kemp 5+1, Danny King 12+2, Ben Cook 12+2, Richard Lawson 12+2, Zach Cook 10, Nathan Ablitt 1.
Redcar 34: Charles Wright 8+1, Jason Edwards 3+1, Kasper Andersen 1, Lewis Kerr 12, Kyle Newman 6+1, Jordan Jenkins 4+1.