DANNY King produced a majestic maximum as Poole Pirates started their Championship Jubilee League campaign with a dominant 51-39 victory at Plymouth Gladiators.

It took some time for the meeting to get going, with just four heats completed in the opening hour as various riders ended up in the air fence.

But proceedings eventually settled down, with Poole producing a strong display, defeating a side who are unbeaten at home all season in the SGB Championship.

Captain King led the charge with 12 points, ably supported by Richard Lawson (10+1), as Pirates began their group campaign of the newly-created event with a resounding victory.

While Poole boasted their full one-to-seven, Plymouth were far from at full strength.

Edward Kennett remained a long-term absentee with an arm injury, while Danish duo Hans Andersen and Michael Palm Toft were also unavailable due to shoulder injuries,

Palm Toft is still struggling after a controversial crash involving Lawson at Wimborne Road last month.

Lawson received some boos from the home crowd throughout the night when his name was read out.

Former Pirates duo Richie Worrall and Lewis Kerr were drafted in to guest, while rider replacement was in operation for the absent Andersen.

The meeting got off to a chaotic start, with a twice re-run opening heat. Gladiators’ stand-in skipper Ben Barker was first warned after moving on the start, before the hosts looked to be on a 5-1 after the restart.

However, the red lights again came on when Steve Worrall went down at the first bend of the second lap, taking Alfie Bowtell with him, which led to his exclusion.

Drew Kemp made a blistering start at the third time of asking, leading until the end of lap three, when Bowtell came around the outside to get ahead. Barker then quickly followed suit, as the hosts registered a maximum.

Pirates hit straight back in another disrupted heat. Nathan Ablitt got a brilliant start, only for all four riders to be called back, when Harry McGurk fell at bend one.

But Poole dominated the re-run, with reserve duo Ben Cook and Ablitt combining for a 5-1 to instantly level the contest.

There were yet again further issues in heat three. With Bowtell in front, guest Kerr looked to join him ahead of King, however he was deemed to have taken down the Pirates skipper and was excluded.

After a lengthy delay to repair the air fence, King got away well on the re-run to win, while Bowtell avoided a fall to come home in second.

There was another delay after a crash in heat four. Ablitt and Morley fell in lap one, before all four riders came back with Richie Worrall getting away brilliantly, holding off Lawson as the hosts took a 4-2 to level at 12-12.

Incredibly, the fifth heat also required a re-run. Ben Morley was disqualified by referee Chris Durno after falling at bend one, meaning just three riders were called back. Kerr took to the front, but Kemp led by the end of lap one, getting him up the inside. Steve Worrall’s tough start to the night continued, trailing in third.

The evening then finally began to settle into some rhythm. Barker stormed out the gate to win an uninterrupted heat, but Lawson did well to stay on his bike and take second.

Pirates hit back with their second max of the night in heat seven and King and Zach Cook powered past Richie Worrall to put the visitors 24-18 ahead.

That lead was extended to eight points as Kemp bagged his second race win of the evening.

After a lot of track work during the grading pause, the meeting resumed with Lawson taking to the front in heat nine. Pirates’ star did excellently to stay on his bike after lifting between bends three and four, while Ben Cook got ahead of Kerr in the minor placings as the lead extended to double figures.

King continued his perfect night with a third win on the spin, pulling away from Barker in a shared heat 10, before Barker replaced reserve McGurk as a tactical sub in heat 11.

But it could not quite have the desired effect, as Steve Worrall grabbed his first win of the night, holding off Barker and brother Richie Worrall. Kemp trailed at the back.

Pirates edged ever closer to the victory post thanks to another excellent King ride in heat 12. Having been warned for moving at the start, the skipper then came from third to the front on the re-run, bursting round the outside to clinch his fourth win from four, Poole going 42-30 up.

And the win was sealed in style in heat 13 as Steve Worrall and Lawson combined to hold off Richie Worrall and Barker for another maximum.

Guest Kerr picked up his first win of the night in a shared heat 14, before Plymouth recorded just a third heat advantage of the night, in vain, led home by Richie Worrall at the last.

Pirates 51: Steve Worrall 7, Drew Kemp 7, Danny King 12, Zach Cook 5+1, Richard Lawson 10+1, Ben Cook 7+1, Nathan Ablitt 3+2.

Plymouth 39: Ben Barker 9+1, Alfie Bowtell 8+1, Lewis Kerr 9+1, Richie Worrall 11+1, Harry McGurk 0, Ben Morley 2.