Poole Speedway unveiled a new hero in the guise of debutant Paul Starke as they built up a 14 point lead from the first leg of the Elite Shield ahead of Thursday's concluding leg at King's Lynn.

Starke with a paid 13 haul from six rides was thrown in to the deep end on his debut as his fellow reserve, last season's Pirate of the Year Kyle Newman, was ruled out of the majority of the meeting after suffering mild concussion when jettisoned from his machine as a consequence of a shed chain in heat 2.

24 year old Starke admitted "I am pretty happy with that performance. It was good to get amongst the points and help Poole to the win. I enjoyed it.

"I think the thing is with me and Kyle is that we can both cover for each other if one of us is having an off night. It was a shame that we lost his services for most of the match and I really hope he isn't too bad and that he will be back on track quickly. But my job was to stand in for him and we got the job done."

The Pirates went behind in heat two, a race that was awarded as a lead-taking 5-1 to the Stars, gifting Starke third place, but the Hereford born battler thoroughly deserved his remaining points. He worked tirelessly to hold Robert Lambert at bay in heat 5 to be part of a Pirates' 5-1 as fellow debutant Dakota North was bagging his first win in Poole colours.

That edged Poole  ahead by 2 points a margin that fortuitously remained when visiting captain Rory Schlein suffered a retirement in heat 7 whilst trying to forge maximum points with Niklas Porsing.

Starke stepped up in heat 8 to combine with Kacper Gomolski for a Poole 5-1, the Poole reserve battling his way through from the back in the process. Barely able to catch breath he was out on track again in heat 9 and had to work hard to keep out the ever-trying Lewis Kerr whilst North was again enjoying the scent of a race win.

The Pirates extended their lead to double figures when Dave Watt and Maciej Janowski racked up a 4-2 from heat 10 and a great gate from Chris Holder outshone Rory Schlein's tactical ride, one that was largely negated when North worked a route by Kenneth Bjerre to give the 11th heat a 4-4 result.

Restricted to just one representative in heat 12 Starke never gave up and stole victory from the slowing Kerr in a photo-finish , to retain Poole's 10 point advantage.

With two more shared heats following it looked odds-on that 10 points would separate these two sides but a forceful first turn from Dakota North took him to the front where to the delight of the Poole faithful Maciej Janowski soon joined him to close out the meeting with Poole's third maximum heat advantage of the night.

Final Score:  Poole 53 v King's Lynn 39
POOLE - 53: M. Janowski 11+1 (3,2,1,3,2'), D. North 11 (1,3,3,1,3), P. Starke 10+3 (1,1',2',2',1,3), K. Gomolski 7+2 (2,1',3,1'), D. Watt 7 (0,2,3,2), C. Holder 7+1 (3,1',3,0), K. Newman 0 (FD)
King's Lynn - 39: L. Kerr 9 (3,3,1,0,2), R. Schlein 9 (2,R,4,3,0), N. Iversen 7+1 (2,3,0,1',1), N. Porsing 5 (0,3,2,0), A. Morris 3+2 (2',0,1'), K. Bjerre 3+1 (1',0,0,2), R. Lambert 3 (0,1,0,2)

Ht 1.  Chris Holder, Niels-Kristian Iversen, Dakota North, Robert Lambert (4-2) 4-2
Ht 2.  Lewis Kerr, Ashley Morris, Paul Starke, Kyle Newman (FD) (1-5) 5-7
Ht 3.  Maciej Janowski, Rory Schlein, Kenneth Bjerre, Dave Watt (3-3) 8-10
Ht 4.  Lewis Kerr, Kacper Gomolski, Paul Starke, Niklas Porsing (3-3) 11-13
Ht 5.  Dakota North, Paul Starke, Robert Lambert, Ashley Morris (5-1) 16-14
Ht 6.  Niels-Kristian Iversen, Dave Watt, Kacper Gomolski, Kenneth Bjerre (3-3) 19-17
Ht 7.  Niklas Porsing, Maciej Janowski, Chris Holder, Rory Schlein (R) (3-3) 22-20
Ht 8.  Kacper Gomolski, Paul Starke, Lewis Kerr, Robert Lambert (5-1) 27-21
Ht 9.  Dakota North, Niklas Porsing, Paul Starke, Lewis Kerr (4-2) 31-23
Ht 10.  Dave Watt, Robert Lambert, Maciej Janowski, Niels-Kristian Iversen (4-2) 35-25
Ht 11.  Chris Holder, Rory Schlein, Dakota North, Kenneth Bjerre (4-4) 39-29
Ht 12.  Paul Starke, Lewis Kerr, Ashley Morris,  (3-3) 42-32
Ht 13.  Maciej Janowski, Kenneth Bjerre, Niels-Kristian Iversen, Chris Holder (3-3) 45-35
Ht 14.  Rory Schlein, Dave Watt, Kacper Gomolski, Niklas Porsing (3-3) 48-38
Ht 15.  Dakota North, Maciej Janowski, Niels-Kristian Iversen, Rory Schlein (5-1) 53-39

Referee: Ronnie Allan
Gates: King's Lynn won the toss and took 1&3 in heat 1, Poole took 1&3 heat 15





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