PIRATES missed the opportunity to ensure a top-two finish in the SGB Championship, well beaten in the rain at Scunthorpe.

The meeting was abandoned after 14 heats due to the weather, but the result stood, Scorpions taking a comfortable 50-34 victory.

The hosts were in control from start to finish on a tough night for Gary Havelock’s side, Thomas Jorgensen (12) coming away with a maximum, while Simon Lambert (14+1) top scored, off seven rides.

Guest Ryan Douglas (10) was the only man to reach double figures for Pirates, who stay five points clear at the top after second-placed Redcar Bears’s home meeting with Leicester Lions was postponed.

Pirates were dealt a heavy blow earlier on Friday, with the news number one Rory Schlein would be ruled out of action having tested positive for COVID-19.

Poole were already without handy reserve Stefan Nielsen due to injury. He was replaced by teenager Dan Gilkes, while Douglas was drafted in as a late replacement for Schlein.

Scunthorpe were also two men short with Jordan Palin and Tero Aarnio unavailable. They operated rider replacement for Palin, while Kasper Andersen guested in the other slot.

Pirates got off to a nightmare start, on the wrong end of a maximum in heat one with Douglas failing to finish.

Lambert made it two heat wins from two in the following race, before Andersen and Jorgensen repeated the trick to leave Scunthorpe 10 points ahead after just four heats.

Pirates finally got their first race win of the night when Douglas overtook Theo Pijper on bend two in heat five.

That proved to be the first of three shared heats in succession. Guest Gilkes held off the strong challenge of Josh MacDonald to take third and ensure a 3-3 alongside Danny King, before heat seven was awarded after Ben Cook took down MacDonald in the final lap, with Jorgensen well out in front.

Scunthorpe began to pull further clear again with a maximum in heat eight. Despite making a good start, Poole’s duo Benjamin Basso and Danyon Hume were reeled in by Pijper and Lambert.

King recorded his first race win of the night, before Pirates finally sealed a heat win at the 10th attempt. Douglas and Worrall recorded a maximum, but only after Adam Ellis fell whilst out in front.

In tough conditions, heat 11 was subject of a re-run after Basso knocked down MacDonald and was excluded. Douglas split the Scorpions pair, but the hosts moved 39-27 ahead.

Two shared heats followed, won by Steve Worrall and Jorgensen, before the rain got heavier as Scunthorpe eased to a 5-1 in heat 14.

The meeting was then abandoned before the final heat could be run, with the result standing as Poole headed home with no points. They remain top of the Championship table with just one meeting remaining before the play-offs, against Redcar at Wimborne Road on September 22.

Pirates 34: Ryan Douglas 10, Benjamin Basso 1, Steve Worrall 9+1, Ben Cook 2+1, Danny King 8+1, Dan Gilkes 3+1, Danyon Hume 1.

Scunthorpe 50: Adam Ellis 5+1, Theo Pijper 7+2, Kasper Andersen 10, Thomas Jorgensen 12, Josh MacDonald 2, Simon Lambert 14+2.