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  Pirates Cook Up A Recovery For Slender First Leg Lead  

THEY SAY "too many cooks spoil the broth'" but the Poole Pirates were grateful for the Aussie Cook brothers in their first leg of the semi-finals of the SGC Championship play-offs, which they won 48-42 to give them six points to defend in the second leg.

Guest Zach produced a match-turning ride in the re-run of heat eleven after skipper Danny King had been disqualified for a move that brought Ryan Douglas. Cook had to face Douglas and Nick Morris in the re-start from gate four. He made a superb start to get clear to win the race and thus protect the slender two point advantage that the Pirates held at that stage.

Standing in for the injured Stefan Nielsen, Cook admitted "Right now I am feeling really great. That was probably my best meeting of the season and there can be not much of a better time to do it than in the play-offs. I'm pretty lucky really because I have got some good mates with plenty of experience all willing to help me and give me ideas and tonight everything was just working and I can't thank them boys enough."

Cook was referring to Brady Kurtz together with Chris and Jack Holder all of whom would have been proud themselves to produce the kind of ride that first season Cook produced.
Three heats later he was paired up with brother Ben, by which time Poole had increased their lead to six points. Neither brother trapped very well allowing the pacy Kyle Howarth to pick up his third race win in four starts and he had partner Zaine Kennedy nestled in behind him.
Ben was the first to try and make a move, but locked up in the process and his race looked run. Zach though saw an opening and took it, at an instant, to split the Lions and they looked on course for a fourth heat advantage of the night, but Ben had composed himself and went about closing the gap on Kennedy and doing so with a pass that shared the heat and ensured Poole would be taking a guaranteed lead into the second leg.

In what was a thrilling meeting for the fans, promoter Dan Ford admitted afterwards, "I really don't know right now how I feel about it. It was a frustrating meeting and I think I probably need to digest it a bit to be honest. I felt that we should have come away with a bit more but we weren't at our best tonight and we just weren't making the starts. Plain and simple, and the boys know that. But we've already gone there and won this season so it's all to play for and it should be one helluva meeting."

There was concern in the Poole camp when Schlein pulled up in the latter stages of heat fifteen and needed to seek medical attention. Ford commented, "we are all a bit concerned about Rory, he was in some discomfort and I have just left him with the medical team who are checking him over, hopefully we will have an update on him in the morning."

POOLE 48, S.Worrall 12+1 (3,2,3,1',3), D.Hume 2 (1,0,1), R.Schlein 8+2 (1',2,3,2',0), B.Cook 4+1 (2,F,1,1'), D.King 5 (1,2,XD,2), Z.Cook 10+2 (3,1',1',3,2), B.Basso 7+1 (2',0,2,3)
LEICESTER 42, N.Morris 9+1 (R,3,1',3,2), R.Douglas 8 (2,1,3,2), D.Thompson 0 (0,0,0), K.Howarth 12 (3,3,2,3,1), C.Harris 8 (3,3,2,R), J.Thompson 0 (0,0,0), Z.Kennedy 5+1 (1,2',1,0,1,0)

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