King’s Lynn Stars snatch dramatic late victory against title rivals Poole Pirates
PUBLISHED: 22:40 28 May 2014 | UPDATED: 22:40 28 May 2014
© Archant Norfolk 2014
King’s Lynn heroes Niels-Kristian Iversen and Rory Schlein stamped Stars’ authority on the Elite League title race with a last-gasp maximum to snatch a 46-44 victory at Poole tonight.
Stars ready to welcome Bees
King’s Lynn will be in action again tomorrow evening – weather permitting – at the Norfolk Arena.
The Stars are scheduled to entertain a Coventry Bees side they beat 48-42 in the Midlands on Friday April 11. But they will need the wet conditions to relent if they are able to host the mid-table outfit and look to strengthen their play-off push.
Lynn go into tonight’s meeting with an unbeaten home record in 2014. That streak currently stands at six matches. But they’ll have to perform well if they are to see off a side that track the experienced trio of Hans Andersen, Chris Harris and Ryan Fisher.
For the meeting, team boss Rob Lyon has called up Young Stars captain Darren Mallett to ride in place of reserve Lewis Rose who will miss the fixture as he needs more time to recover from his back injury.
Lynn: 1 Niels-Kristian Iversen, 2 Nicklas Porsing, 3 Rory Schlein, 4 Robert Lambert, 5 Kenneth Bjerre, 6 Lewis Kerr, 7 Darren Mallett (Guest)
Coventry: 1 Hans Andersen, 2 Stuart Robson (G), 3 Ryan Fisher, 4 Kenneth Hansen, 5 Chris Harris, 6 Jason Garrity, 7 James Sarjeant
In a meeting widely billed as a possible play-off final dress rehearsal, skipper Schlein roared into red-hot form with 12 paid 13 points – a figure topped only by reserve Lewis Kerr on 12 paid 14.
Top gun Iversen, in contrast, went into the last-race decider with just five paid six to his name. But the Dane made a timely switch of machinery and delivered his first and only race win when it mattered most.
The world No.3 blitzed from the tapes and took Schlein with him. Former Lynn racer Darcy Ward and his partner Przemyslaw Pawlicki simply couldn’t land a blow as the Stars sewed up three huge points.
They couldn’t have done it without a heroic display from No.6 Kerr – one of the finds of British speedway’s fast-track development scheme.
He cruised to victory in the first reserves’ race in heat two, before following Nicklas Porsing to a 5-1 over Josh Grajczonek and Kyle Newman in race four.
Incredibly, he dropped his only point in race nine against Poole’s reserve star Newman, but Kerr bounced back in heat 12 with another maximum over Vaclav Milik and Newman alongside Porsing.
He then capped off a polished performance by seeing off a superb challenge from Grajczonek on the last lap of heat 14 to lead Robert Lambert to a Stars’ 4-2, which sent his side into the nominated race just two points adrift.
This came immediately after King’s Lynn’s top two of Iversen and Kenneth Bjerre were left trailing by Ward and Pawlicki in heat 13.
While these big guns weren’t at their deadliest last night, skipper Schlein didn’t miss a beat.
He made Poole guest Lewis Bridger work overtime to take the lead and just lost out in race three, before brilliantly getting his own back by pipping him and Ward in heat five.
Schlein fought his way past Pawlicki to triumph in race eight, before Ward got the better of him in heat 10. But the Darwin-born man saw off Ward and Pawlicki when it mattered most to leave the Stars favourites to top the Elite League.
Poole Pirates: Darcy Ward 11+1, Przemyslaw Pawlicki 9, Lewis Bridger 8+1, Kyle Newman 6, Vaclav Milik 5+1, Josh Grajczonek 4+1, Ben Hopwood 1+1.
King’s Lynn Stars: Lewis Kerr 12+2, Rory Schlein 12+1, Niels K Iversen 8+1, Nicklas Porsing 6, Kenneth Bjerre 3+1, Robert Lambert 3, Ben Morley 2+2.