STAR guest Zach Cook admitted his performance against Leicester Lions on Wednesday night was "probably my best meeting of the season" as Pirates took a lead in their Championship play-off semi-final.

Cook impressed as a guest for the second meeting in succession at Wimborne Road.

Stepping in for the injured Stefan Nielsen, Cook totalled 8+3 last time out, before improving that tally to 10+2 in Wednesday night's 48-42 first leg victory.

Only Steve Worrall (12+1) and Lions skipper Kyle Howarth (12) eclipsed the score of Cook on the night.

The young Aussie got fans off their seats with a race win in heat 11. After Poole skipper Danny King was excluded following a collision with Ryan Douglas, Cook stormed through from the back of the three-man field on the re-run to finish ahead of both Douglas and Lions number one Ryan Morris.

Other notable showings from Cook, brother of Poole star Ben, came as he led Benjamin Basso home to a 5-1 in heat two, before finishing second in heat 14 to preserve Pirates' six-point advantage.

The 22-year-old has had plenty of experience and talent fighting his corner in the pits in recent weeks, including former star Pirates trio Chris Holder, Brady Kurtz and Jack Holder.

And Cook, who rode for Plymouth Gladiators during the regular season, says the Aussie talents have played a big part in his recent high scores.

"Right now I am feeling really great," said Cook.

"That (Wednesday) was probably my best meeting of the season and there can be not much of a better time to do it than in the play-offs.

"I'm pretty lucky really because I have got some good mates with plenty of experience all willing to help me and give me ideas and (Wednesday) everything was just working and I can't thank them boys enough."

Pirates will look to clinch a spot in the Championship play-off final with their second leg at Leicester scheduled for Saturday evening.