FORMER Pirates Bjarne Pedersen and Jason Crump came back to haunt Neil Middleditch’s men as a 5-1 for Plymouth in heat 15 sealed a 45-45 draw at Plymouth Coliseum.

Pirates had put themselves in the box seat with an eight-point lead after just four races, before the Gladiators roared back to make it level with eight heats gone.

And despite Poole holding a four-point lead going into the last race of the meeting, Pedersen and Crump got the better of Steve Worrall and Danny King to ensure the spoils were shared.

Legendary Dane Pedersen was the star of the show with 15+1 for the Gladiators, Ben Cook top-scored for Poole in a busy night at reserve with 12+1 from seven rides.

Pirates were without new man Ondrej Smetana with the Czech rider having suffered travel issues before making his UK debut, meaning they ran rider replacement for their new number two.

That place in the Pirates’ line-up was previously occupied by Aussie Zane Keleher this season, who debuted for Plymouth on the night alongside former Pirates Crump and Pedersen.

And it was Crump, also on his Gladiators debut, who led from the gate to roll back the years in heat one.

The three-time world champion got the better of Poole duo Rory Schlein and Worrall, with Keleher left trailing at the back.

Danyon Hume gave Pirates an early advantage when he took the spoils in heat two. He led home Plymouth reserve Alfie Bowtell, who saw off a strong challenge of Ben Cook in third to seal a 4-2 for the visitors.

A bizarre turn of events then took place in heat three. Stefan Nielsen and Worrall found themselves on a 5-1 for Poole with around three laps gone – but the red lights had come on and the heat had to be restarted. Nielsen was warned for jumping the start.

It was not to matter for the visitors however, as Worrall led from the gate and Nielsen fended off Zach Cook to seal second in the re-run and put Pirates six points ahead.

Pirates had also gated on a 5-1 in heat four through skipper Danny King and youngster Hume, before Pedersen showed his experience to split the pair and surge past Hume on the second bend.

Schlein took his first race win of the night in a shared heat five before drama ensued in heat six.

King touched the tapes, meaning Hume was brought in in his place – Crump then led young Aussie Ben Cook, who made a mistake in lap three to let in Keleher, for a 5-1 to the Gladiators.

Pedersen left behind the Poole duo of Worrall and Nielsen in a level race seven, before Plymouth tied up the meeting with a 5-1 in heat eight.

Hume fell when looking to pass Bowtell and was excluded from the re-run. Keleher then wound on the pace in the re-run to pass Cook into second. Bowtell took the chequered flag to make it 24-24.

Ben Cook sealed the bragging rights over brother Zach in heat nine, claiming a race win with a 5-1 alongside captain King to once again give Poole a four-point advantage.

Worrall roared out of the gate ahead of Keleher and Crump in heat 10, before Dane Pedersen finished ahead of Schlein and Ben Cook took the spoils in race 11 – in back-to-back 3-3s.

Zach Cook then got the better of elder brother Ben in second as the teams battled to a level heat 12. Worrall had to come from the back to pass Bowtell.

It was Pedersen’s turn to seal his third race win of the night after passing King off bend four in a star-studded heat 13. Schlein was third with Crump left trailing, as Pirates led by four going into the final two heats.

Poole could have sealed victory when Ben Cook hit the front in the penultimate race but after Dillon Ruml overcame Nielsen for third – the Gladiators had a shot of a draw in heat 15.

And it was former Poole duo Pedersen and Crump who earned the hosts a tie, haunting Pirates with a 5-1 in the finale. Crump managed to pass Worrall into second as the scores finished level.

Plymouth 45: Pedersen 15+1, Crump 9+2, Bowtell 7, Cook 6, Keleher 6+2, Ruml 2+1, Ruddick 0.

Poole 45: Cook 12+1, Worrall 11+2, King 7+1, Schlein 7+2, Hume 4, Nielsen 4+1.