POOLE Pirates got straight back to winning ways with a second victory in less than a week against Oxford Cheetahs.

Having easily seen off the league’s returning side at Wimborne Road on Good Friday, Pirates made their first trip to Oxford in 15 years and, in an entertaining meeting which swung both ways, claimed another win.

In-form Richard Lawson (11) again led the charge for Poole, who bounced back from Saturday’s loss at Leicester Lions with a 48-42 victory.

Pirates boasted their full one-to-seven, but Oxford Cheetahs were depleted. They were without both Cameron Heeps due to illness, while former Pirate Josh MacDonald was ruled out due to an ankle injury. Oxford operated rider replacement for number two Heeps, while Nathan Stoneman guested at reserve.

The first heat proved to be the most exciting of the opening exchanges on a dusty surface at Oxford Stadium. Pirates’ duo of Zach Cook and Steve Worrall made the start, but Poole-born Kyle Newman showed a burst of pace to nip in front of both.

He led until the end of lap three, where he was passed up the inside by Cook. Newman held off the challenge of Worrall, but Pirates took the first heat advantage with Oxford’s number one Troy Batchelor at the back.

The second heat quickly developed into two races in one. Dillon Ruml picked up maximum points, despite the best efforts of Drew Kemp in second, while Nathan Ablitt saw off Stoneman.

Having been warned for an unsatisfactory start in heat three, Newman flew out of the gates again. However, he left the inside line free for Lawson to get past and there was no catching him from there. Ben Cook pushed for second, but ended with a solitary point as Pirates extended their lead to 11-7.

Another 4-2 immediately followed, in another re-run heat. After Danny King had been warned for moving at the tapes, he then shot out the gates and eased to victory, Ablitt again finishing ahead of guest Stoneman.

The track was given some water at the first grading break, after which Newman found the best line to continue his strong night. He took the win ahead of Worrall, while Zach Cook nipped ahead of Jack Thomas on the finishing line.

The slicker surface appeared to catch out Kemp, who became the first faller of the night in heat six. The youngster’s bike locked up as he looked to take bend one, crashing to the ground with Ruml doing well to get his bike down and out the way to avoid a collision. But King ensured there was not too much damage done on the scoreboard. With Kemp excluded, Pirates’ skipper was flying solo for the visitors, but he held off strong lap one challenges from Batchelor and Ruml to ensure a shared heat.

From there, Oxford embarked on a comeback. They recorded their first heat advantage of the night in heat seven, after a smart tactical substitution from boss Jason Crump. Batchelor came in for Ruml and flew out the gate. Oxford looked to be on a 5-1, only for Ben Cook to burst from the back past both Lawson and Nicholls, only missing out by inches from overtaking Batchelor on the line.

The first maximum from either side of the night followed in heat eight. Thomas got off the mark for the night with a comfortable heat win, easing to a 5-1 alongside Ruml to level the contest on the night at 24-24.

Thomas came straight out again, claiming back-to-back heat wins, in the process becoming the first man on the night to defeat King. Kemp slid off at the back as his tricky evening continued.

Pirates steadied the ship thanks to a strong ride from Lawson in heat 10. Trailing Batchelor, Lawson nipped up the inside to claim his second win of the night as the spoils were shared, the hosts maintaining their two-point cushion.

However, the meeting was turned on its head in heat 11. After a string of six heats without an advantage, Poole collected a timely first maximum of the night. Worrall led Zach Cook home, who did well to see off the threat of Cheetahs’ captain Nicholls.

A tapes-to-flag win for Lawson maintained the lead, before Pirates earned a slice of luck in heat 13. After King fell at the back, Worrall held his nerve to stay out in front. However, with the race destined to end level, Nicholls suffered a mechanical fault, allowing King to cruise through from half a lap behind to steal a point, having remounted his bike.

And the meeting was then put to bed as Kemp, in for Ablitt, produced his strongest display of the night to lead home Ben Cook for a maximum.

Batchelor took the honours in heat 15, but it could not affect the final result.

Pirates 48: Steve Worrall 9, Zach Cook 7+2, Richard Lawson 11, Ben Cook 5+1, Danny King 9, Drew Kemp 5, Nathan Ablitt 2+1.

Cheetahs 42: Troy Batchelor 12, Jack Thomas 8, Kyle Newman 8, Scott Nicholls 5, Dillon Ruml 9+4, Nathan Stoneman 0.