DANNY Ford heaped praise on "sensational" Danyon Hume, after his vital contribution for Poole Pirates in their play-off win over Leicester.

Hume, part of the Rising Star programme, struggled in his first outing in the main body of the team, having been promoted up from reserve.

Riding at two, Hume found it tough in the first leg at Wimborne Road, scoring just two points from his three rides, having been withdrawn from his other scheduled heat and replaced by guest Zach Cook.

But he shone in the second leg at Beaumont Park, with his contribution of 9+2 helping Pirates to an impressive 50-40 win on the night, seeing Pirates into the Championship final 98-82 on aggregate.

Discussing Hume's performance in the second leg, promoter Ford told the Daily Echo: "He was determined to make up for Wednesday.

"Obviously moving up from reserve into the main body of the team, and particularly at two, you’ve got a lot of rides early on.

"It’s a very difficult position. That’s without a doubt the best I’ve ever seen Danyon ride.

"He was sensational. He was very, very strong going into the first corner.

"Held his own against a very top-heavy Leicester team. He’s coming up against some heavy hitters, Premiership heat leaders in that Leicester team and he held his own and fought for every point and was exactly what we needed."

Pirates' trio of heat leaders all posted vital contributions at Leicester, led by Steve Worrall (12+1), while Rory Schlein (11) and Danny King (8+1) also performed well.

But the display of Benjamin Basso on his debut outing on the Leicester track also proved key, scoring 8+3.

"Basso, the first time he’s ever seen that track, first time out. I was thinking, oh God, here we go," admitted Ford.

"Is he going to get to grips with it? But then he goes on and scores two paid wins in his next two.

"It just shows how quickly he’s adapting to British speedway and the tracks.

"Obviously that’s exactly what we need coming into the play-offs because he’s probably going to be going to Glasgow where he’s never been and Edinburgh where he’s only been once.

"So those guys put in some brilliant performances as well."

Pirates are set to return to action in the Knockout Cup final at Edinburgh Monarchs on Saturday (2.30pm).