WORRIED team boss Neil Middleditch urged Pirates supporters to get behind their team after admitting: “We just aren’t good enough.”

Middleditch saw Poole outclassed 59-31 at SGB Premiership leaders Belle Vue tonight, the strength of the Aces’ heat leaders proving far too much.

Kenneth Bjerre – who Pirates boss Matt Ford tried to sign in the winter – and Max Fricke roared to full 15-point maximums at the National Speedway Stadium, while British champion Craig Cook powered to double figures.

Danish star Hans Andersen managed eight points but none of the visitors’ other riders scored more than five as their play-off hopes sustained another shattering body blow at the hands of Mark Lemon’s troops.

Middleditch, whose team entertain the Aces on Wednesday, told the Daily Echo: “Belle Vue were head and shoulders above us and had all the speed in the world.

“We just couldn’t get on terms with them. We held them a bit at the start but then they ran away with it. They were all very good and we just didn’t have an answer.

“Our form is very concerning but what can you do? We just have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start again.

“We are starting to run out of time and it may become a steeper hill to climb than we would hope.

“The message to the fans is to still get behind the boys. We’ve been through this a few times and this is when we really need their support.

“We don’t enjoy losing, we don’t do it on purpose, we just aren’t good enough at the moment.”

Cook returned to a Belle Vue side missing Steve Worrall due to the birth of his daughter, so rider replacement was utilised.

The Aces banked an opening heat advantage which would have been a maximum had Andersen not passed reserve Dan Bewley on the penultimate bend.

Three shared races followed with the home side taking the chequered flag in each one courtesy of Bewley, Fricke and Cook.

Securing heat advantages was proving an issue for Pirates and they were on the end of a 5-1 next, Fricke and Rohan Tungate getting the job done early.

The familiar pattern of 3-3s then resumed. Bjerre powered past Timo Lahti for top spot and Cook got his second win with a tapes-to-flag success.

A couple of 5-1s spearheaded by Fricke in tandem with Bewley and then Tungate took Poole’s task from difficult to mountainous, prompting Middleditch to put Jack Holder on a tactical in a bid to turn the tide.

The combined talents of Bjerre and Tungate proved too much for the Aussie youngster, however. Another maximum for the Aces.

Andersen gave his team a stay of execution with their only heat win at the 11th attempt but Fricke’s fifth triumph confirmed overall victory for the hosts.

Belle Vue reeled off a couple more maximums before Bjerre completed his perfect night’s work in heat 15.


Belle Vue 59: 1 Kenneth Bjerre (3-3-3-3-3) 15, 2 Steve Worrall r/r, 3 Max Fricke (3-3-3-3-3) 15, 4 Rohan Tungate (0-2*-2*-2*-3) 9+3, 5 Craig Cook (3-3-2-2*-1) 11+1, 6 Dan Bewley (1-3-0-2*-1*-2*) 9+3, 7 Jack Smith (0-0-0-0) 0.

Pirates 31: 1 Hans Andersen (2-1-3-0-2) 8, 2 Richie Worrall (0-0-1-r) 1, 3 Jack Holder (1*-1*-1^-2) 5+2, 4 Edward Kennett (2-2-0-1) 5, 5 Timo Lahti (1*-2-1-1-0) 5+1, 6 Paul Starke (1*-1*-0-1*) 3+3, 7 James Shanes (2-2-0-0) 4.

HT 1: Bjerre, Andersen, Bewley, R Worrall, 62.28 (4-2)

HT 2: Bewley, Shanes, Starke, Smith, 61.12 (7-5)

HT 3: Fricke, Kennett, Holder, Tungate, 61.14 (10-8)

HT 4: Cook, Shanes, Lahti, Smith, 61.89 (13-11)

HT 5: Fricke, Tungate, Andersen, R Worrall, 61.57 (18-12)

HT 6: Bjerre, Lahti, Starke, Bewley, 61.66 (21-15)

HT 7: Cook, Kennett, Holder, Smith, 62.65 (24-18)

HT 8: Fricke, Bewley, R Worrall, Shanes, 62.25 (29-19)

HT 9: Fricke, Tungate, Lahti, Starke, 62.75 (34-20)

HT 10: Bjerre, Tungate, Holder (tactical), Kennett, 62.91 (39-21)

HT 11: Andersen, Cook, Bewley, R Worrall (retired), 63.15 (42-24)

HT 12: Fricke, Holder, Starke, Smith, 62.59 (45-27)

HT 13: Bjerre, Cook, Lahti, Andersen, 63.22 (50-28)

HT 14: Tungate, Bewley, Kennett, Shanes, 63.75 (55-29)

HT 15: Bjerre, Andersen, Cook, Lahti, 63.41 (59-31)


BELLE Vue’s heat leaders were hugely impressive on a night which served to underline the Aces’ SGB Premiership title credentials.

While British champion Craig Cook would hardly be unhappy with 11 paid 12, Kenneth Bjerre and Max Fricke were magnificent en route to hauls of 15 points each.

A snip of a signing during the winter, Bjerre has the edge purely because he did it the hard way – by winning heat 15.

Mark Lemon’s side are well positioned for a serious title assault and Poole will have it all to do to contain them on Wednesday.