PIRATES recorded their ninth victory in 10 SGB Premiership meetings as they saw off the challenge of rivals Swindon.

The Dorset club sealed a 46-44 success at Wimborne Road to keep up their charge for topspot in the division this season.

Captain Josh Grajczonek weighed in with 11+1 for the hosts, while Nico Covatti (9+2) and Brady Kurtz (9+1) also made useful contributions.

Pirates went into the contest once again without the injured Richie Worrall, meaning they operated rider replacement.

The Robins were without Danish ace Claus Vissing, meaning Kyle Newman stepped in for them at reserve.

And it was the visitors who got off to a perfect start in the opener. Adam Ellis led from the gate with former world champion Jason Doyle following him home. Poole’s Jack Holder was left trailing after Covatti fell on the opening bend.

But Covatti picked himself up off the dirt and provided an instant response in the reserves’ heat. The Argentinian charger took the chequered flag with partner Ricky Wells second to level up the overall scores.

Grajczonek opened his account for the evening with victory in a shared heat three. Despite diving under fellow Dane Rasmus Jensen between bends one and two, Nicolai Klindt was passed on the opening lap for third.

Wells got out of the gate in front to put himself in command of the re-run heat four but failed to keep hold of the advantage. He was passed by Swindon’s Troy Batchelor and Kurtz moved into second to secure a 3-3.

Doyle then showed his class to power past Klindt in a thrilling heat five. The Robins skipper had to hold off the challenge of the Outrup-born star however – Grajczonek got past Ellis to pick up a point.

While Batchelor made it two wins out of two on the night in heat six, Wells had to put in a gutsy effort to see off the challenge of Ellis Perks for third behind Holder.

The hosts then got their noses in front for the first time on the night with some excellent team riding from Covatti and Kurtz.

They ensured the door remained shut on Swindon’s Tobiasz Musielak to earn Poole a 5-1 and put their side 23-19 up.

And in heat eight, the league leaders pressed home their advantage with another one-two.

Grajczonek and Wells teamed up to earn a maximum ahead of Ellis and Perks. Doyle was utilised as a tactical substitute in heat nine to team up with Batchelor – with the latter taking to three his wins on the night. Grajzconek split the Robins in second.

But Pirates continued to apply the pressure with race winner Holder and Covatti turning on the style from the gate to seal a 5-1 and extend to 10 points the advantage after 10 heats.

Swindon pulled two points back with Doyle earning his second win of the meeting in heat 11 after leading from the gate and surging clear of Kurtz and third-placed Ellis.

Jensen got the better of countryman Klindt in race 12 as the visitors reduced to six points the gap with three races remaining – Perks saw off the challenge of Wells for third.

Nobody could touch Doyle in the star-studded heat 13 but with Kurtz and Holder occupying the minor placings, Pirates were keeping the Robins at arm’s length.

And Poole ensured the meeting was secured in the penultimate heat. Musielak was a runaway victor ahead of Grajczonek but with Covatti in third – the three league points were confirmed.

Doyle and Batchelor teamed up in style to earn the Robins one league point with a 5-1 in the nominated heat 15.