PIRATES’ hopes of topping the SGB Premiership table suffered a shock setback as they slumped to a 49-41 loss at home to Wolverhampton.

Despite an heroic 15 points from Danish star Nicolai Klindt, Wolves simply had too much in reserve as Luke Becker and Ryan Douglas bagged 15 paid 16 and five points respectively.

With Poole number seven Ricky Wells managing only a point and number Tomas H Jonasson failing to score on his home return, the hosts were simply outmuscled by a side with too much strength in depth.

With the play-offs approaching, a Poole side that relies on solid scores from one-to-seven cannot afford to carry any passengers.

Wolves started on the front foot with Becker bagging victory ahead of Poole top gun Brady Kurtz while Sam Masters beat Nico Covatti to third.

Aussie star Douglas triumphed for Wolves in heat two, leading Becker to a 5-1 over Wells and Jonasson.

Following a shared race three, Wolves bagged their fourth straight win in heat four, with Becker fending off a late Jack Holder assault.

Klindt broke Pirates’ victory duck with a comfortable win in heat five. But with skipper Josh Grajczonek pinned to the kerb by Douglas early on, Poole could not peg Wolves back.

They did in race six, though. Pirates halved Wolves’ advantage to four when Kurtz made a sublime start from gate two, while Covatti swooped around Jacob Thorssell to join the Aussie on a 5-1.

Heat seven began with an awkward crash when Holder tangled with Rory Schlein on the way into bend one, with the Wolves man thrown hard to the shale.

Both returned for the restart and went wheel to wheel again. Holder just had the edge in a battle for second, while Nick Morris took the win for Wolves. Schlein in third later withdrew with a shoulder injury.

Becker produced a fourth straight unbeaten heat in race eight as he and Morris went either side of Covatti to claim a 5-1 and push Wolves into a 10-point lead.

Poole needed an instant response; Klindt and Grajczonek delivered it in heat nine with a massive maximum over Thorssell and Douglas to pull Pirates within six.

Team manager Neil Middleditch sent Klindt out as a tactical substitute in heat 10 in place of Covatti.

It proved a shrewd move as Klindt led Kurtz to Pirates’ second straight 5-1 with Becker conceding his first loss.

Poole’s momentum was short lived as Masters led Thorssell to a 4-2 over Holder and Jonasson in race 11.

Klindt triumphed with ease in heat 12. But with Wells at the back, Poole could not close the gap.

Wolves retained their four-point cushion in race 13 as Masters masterfully rode the Wimborne Road blue groove to head Holder and Kurtz.

After three point-less rides, Jonasson produced a sublime start to hit the front in heat 14. But the former Speedway Grand Prix star lost control under pressure from Morris on lap two and crashed.

He fought desperately to clear the track and reached the grass just in time to see Grajczonek produce the move of the night, taking to the fence to blaze around Becker and Morris on a sensational lap three, turn two.

Pirates needed a 5-1 in heat 15 to rescue a draw, but they fell short. Klindt hit the front, but suffered his sole blip of the night as Morris and Masters fought their way through for a 5-1 that earned Wolves all four points.