POOLE Pirates produced a huge second-half display to power past Birmingham Brummies 55-35 in an action-packed contest at Perry Barr.

Just two points separated the sides after seven heats, which had seen a tapes exclusion, mechanical failures and riders crashing out of action.

Fortunately for Poole, all of the above cost the hosts rather than themselves. And while Birmingham did well to keep the contest close up to that point, Pirates eventually showed their class to pull clear with six heat advantages from the final eight races to ensure another fine night on the road.

Danny King (12) and Richard Lawson (11+2) led the way for Poole, ably supported by Steve Worrall (10+1). The four-point win sees Pirates climb up to second in the Championship table, behind Leicester on points difference alone, with one meeting in hand.

Birmingham called upon two guests in Tom Brennan and Joe Thompson, in place of the injured Josh Auty and unavailable James Shanes. Pirates boasted their full one-to-seven again, with Drew Kemp back from international duty.

Brummies got off to a nightmare start with number one Claus Vissing excluded after breaking the tapes in the opening heat.

He was replaced by teenager James Pearson, who trailed at the back with King and Zach Cook ensuring a share of the heat behind Stefan Nielsen.

There was further drama in heat two as Pearson went straight into the fence on bend one as he battled with Nathan Ablitt. All four riders returned for the rerun, with Ablitt easing to third ahead of the 17-year-old at the back, while Joe Thompson just about held off Kemp to take the win.

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Pirates then edged in front for the first time. Worrall got away well and could not be caught, particularly by Ashley Morris, whose bike packed up on the start line. Birmingham’s remaining rider Justin Sedgmen split the Poole pair, with Ben Cook in third.

That two-point cushion would remain after the subsequent four heats, which all ended level.

Lawson overtook Brennan before leading him home in heat four, with Thompson battling past Ablitt.

Sedgmen eased to a tapes-to-flag success in heat five, with all the action going on behind him. King was comfortably in second, but Zach Cook and Morris exchanged positions at the back, before the later fell allowing the Aussie to take a point.

Former Pirate Nielsen then continued his good start to the night with a second race win in succession. Lawson made the start, but Nielsen reeled him in. Kemp took third, with Vissing retiring at the back.

Poole took a 22-20 lead into the second track grading pause after another shared heat. Reigning British under-21 champion Brennan shot out the gate while Pearson was stranded at the back, Ben Cook and Worrall in between.

But Pirates did extend their advantage as Nielsen went from hero to villain. The Denmark-born Brit’s hopes of another win were dashed as he crashed out on bend three of lap one, taking teammate Thompson with him and being excluded.

That allowed Poole to ease to their first maximum of the night in the rerun with Zach Cook and Kemp out in front.

Neil Middleditch’s men extended to eight points their lead with another advantage in heat nine. Lawson collected his second race win of the night and while Morris finally got off the mark in second, Kemp finished ahead of Sedgmen to secure a 4-2.

Poole’s purple patch continued with another maximum in heat 10. Worrall shot to the front, pursued by Nielsen, with Vissing in third. However, Ben Cook dug deep to overtake both the Brummies to take second and leave the visitors 36-24 up at the interval.

Former Birmingham captain King collected his first race win in a shared heat 11, before Worrall grabbed his third of the night, supported by Kemp in a 4-2, to take the visitors 43-29 up with an away-day maximum haul well in their sights.

A shocking night for Vissing then continued, ending his night with no points, but Birmingham did at least see Brennan lead home King and Lawson.

Poole moved on to the 50-point mark in heat 14, Ben Cook taking the win and Ablitt again holding off Pearson for third.

Pirates added further gloss to the victory with a 5-1 in heat 15 through King and Lawson, ensuring Middleditch’s men went through the whole night without dropping a heat advantage.

Pirates 55: Danny King 12, Zach Cook 5+2, Steve Worrall 10+1, Ben Cook 8+1, Richard Lawson 11+2, Drew Kemp 7+2, Nathan Ablitt 2+1.

Birmingham 35: Claus Vissing 0, Stefan Nielsen 7, Justin Sedgmen 9, Ashley Morris 4, Tom Brennan 10+1, Joe Thompson 5+1, James Pearson 0.