PIRATES' remarkable unbeaten home record went up in smoke as they were tamed 47-43 by league leaders Leicester Lions at Wimborne Road.

A total of 1,008 days and 23 league and cup meetings had passed since Poole last suffered defeat on their own shale – a 49-41 home defeat to Wolves in the SGB Premiership in September 2019.

But Stewart Dickson’s side were too much for the Dorset outfit, with reserve Dan Thompson proving a trump card for the visitors with 11 paid 13.

Victory meant Leicester increased to eight points their gap on Pirates at the top of the league table.

Pirates were boosted on the night by the fact Steve Worrall was able to feature, after previously struggling with a collarbone injury which had kept him out of duty for Wolves in the Premiership on Monday.

But it was the Lions who started the meeting with a heat advantage. After Danny King suffered mechanical gremlins, Poole’s Zach Cook was sandwiched inbetween race winner Nick Morris and Connor Mountain.

The visitors stamped their authority on proceedings in the reserves’ heat. Dan Thompson and guest Ben Morley charged home for a Leicester 5-1 ahead of Drew Kemp and Nathan Ablitt.

Richie then got the better of the battle involving the Worrall brothers in a shared heat three. Having forced Steve wide on turn two, the former Pirate made light work of his sibling, with Ben Cook in third spot.

Richard Lawson started his night’s work with a tapes-to-flag victory in a shared race four.

Leicester led 15-9 at the first track grade.

Leicester increased to eight points their advantage as Morris got the better of Steve Worrall, having powered round the outside of the St Helens-born star on the second turn. Mountain overcame Ben Cook to record an away 4-2 and send nervousness round Wimborne Road.

But one man who looked the coolest man in the house was Zach Cook in heat six. He left Howarth for dust in second spot and although King had to settle for third – Poole recorded their first heat advantage.

Team boss Neil Middleditch then made use of a tactical substitute in race seven, replacing Kemp with Steve Worrall.

That move proved a masterstroke. With Steve Worrall winning from the gate, Lawson blasted round the outside of Joe Thompson to record a 5-1 for Pirates and reduce to two points the deficit.

Back roared the Lions. Dan Thompson and Mountain team rode to shut out the challenge of Zach Cook, with Kemp struggling at the back. Leicester led 27-21 after eight heats.

Steve Worrall then led the Poole response. Having seen off the challenge of Howarth with Ben Cook picking up a point for third, Middleditch’s side were still in the hunt.

King then came to the party as Poole reduced to two points the gap. In his first race win of the night, the Poole skipper overcame Richie Worrall with Zach Cook continuing a solid night’s work in third.

Lawson took the spoils in a shared heat 11 but, with Kemp struggling at the back, Poole continued to toil at reserve. Lions still led 34-32 on the night.

Middleditch looked to hold an impromptu team meeting with four heats remaining but it was Leicester who turned the screw in heat 12.

Richie Worrall and Lions reserve Dan Thompson shut the door on Steve Worrall and Ablitt for an important 5-1. Poole trailed by six with three heats remaining.

Pirates then gave themselves a mountain to climb as they were scuppered in the all-important heat 13. Kyle Howarth led from the gate and despite Lawson getting the better of Morris, King was trailing with Poole eight behind with two races left.

With Pirates needing two 5-1s from the final two heats for a draw, drama ensued in heat 14.

Joe Thompson crashed out on the penultimate lap, with referee Chris Gay ordering the heat to be re-run with Poole on a 4-2.

It was not to matter for Leicester however, as Dan Thompson’s second-place in the re-run proved enough for them to seal the win on the night.

Lawson took the chequered flag in the finale for Pirates to deny Leicester an extra league point.

Pirates 43: Danny King 4, Zach Cook 7, Steve Worrall 12, Ben Cook 5+1, Richard Lawson 13+1, Drew Kemp 2, Nathan Ablitt 0.

Lions 47: Nick Morris 9, Connor Mountain 5+2, Richie Worrall 9, Joe Thompson 0, Kyle Howarth 11, Ben Morley 2+1, Dan Thompson 11+2.