Elite League: Coventry Bees 42, King’s Lynn Stars 48
09:53 14 April 2014
Archant © 2014
King’s Lynn made it two wins out of two to kick off the new Elite League season – with their first success on the road since opening day in 2013.
The barren run away from home which stretched back to Good Friday last year at Peterborough was ended at Coventry with a dramatic comeback inspired by fast-track reserve Lewis Kerr.
On a slick Brandon surface the Stars took a little time to find the appropriate set-ups, with No.1 Niels-Kristian Iversen pegged back in Heat 1 and conceding maximum points to the home duo.
Kerr then demolished the tapes in the reserves’ race enabling the Bees to move six points clear, but skipper Rory Schlein got the Stars back in business with a terrific Heat 3 effort to cut inside Kenneth Hansen at the start of the last lap for a win.
Coventry maintained their lead but the Stars were securing race wins, Nicklas Porsing on the mark in Heat 4 and then Schlein in the next ahead of home big guns Chris Harris and Hans Andersen.
It seemed only a matter of time before the gap started to close, and successive 4-2s followed with Robert Lambert a hugely impressive Heat 7 winner over Ryan Fisher, who moved past Kerr midway through the race.
That left the Stars two down but Schlein’s winning run was ended by Hansen in Heat 8 and the home reserves then notched their second 4-2 after Lewis Rose went wide on the third lap allowing James Sarjeant to make up ground from a tapes handicap.
The next two races were shared but the Stars gained a terrific 5-1 in Heat 12 as Porsing notched another win and was backed-up by Kerr who braved the race out with Fisher and re-passed the American off the final bend to bring the scores level.
Iversen then produced a ride of the utmost class to surge inside Harris going into the second lap of Heat 13, with a third place for Kenneth Bjerre putting the visitors ahead for the first time.
And they were in no mood to lose their advantage with Kerr and Lambert both working their way past Claus Vissing in the penultimate race for a 5-1 which ensured victory.
Schlein was squeezed out by Harris and Fisher throughout Heat 15 which left the Stars having to be content with three league points rather than four – but this was still an impressive display, especially with plenty more to come from Bjerre in particular.
COVENTRY: Hans Andersen 4+1 (4), Ryan Fisher 9+2 (5), Kenneth Hansen 7 (4), Claus Vissing 5 (4), Chris Harris 8+2 (5), Jason Garrity 7+1 (5), James Sarjeant 2 (3).
KING’S LYNN: Niels-Kristian Iversen 13 (5), Nicklas Porsing 8 (4), Rory Schlein 9+1 (5), Robert Lambert 5+1 (4), Kenneth Bjerre 3+1 (4), Lewis Kerr 10+1 (5), Lewis Rose 0 (3).