RARELY could Pirates have needed their star triumvirate more.

Hit hard by the absence of leading reserve duo Renat Gafurov and Christian Hefenbrock, the Elite League leaders had it all to do to continue their perfect home form.

Yet to taste defeat at Wimborne Road in the league prior to Belle Vue’s visit, Poole faced their hardest task of 2011 without their regular lower order.

But despite the Aces taking advantage of the depleted nature of Pirates’ line-up, battling Poole simply refused to relinquish their proud home record.

Not for the first time, it was Darcy Ward, Chris Holder and Davey Watt who deserved the plaudits. With little pressure placed on James Holder and Kyle Newman at six and seven, all eyes were on Pirates’ other five men.

Pirates were left looking in the direction of the big three and they did the business.

In claiming 39 of Poole’s 47 points, they ensured Wimborne Road remained a fortress with a 47-42 win.

Pirates: 1 Chris Holder 13+2, 2 Dennis Andersson 2+1, 3 Davey Watt 11, 4 Jason Doyle 4, 5 Darcy Ward 15, 6 James Holder 1, 7 Kyle Newman 1.