POOLE Pirates strengthened their play-off hopes with aggregate victory away at Scunthorpe Scorpions, after winning 50-40 on the night.

Pirates travelled to Lincolnshire knowing that a win would be vital to keep their play-off dream alive following a winning draw in the first meeting between the two sides at Wimborne Road.

Their task was made that much harder when Anders Rowe was taken to hospital following a fall in the first race, Pirates reserve Joe Thompson showing his former club up with eight points, paid 10.

Away team manager Gary Havelock was unavailable as he attended to family matters, with Pirates promoter Danny Ford leading the team in Lincolnshire.

The first heat was called back after Connor Mountain suffered a slip, all four riders returning for the re-run.

It would take three attempts for the race to be completed, Rowe sent flying into the safety face after clipping with Mountain.

Rowe was taken to hospital following the incident, with further insult to injury added as he was harshly excluded from the second restart.

That allowed Ryan Douglas to cruise to the checkered flag, Richard Lawson sandwich by Mountain as Scunthorpe opened up a 4-2 lead.

But Pirates answered back immediately, Thompson taking home a race win as Kyle Newman kept Scorpion Drew Kemp honest throughout heat two.

It looked like a Scorpions maximum in race three, but Jake Allen’s bike going kaput opened up the opportunity for the Cook brothers to put Poole into the lead for the first time on the night.

But Simon Lambert held on to keep Ben Cook at bay, scores remaining level.

Steve Worrall left it late in the fourth race, overtaking Joe Thompson and former Pirate teammate Nathan Ablitt to take second behind Michael Palm Toft.

Lawson’s first race win of the evening in heat five looked to have been supplemented by Thompson in second, but the Pirates’ number seven ended in dead last after Lambert and Allen overtook the youngster.

Worrall became the first rider to win from outside gate four, Newman capitalising upon Scorpions Douglas and Mountain slowing each other down as they battled for second.

Newman’s third-placed finish gave Poole a 4-2 and the lead for the first time on the evening.

Palm Toft was warned for a false start in race seven, but he returned for a second heat win ahead of Ben and Zack Cook in second and third, respectively.

There was another Scunthorpe victory in heat eight, Mountain leading Pirates reserves Newman and Thompson over the line.

Newman was straight back into the action in race nine, an early wobble meaning he was unable to overhaul Lambert and Allen to take a share of the points as Worrall took home first.

Zach Cook lowered Douglas’ colours in the 10th race, with his brother Ben adding another point to double Pirates’ lead.

The earlier warning for Palm Toft proved costly as the Dane again went too early, this time at the start of race 11.

That meant he was excluded from the re-run, his replacement Ablitt taking home a point as Pirates produced a first maximum of the night, Thompson following up Lawson’s race win.

There was further controversy in heat 12. Scunthorpe looked to instantly reply to Pirates’ maximum with a 5-1 of their own, Douglas and Lambert leading comfortably.

But a brave move from Ben Cook down the inside looked to salvage second, only for Lambert to slip. The referee decided to exclude the rider, before awarding the race to tactical switch Douglas, Ben Cook and Newman in second and third.

Race 13 was another tie, Douglas leading Lawson and then Worrall which maintained Pirates’ eight-point lead.

The win and aggregate bonus point were confirmed in the penultimate race, Zach Cook beating Allen and Kemp to hand Pirates advantage in the group standings.

Worrall and Lawson added further gloss to the scoreline, with a 4-2 win as Douglas took second.

Scunthorpe 40 (85): Douglas 15, Mountain 4, Lambert 6+1, Allen 5+1, Palm Toft 6, Kemp 4+1, Ablitt 0.

Pirates 50 (95): Lawson 11, Rowe 0 (withdrawn), B Cook 7, Z Cook 8+2, Worrall 12+1, Newman 5+1, Thompson 7+3.