PIRATES kept up their quest for top spot in the SGB Premiership after a 51-39 success over Ipswich at Wimborne Road.

Captain Josh Grajczonek (12+1) was the star of the show for Neil Middleditch’s men, who can still reach the summit should they win at King’s Lynn in a rescheduled meeting, understood to be being held on Thursday subject to confirmation.

Poole held up their end of the bargain and go into their final regular league fixture behind leaders Swindon, who won 51-39 at King’s Lynn tonight.

Should Pirates finish top, they will have the pick of their semi-final opponents with the first leg set to be held at Wimborne Road on Monday.

Pirates went into the contest against the Witches with a full one-to-seven following the return of Ricky Wells from a shoulder injury.

And the opening heat was taken by Pirates’ number two Nico Covatti, in a blistering time of 59.41 seconds.

He pulled off a heroic ride to hold off the challenge of GP star and Witches number one Niels-Kristian Iversen. Cameron Heeps left Brady Kurtz trailing at the back as the points was shared.

But Pirates stamped their authority on home shale with a 5-1 in heat two. After Thomas H Jonasson sprung out of the gate for victory, Wells passed Jake Allen on the last bend of the opening lap to open up a four-point advantage.

It got even better for the hosts in race three as Nicolai Klindt left the rest for dust after making the start. He was followed home by Poole skipper Josh Grajczonek, who shut the door on Richard Lawson in third.

But Ipswich responded with a 5-1 of their own thanks to Allen and captain Danny King. The latter swooped up the inside with a clever move to outfox Jack Holder and pass him into second.

Heeps then hit the deck on the opening corner of heat five and was excluded by referee Craig Ackroyd - meaning Iversen was left to face both Klindt and Grajczonek on his own.

And it was Pirates’ Dane in Klindt who got the better of his fellow countryman in a titanic battle for first spot - holding off a pressing Iversen, who put on the pressure for the entirety of the heat.

King continued to look fast for the Witches as he eased to victory ahead of Kurtz and Covatti in a shared heat six.

The Witches refused to lie down and clawed back within two points with a 5-1 in heat seven. Race winner Lawson and Harris dug in to prevent the threat of Holder with some tidy team riding.

But Covatti continued his classy night’s work as he swooped round the outside of Wells and Allen to guide his side to a one-two in heat eight. The Argentinian charger led home the American to give the Dorset club a 27-21 lead.

Grajczonek then put in a captain’s ride to get the better of his opposite skipper King in race number nine. He made a big pass round the outside to hit the front – with Klindt in third to give the hosts a 4-2.

The teams then traded 5-1s in heats 10 and 11. Harris and Lawson once again teamed up to get the Witches back within four points – before Holder hit the front to combine with Jonasson as Pirates powered into a 37-29 lead.

Klindt hit the fence when leading in a dramatic race 12 having lost his rear chain. Somehow Harris evaded him in second with the Witches being awarded a 5-1 to bring them within four.

But after an electric start off the inside, Kurtz managed to gate and go in a star-studded heat 13. He was momentarily joined by Holder, before the Poole number five was passed by Iversen.

A roaring ride from Grajczonek then saw him surge round the outside of Lawson, taking the outside line to win heat 14. With Jonasson picking up third, Pirates had put the result beyond doubt.

Iversen then fell after being pushed hard by Grajczonek and – after putting down the bike and sliding across the track - he was excluded from the re-run in the finale. Grajczonek took advantage to cap off a fine night’s work with a race win, sealing a 5-1 with Holder.

Pirates: Kurtz 5, Covatti 8+1, Klindt 7, Grajczonek 12+1, Holder 8+1, Jonasson 6+1, Wells 5+2.

Witches: Iversen 7, Heeps 1+1, Harris 8+1, Lawson 9+1, King 7+1, Sarjeant 2+1, Allen 5.