For the first time in four visits to the Arena Essex Raceway a Poole side left pointless as the Lakeside Hammers turned a six point deficit into a 50-40 league victory in a traffic delayed meeting.

Closure of one of the tunnels at the Dartford Crossing delayed riders , supporters and Lakeside team manager Kelvin Tatum alike and the meeting was put back 15 minutes.

Despite conceding a 5-1 in the opening heat the Pirates, having countered with an Ellis/Newman maximum heat score from the reserves heat, pulled back more than the two points they had slipped behind by in the third with a Newman/Andersen 5-1 from heat 4 to establish a 16-14 advantage, which within two more heats was to develop into a 21-15 lead courtesy of good skills by Chris Holder to allow partner Krzysztof Buczkowski to get away out front in heat 6.

The battle royale between Scandinavians Andreas Jonsson and Hans Andersen lived on, in much the same way as they had on Wednesday night. Andersen whistling past the Swede in the early stages of heat 7 only for the Lakeside skipper to peg him back as the race developed and deny the Pirate a race victory. Jonsson's win assisted the home side in trimming the Pirates lead and it cut further in heat 8 but the outcome could have been worse had it not been for a good effort by former Lakeside rider Adam Ellis to reel in and pass a lively Lewis Kerr to restrict the heat result to a 4-2 to Lakeside.

A superb start by Andersen to heat 9 gave him the advantage as he held off the ever growing interests of Piotr Swiderski but sadly for the Pirates Kyle Newman gained no reward for his incessant efforts in trying to pass Kerr but Poole remained ahead, albeit by just two points going into the 10th heat.

As it started Poole found themselves on an early 5-1 with Ellis (replacing the struggling Kurtz) and Holder but sensationally both Lewis Bridger and Kim Nilsson relegated Holder to the rear and then Bridger surged his way by Ellis to level the meeting.

For the Pirates there was no recovery. The Hammers grew in confidence as the track began to suit them evermore and only a great ride by Andersen in heat 15 to just hold on in another epic tussle with Jonsson saw the Pirates claim a race-winner over the final five heats - ironically the period which on Wednesday night they themselves were so dominant.

It wasn't a good night for the Pirates' Australia contingent as Watt, Holder and Kurtz managed just paid 8 from 10 rides between them but the bright spots were the continued good contribution of Kryzsztof Buczkowski and a solid and impressive performance from Andersen.

Poole boss Matt Ford had mixed feelings over the result, explaining "we always knew it would be difficult coming here as they were always likely to score well, but given that we were able to build a fairly decent lead and then allowed them to get back at us was a little disappointing. There were some positives to come out of the meeting but there were some negatives too. We are going to have to ensure that as many of a team are firing as possible and tonight we ended up with just too many passengers. But I feel confident we will learn by that.

The Pirates next meeting is not until Wednesday April 20th when they host the league visit of Coventry Bees, the club they beat to claim the Elite Shield earlier in the season.

A. Jonsson 2',3,3,3,2=13+1
P. Swiderski 3,3,2,2',1'=11+2
L. Bridger 1,0,3,3=7
R. Lawson 1,1,3,2'=7+1
K. Nilsson 3,1,1,1=6
R. Mear 1,0,0=1
L. Kerr F,0,1,1',3=5+1
C. Holder 1,2',0,0=3+1
B. Kurtz 0,1',0=1+1
D. Watt 2,0,R=2
H. Andersen 2',2,3,1,3=11+1
K. Buczkowski 0,3,1,2,0=6
A. Ellis 3,2,2,2,2,0=11
K. Newman 2',3,0,1'=6+2

Ht 1 P. Swiderski A. Jonsson C. Holder B. Kurtz 5-1 (5-1) (59)
Ht 2 A. Ellis K. Newman R. Mear L. Kerr (Fell) 1-5 (6-6) (60.3)
Ht 3 K. Nilsson D. Watt L. Bridger K. Buczkowski 4-2 (10-8) (59.4)
Ht 4 K. Newman H. Andersen R. Lawson L. Kerr 1-5 (11-13) (61)
Ht 5 P. Swiderski A. Ellis B. Kurtz R. Mear 3-3 (14-16) (59.6)
Ht 6 K. Buczkowski C. Holder R. Lawson L. Bridger 1-5 (15-21) (60.1)
Ht 7 A. Jonsson H. Andersen K. Nilsson D. Watt 4-2 (19-23) (60.2)
Ht 8 R. Lawson A. Ellis L. Kerr B. Kurtz 4-2 (23-25) (60.2)
Ht 9 H. Andersen P. Swiderski L. Kerr K. Newman 3-3 (26-28) (60.1)
Ht 10 L. Bridger A. Ellis K. Nilsson C. Holder 4-2 (30-30) (60)
Ht 11 A. Jonsson P. Swiderski K. Buczkowski D. Watt (Rtd) 5-1 (35-31) (59.5)
Ht 12 L. Kerr A. Ellis K. Newman R. Mear 3-3 (38-34) (60.4)
Ht 13 A. Jonsson K. Buczkowski K. Nilsson C. Holder 4-2 (42-36) (58.6)
Ht 14 L. Bridger R. Lawson H. Andersen A. Ellis 5-1 (47-37) (59.8)
Ht 15 H. Andersen A. Jonsson P. Swiderski K. Buczkowski 3-3 (50-40) (59.6)

Referee Graham Reeve
Gates: Poole take 1&3 in heat 1; Lakeside take 1&3 in heat 15
LAKESIDE 3 league points POOLE 0 league points


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