DANNY Ford admits retaining the Championship Knockout Cup will be “incredibly tough”, but feels overturning their first leg deficit against Scunthorpe Scorpions is “really achievable”.

Pirates host the Scorpions in a rare Saturday meeting at Wimborne Road (7.30pm), trailing 47-43 from the first leg.

Poole have won the KO Cup in each of the past two years, while Scunthorpe have never lifted the trophy.

Reflecting on the loss at Eddie Wright Raceway, promoter Ford told the Daily Echo: “It’s a strange one. I think overall we’re quite pleased.

“Obviously we’ve been there a few weeks ago and got a win there. But we knew we were in for a slightly different prospect on Sunday.

“They’re a strong team. They’ve been particularly strong at home all season.

“The way things were going early on, it didn’t look like the track was favouring us.

“Being an earlier start it took us a while to get used to conditions. But once we found the set-up, we clawed our way back in and I think we were all quite delighted with the result in the end.

“To only be four points down really leaves that second tie in the balance and one that is certainly not to be missed.”

Scunthorpe have visited Poole twice this year, causing an early scare before losing 49-41 in the league, before a 45-45 draw in the play-offs.

Assessing the challenge ahead this weekend, Ford added: “It's going to be incredibly tough.

“I don’t think any team has rode Poole as well this season as consistently as Scunthorpe.

“Ryan Douglas is the best rider in the league, highest in the averages for a reason, he’s going to be tough to beat.

“But it is well achievable.

“Obviously in the grand final we were 14 points down. This is a lot more realistic for us to pull back.

“Hopefully we can be level or up within the first few heats.”

Pirates could be back up to full strength, with Anders Rowe facing a late fitness test after recovering from a virus.