REPORT: Scunthorpe Scorpions v Poole Pirates17/06/22
The Pirates looked as if they didn’t know their alphabet after Dan Ford called for them to be on their "A"-game for this tough affair at Scunthorpe as they slumped to two consecutive 5-1 defeats in the opening heats and by the time all riders had been on track at least once the visitors were chasing a ten-point deficit.
Steve Worrall had steadied the ship a bit when he hit the front in heat three and Ben Cook produced a good first turn to give Poole their first advantage and then Richard Lawson carved his way between Tero Aarnio and Jordan Palin in the early part of heat four. Aarnio looked to have secured the heat win but a last lap power ride, culminating in a great last turn saw Lawson arrive home first. But all that preceeded a second 5-1 defeat on skipper Danny King and Zach Cook, the latter trying desperately hard to run Zaine Kennedy wide, a tactic that only served to push Kennedy on to the racing line.
Ryan Douglas was untouchable although Lawson made it his aim to try and reel off another smash and grab, whilst behind, Drew Kemp was doing an excellent job holding out in third place under pressure from Simon Lambert.
Heat seven triggered a Poole revival as good team riding between Worrall and Ben Cook set-up a 5-1, Aarnio earning praise for his persistence to try and split them. Drew Kemp was slotted in to heat eight as a reserve switch and he duly produced the goods and, crucially for Poole, Zach Cook battled hard to come through to weigh-in with a second Poole 5-1 in succession, just two points separating the scores.
Heat nine was full of excitement and passing. Kennedy came from nowhere on the first lap and then Allen stormed through from the back to take up the initiative. Lawson and Kennedy then locked horns and were switching positions with intense regularity. Lawson eventually secured second place and then Kemp made Kennedy look vulnerable in the chase to the flag, although the Scorpions did secure the 4-2 that put them four points clear.
Douglas made it three from three, but the eyes were focussed on Ben Cook's clever riding to get into third place and share heat ten and in the very next heat it was his brother, Zach, doing the hard work as he had Aarnio glued to him throughout but held on for the win which King's third place converted into a Pirates heat gain (32-28). Intense determination from Kemp in heat eleven ensured that Poole would edge into the lead as he backed up Worrall's victory, but a somewhat surprising heat thirteen victory from Aarnio, when Douglas was considered the dangerman, allowed Scunthorpe to level-up, King looking far more competitive in this ride whilst Lawson was the one to miss out on a score.
So two heats remained for either side to snatch the league win and it was not the time when you would want to shed a chain. Agonisingly for Poole though, that was Ben Cook's fate although Nathan Ablitt had made an excellent gate and first turn and driven up the inside to get by both Jake Allen and Connor Coles. The red lights had to come on though as Coles looped on the backstraight, but of course with Cook not under power it meant heat fourteen would be slugged out as a match-race between Allen and Ablitt, the more experienced Scunthorpe rider ensuring the home side would hold a one-point lead heading into the final race.
King was nominated to partner Worrall, whilst Allen was selected alongside Douglas, Poole needing a heat advantage of any to avoid the defeat that had looked guaranteed some nine heats previously. King threw everything he could at Douglas, lap by lap, but just could not shift the Aussie off the line or force the error needed, for Worrall had third place secured, so the Pirates went down on the night by just a single point as they suffered their second successive defeat, ironically the same two sides - Scunthorpe and Leicester - as they had in 2021 when they experienced their worse run of the season!
R.Douglas 3,3,3,1,3=13 (5)
S.Lambert 2',0,1,0=3+1 (4)
Z.Kennedy 0,2',1,1=4+1 (4)
J.Allen 2,3,3,3,0=11 (5)
T.Aarnio 2,1,2,3=8 (4)
C.Coles 2',0,0,XD=2+1 (4)
J.Palin 3,1',0,0=4+1 (4)
D.King 1,0,1,2,2=6 (5)
Z.Cook 0,1,2',3=6+1 (4)
S.Worrall 3,3,2,3,1'=12+1 (5)
B.Cook 1,2',1',X0=4+2 (4)
R.Lawson 3,2,2,0=7 (4)
D.Kemp 1,1',3,0,2'=7+2 (5)
N.Ablitt R,0,RS,2=2 (3)
Ht 1: R.Douglas, S.Lambert, D.King, Z.Cook 5-1 5-1 [56.71]
Ht 2: J.Palin, C.Coles, D.Kemp, N.Ablitt [rtd] 5-1 10-2 [58.46]
Ht 3: S.Worrall, J.Allen, B.Cook, Z.Kennedy 2-4 12-6 [56.46]
Ht 4: R.Lawson, T.Aarnio, J.Palin, N.Ablitt 3-3 15-9 [57.97]
Ht 5: J.Allen, Z.Kennedy, Z.Cook, D.King 5-1 20-10 [58.2]
Ht 6: R.Douglas, R.Lawson, D.Kemp, S.Lambert 3-3 23-13 [57.94]
Ht 7: S.Worrall, B.Cook, T.Aarnio, C.Coles 1-5 24-18 [58.42]
Ht 8: D.Kemp, Z.Cook, S.Lambert, J.Palin 1-5 25-23 [58.81]
Ht 9: J.Allen, R.Lawson, Z.Kennedy, D.Kemp 4-2 29-25 [59.23]
Ht 10: R.Douglas, S.Worrall, B.Cook, S.Lambert 3-3 32-28 [57.59]
Ht 11: Z.Cook, T.Aarnio, D.King, C.Coles 2-4 34-32 [58.85]
Ht 12: S.Worrall, D.Kemp, Z.Kennedy, J.Palin 1-5 35-37 [58.36]
Ht 13: T.Aarnio, D.King, R.Douglas, R.Lawson 4-2 39-39 [59.23]
Ht 14: J.Allen, N.Ablitt, B.Cook [exc], C.Coles[exc] 3-2 42-41 [58.61]
Ht 15: R.Douglas, D.King, S.Worrall, J.Allen 3-3 45-44 
REFEREE: Mick Bates
POOLE won toss and chose gates 2&4 | SCUNTHORPE choose gates 2&4 in heat 15
League Points: SCUNTHORPE 3 POOLE 1