POOLE Pirates returned to action in style with a convincing 57-33 win over patched-up Scunthorpe Scorpions at Wimborne Road.

Six of Scunthorpe’s seven riders suffered knocks during their Tuesday night loss at Plymouth, with two ruled out of this meeting with Poole altogether due to injury.

That included newly-crowned British champion Adam Ellis, meaning the visitors rode with two last-minute guests, as well as operating rider replacement for key man Thomas Jorgensen, who was otherwise engaged with a meeting in Denmark.

And Pirates were ruthless in picking apart their under-strength opponents, with Danny King (13+1) and Steve Worrall (11+1) leading the charge.

The win lifts Pirates above Scunthorpe and into the top three of the SGB Championship table, as the race for play-off spots hots up.

As well as losing Ellis, Scunthorpe were also without reserve Josh MacDonald. The pair, who were part of Pirates’ septet for the 2020 season which never was, missed out due to injuries sustained in that painful defeat at Plymouth.

In came Broc Nicol and Dillon Ruml as guests.

Pirates, who had been out of action for 10 days, were almost at full strength, but a debut for new recruit Benjamin Basso would have to wait as he too was riding in Denmark. Alfie Bowtell guested at two in his place, as Ben Cook returned from injury at reserve.

And Bowtell got off to the dream start in heat one, flying out the traps and team riding to a 5-1 heat win, supported by Rory Schlein.

Scorpions hit back in heat two. Teenager Jordan Palin made a blistering start, easing to victory, but the points were shared as Cook and Danyon Hume closed off Ruml.

Dynamic duo Stefan Nielsen and Worrall registered another 5-1 to give Pirates a healthy lead after a re-run heat three, with Scorpions’ Tero Aarnio warned by the referee following an unsatisfactory start.

And Poole continued their dominance with a further maximum, to lead 18-6 before a first break in proceedings after heat four. Captain Simon Lambert rode in place of the absent Jorgensen, but could not quite reel in Pirates’ rising star Hume, who took second behind clear leader King.

Worrall and Nielsen combined for a 5-1 again in heat five. Lambert got out the gate well, but appeared to suffer bike difficulty and ended up retiring during the final lap.

Theo Pijper and Ruml came in for heat six and helped Scorpions to a share of the points, with Schlein out in front.

That 3-3 helped to steady the ship for the visitors, who again split the Poole pair in heat seven. Pijper led early on, but was overtaken on bend four of the first lap by King, who stormed to victory. Despite a strong challenge from the back, Hume could not nick a point.

And Scunthorpe then racked up their first maximum of the night to reduce the arrears to 30-18. Lambert led home American guest Ruml, who just about held off Hume.

Scorpions secured a second heat win in succession, despite a strong rally from Worrall. Pirates’ star surprisingly found himself trailing the pack until the final bend of lap two, where he burst past Palin around the outside. Worrall then skipped beyond team-mate Nielsen and set his sights on Nicol, who just about held on to the race win.

After a string of shared and lost heats, Pirates got back on top again, after a heat 10 which took three attempts to complete. Finn Aarnio was warned for the second time on the night for jumping the start, but rather than taking a 15-metre handicap, Scorpions opted to replace him with Palin, who could go from the tapes. But he clashed with Bowtell in turn one, with Pirates’ guest hitting the deck. All four riders returned to try again, and this time Schlein got clear to continue his strong night’s work, with Bowtell finishing in third to take the 4-2.

Poole made a blistering start after the interval with Cook and King cruising to a 5-1 to extend the lead to 18 points on the night.

And the meeting victory was officially secured in the following heat as Worrall took his second race win of the night.

Pirates added further gloss to the score with late heat wins for Cook and King.

Pirates 57: King 13+1, Worrall 11+1, Schlein 9+2, Cook 8, Nielsen 7+2, Hume 5+2, Bowtell (g) 4.

Scunthorpe 33: Nicol (g) 11, Palin 7, Lambert 6, Pijper 5, Ruml (g) 3+2, Aarnio 1+1.