REPORT: Cheetahs edged out by Pirates, but dominant Chargers record biggest win yet

Monarch Oxford Cheetahs were edged out in a last heat decider in Dorset against defending Championship winners Poole Pirates at Wimborne Road on Wednesday night.

Cheetahs travelled south knowing they needed to defeat Pirates by seven points or more to keep slim hopes of reaching the Jubilee League Grand Final alive.

The unlikely result appeared to be on when Peter Schroeck’s squad stunned the hosts into silence in the opening five heats. Race wins for Paul Starke, Dillon Ruml, Aaron Summers and Scott Nicholls opened up an 11-19 advantage with a third of the meeting completed.

Back-to-back 5-1s for the Pirates in heats six and seven levelled the meeting, but the hosts’ comeback was short lived as Starke, Troy Batchelor and Summers took the chequered flag in heats eight, nine and 10 respectively.

Leading 28-32, two shared heats meant Cheetahs were well placed to register a shock result. But Pirates took the lead of the meeting for the first time in heat 14 following a 4-2 and a 5-1.

A fourth maximum race advantage for Neil Middleditch’s men in heat 15 confirmed Pirates’ six point win as they booked their spot in the Jubilee League Grand Final.

POOLE 48: Richard Lawson 16+1, Danny King 11+1, Zach Cook 9+3, Steve Worrall 6+1, Ben Cook 6+1, Drew Kemp 0, Nathan Ablitt 0.

OXFORD 42: Scott Nicholls 10+1, Aaron Summers 9, Paul Starke 8+1, Dillon Ruml 8, Troy Batchelor 4+1, Cameron Heeps 3, Jack Thomas r/r.

Chargers jump up to third

Oxford Chargers meanwhile jumped up to third in the National Development League table after a convincing 65-25 win over struggling Armadale Devils.

Jordan Jenkins, Henry Atkins and Nathan Stoneman all recorded paid maximums while Sam Hagon caught the eye too with three race wins from four rides.

Jody Scott and Arran Butcher picked up a win apiece and Jacob Clouting registered two paid race wins to return with 5+2.

Chargers’ National League campaign resumes on Wednesday, August 10, at home to Belle Vue Colts.

OXFORD 65: Jordan Jenkins 13+2, Nathan Stoneman 13+2, Henry Atkins 11+1, Sam Hagon 11, Jody Scott 6+1, Arran Butcher 6+1, Jacob Clouting 5+2.

ARMADALE 25: Tom Woolley 8, Danny Phillips 6, Lee Complin 5, Kyren Lyden 2+2, Lewis Millar 2, Josh Embleton 1, Gregor Millar 1.