NEIL Middleditch heaped praise on patched-up Pirates as they roared to a resounding 48-42 success at SGB Premiership rivals Ipswich.

Jack Holder was the star of the show with 13 paid 15 for the visitors, who had four riders missing from their regular septet at Foxhall.

Josh Grajczonek (11+1), Ricky Wells (10) and Nicolai Klindt (9) also gave key contributions as Pirates pulled off a shock win to go top of the table.

Team boss Middleditch told the Daily Echo: “Nobody saw that coming. If you looked on the internet people were saying Pirates were going to get beaten 60-30.

“I could not have expected that at all but everybody played their part and everybody dug deep.

“Ricky and Kevin (Doolan) at reserve were an absolute trump card. I say it time and time again, reserves play such a huge part and it proved.”

Brady Kurtz, Richie Worrall, Nico Covatti and Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen were all ruled out through their respective injuries.

That meant the visitors used rider replacement for number one Kurtz, along with the guest bookings of Kyle Newman and reserve pair of Doolan and Wells.

Holder stepped into replace Kurtz in the opener and led from the gate to take the chequered flag.

The visitors had been on a 5-1 before Ipswich duo Chris Harris and Cameron Heeps reeled in Newman, who was left at the back.

Wells and Doolan occupied the minor placings in a shared reserves’ heat behind Edward Kennett before Klindt helped put Pirates ahead in race three.

The Danish charger held off the challenge of Ipswich’s Danny King in second. Pirates skipper Grajczonek bagged third to put the Dorset club into a two-point lead.

And the early exchanges got even better for Pirates in heat four. Wells and Holder charged out of the gate to dial in a 5-1, leaving Richard Lawson and Kennett trailing.

The Witches did however pull back two points in race five. King edged out Grajczonek to take top spot, while Krystian Pieszczek passed Newman, who was once again left at the back.

Holder continued his impressive start with a tapes-to-flag win alongside Doolan in race six. The Aussie ace spearheading another Pirates 5-1 ahead of Heeps and Harris.

With the hosts trailing by eight, King was brought in to replace Kennett as a tactical substitute in heat seven.

But the switch proved to no avail against Pirates’ dynamic duo of Klindt and captain Grajczonek, who roared to a 5-1 after Lawson was passed on the opening lap.

Wells took his second race win of the evening in a level heat eight, before Holder was unfortunate not to get past Pieszczek in the following heat.

It was then the turn of Grajczonek to surge out of the gate and ensure the visitors maintained a 10-point advantage by winning race 10, Klindt finished at the back behind Heeps and Harris.

But Danish star Klindt ensured the spoils were shared by winning heat 11 ahead of Lawson and Kennett. Newman’s tough evening culminated in his bike packing up on lap four.

It could have got even better for Pirates when Klindt passed King in heat 12. But, having been out in front, the Outrup-born racer suffered bike gremlins and was forced to retire – allowing the visitors to earn a 4-2.

Former Pirates star Harris then sealed his first win of the meeting in heat 13. The crucial moment went in Pirates’ favour however, with Holder passing Lawson for third to earn a 3-3.

And it was captain fantastic Grajczonek who ensured Poole pulled off a memorable win in the penultimate heat.

Despite Wells being at the back, the Aussie ace got the better of Kennett to earn the race win and take Pirates out of sight.

Harris took the chequered flag in the final heat ahead of Holder, but it was not to matter as Pirates returned to the top of the pile.