SUPERB hauls from Dakota North and Maciej Janowski helped Pirates grab their first silverware of 2015 as they retained the Elite Shield at King's Lynn last night.

The heavy-hitting duo scored more than half of Poole's points in a 46-43 second-leg defeat in Norfolk, which ensured a 96-85 aggregate victory over a team they had defeated in last season's Elite League play-off semi-finals.

Pirates were without Kyle Newman due to a head injury sustained in Wednesday's first leg so Lakeside's Adam Ellis was drafted in, while second-stringer Kacper Gomolski was unavailable due to Polish Golden Helmet commitments.

The visitors made a calamitous start when North and Chris Holder fell in the first lap of heat one and the Stars romped to a 5-1 in a three-man re-run.

Following a shared reserves heat, Rory Schlein's fall allowed Davey Watt and skipper Janowski to charge to a maximum from the gate and level matters at 9-9 on the night.

Still the bitty pattern continued when a coming together between Ellis and Nicklas Porsing resulted in the Lynn charger's withdrawal from the meeting, and his replacement Lewis Kerr fell in the re-run with Stars on a 5-1.

Pirates kept their hosts within touching distance with a couple of shared heats although Holder's retirement - a second point-less outing - gave cause for concern.

Danish duo Kenneth Bjerre and Niels-Kristian Iversen slammed in a 5-1 but that did not give rise to sustained pressure, with heat eight shared before North and Ellis grabbed a 4-2 in a blanket finish.

North made it eight points in three straight heats in race 10, a contest in which Starke replaced Holder but failed to make an impression.

Poole edged to within a point of their opponents with a Janowski-Watt 4-2 and heat 12 was shared.

Starke replaced Holder once more in the next outing but despite suffering a 5-1 reverse, the visitors guaranteed overall victory thanks to Janowski's single point.

With the trophy's destination assured, the final two heats were a formality with Schlein and Janowski taking the honours, the latter completing an excellent night at his former stomping ground.

Pirates travel to Somerset for a one-off challenge meeting tonight and former Rebels star Nick Morris will guest for the visitors.

The Swindon rider is set to take place of fellow Aussie Holder.

Poole will operate rider replacement in the absence of Janowski, who will be practising with Polish club Wroclaw.

Starke is due to line up for the Rebels - his parent club - so Scunthorpe charger and Poole asset Ellis Perks will guest in his place.

After the Somerset fixture, Pirates have a week-long break prior to the start of their Elite League campaign on Good Friday, April 3.

The reigning top-flight champions are scheduled to face Swindon home and away on that date.


Over the two legs, Dakota North was Poole’s best rider although he was pushed mighty close by Maciej Janowski.

North had secured a hugely impressive haul of 11 on his Wimborne Road bow and he continued that form in Norfolk.

Undeterred by a first-heat spill, he dusted himself down and carded three race wins on his way to a total salvo of 13.

The ex-Swindon charger, brought in as a full asset in the winter, is already looking a shrewd acquisition by Pirates boss Matt Ford.

Could he become the latest Aussie to thrive under Matt Ford’s wing at Poole?


STARS 46 (96): 1 Niels-Kristian Iversen (3-2*-2-3-2) 12+1, 2 Robert Lambert (2*-1*-3-2-r) 8+2, 3 Rory Schlein (fx-2-2-3) 7, 4 Nicklas Porsing (f) 0, 5 Kenneth Bjerre (1-3-1*-2*-0) 7+2, 6 Lewis Kerr (2-f-1*-0-2-1) 6+1, 7 Ashley Morris (1*-3-2-0-r) 6+1. Team manager: Rob Lyon.

PIRATES 43 (85): 1 Chris Holder (fx-r) 0, 2 Dakota North (1fr-3-2-3-3-1) 13, 3 Davey Watt (3-1-1-2) 7, 4 Kacper Gomolski r/r, 5 Maciej Janowski (2*-3-3-1-3) 12+1, 6 Paul Starke (0-2-0-1*-0-1-0) 4+1, 7 Adam Ellis, guest (3-fx-0-1-3-0) 7. Team manager: Neil Middleditch.

Ht 1 (re-run): Iversen, Lambert, North (fell/rem), Holder (fell/dsq), 60.94 (5-1)

Ht 2: Ellis, Kerr, Morris, Starke, 61.96 (8-4)

Ht 3 (re-run): Watt, Janowski, Bjerre, Schlein (fell/dsq), 61.22 (9-9)

Ht 4 (re-run): Morris, Starke, Kerr (fell), Ellis (f/dsq), 62.60 (12-11)

Ht 5: North, Morris, Lambert, Starke, 61.31 (15-14)

Ht 6: Janowski, Schlein, Kerr, Holder (retired), 60.75 (18-17)

Ht 7: Bjerre, Iversen, Watt, Ellis, 61.63 (23-18)

Ht 8: Lambert, North, Starke, Kerr, 60.95 (26-21)

Ht 9: North, Lambert, Ellis, Morris, 61.81 (28-25)

Ht 10: North, Schlein, Bjerre, Starke, 61.63 (31-28)

Ht 11: Janowski, Iversen, Watt, Lambert (retired), 61.75 (33-32)

Ht 12: Ellis, Kerr, Starke, Morris (retired), time unknown (35-36)

Ht 13: Iversen, Bjerre, Janowski, Starke, 61.75 (40-37)

Ht 14: Schlein, Watt, Kerr, Ellis, 61.62(44-39)

Ht 15: Janowski, Iversen, North, Bjerre, 61.56 (46-43)