KYLE Newman made a superb return to his role at reserve with a paid maximum as Poole Pirates eased to a 55-35 win at Edinburgh Monarchs.

Following the updated September averages, Newman dropped back down to number six, but responded in style, not beaten by an opponent all night at Armadale.

He had to battle from the back on a couple of occasions to earn his 8+4 total, on an impressive night for the Poole-born ace.

Richard Lawson top scored for Pirates, scoring 13+1 having taken a ride more than Newman.

The 114-66 aggregate win lifts Pirates back to the top of the SGB Championship standings having now completed all their regular league meetings. They will remain there, unless Oxford Cheetahs win at Glasgow Tigers on Friday night. Whoever tops the league gets the choice of play-off opponents.

Edinburgh were a man light, operating rider replacement for the absent Craig Cook, who has been suspended after refusing to ride for the club.

They also had two guests in at reserve with Jacob Hook and Mason Watson called in to replace the injured Dayle Wood and Bastian Borke, who had Danish league commitments.

Pirates had their full one-to-seven, with Anders Rowe back into the main body of the team.

The first heat was re-run after Lawson was squeezed out and hit the shale on the first bend.

Josh Pickering took to the front and did not look back, Rowe moving ahead of Lawson for second. The Aussie would go on to score 17 on the night.

Bournemouth Echo: Richard Lawson and Joe Thompson made big contributionsRichard Lawson and Joe Thompson made big contributions (Image: Richard Crease)

Joe Thompson then recorded his first race win as a Pirate in the reserves heat, Newman holding off Hook for second.

Monarchs hit straight back with a maximum of their own, courtesy of Kye Thomson and Paco Castagna, the Italian riding well to shut out Ben Cook.

Worrall held his nerve with Pickering breathing down his neck in the following race, before Lawson took the honours in a shared heat five.

Newman then did well to join Worrall for a maximum, battling his way from the back and beyond gutsy Norwegian Lasse Fredriksen.

Pickering continued his strong night with a comfortable win in heat seven, before Rowe and Thompson teamed up for an easy 5-1, Pirates opening up a 10-point lead.

And Poole continued their charge, Newman again storming from the back, through the middle of two Monarchs for a second maximum with Worrall.

Monarchs boss Alex Harkess made a successful tactical substitution in heat 10, Pickering brought in and victorious as the gap was trimmed to 36-24.

But Pirates quickly pulled further clear again to wrap up victory.

Lawson claimed two races wins, seeing off the challenge of Pickering on both occasions, while Ben Cook put a mixed start to the night behind him with victory in heat 12. There were some complaints as Hook went down on the final lap under the challenge of Newman, but claims were dismissed by referee Willie Dishington as Poole’s reserve secured his paid maximum in second.

There was a delay to check on Zach Cook after he suffered a heavy fall in the penultimate race, flying into the fence.

Lawson then grabbed his fourth win of the night to round off the evening.

Pirates 55 (114): Lawson 13+1, Rowe 6, B Cook 7+1, Z Cook 2, Worrall 11, Newman 8+4, Thompson 8+1.

Edinburgh 35 (66): Fredriksen 1, Thomson 7, Castagna 7+2, Pickering 17, Watson 0, Hook 3.