King’s Lynn 43, Peterborough Panthers 47
PUBLISHED: 22:37 06 April 2012 | UPDATED: 16:36 17 April 2012
Archant © 2012
Former rider Kenneth Bjerre came back to haunt the King’s Lynn Stars in a final heat Elite League decider in tricky conditions at a drizzly Norfolk Arena.
Home fans laughed when last year’s Stars No 1 Bjerre – who had endured a miserable night with two points from three outings in the second leg of the Good Friday A47 derby double-header – was nominated for the crucial showdown.
However the Danish Grand Prix ace had the last laugh by leading home teammate Linus Sundström in a maximum 5-1 heat victory over home riders Maciej Janowski and Niels-Kristian Iversen that broke Lynn’s hearts after their comeback.
Heat 14 race winner Kevin Wolbert and reserve Filip Sitera, with his sole but vital point of the night, had earned that grandstand finish by registering a 4-2 to send the scores level at 42-42.
Panthers reserve Michael Jepsen Jensen proved to be the difference between the local rivals, top-scoring with 17 points after his tally of 16 in the afternoon. It meant the Stars faded to defeat in their third meeting in a row after they had been unlucky earlier in the day at Peterborough, losing 49-41 despite being level-pegging at the midway point.
Persistent light rain on the Norfolk Arena surface during the evening and plenty of Saddlebow specialists among the away line-up had cancelled out any home track advantage.
The sides exchanged 5-1s before Olly Allen used his Norfolk Arena experience to comprehensively win Heat 3 in a second away 5-1, and Peterborough bagged a third successive maximum through back-to-back victories from in-form Jensen leading home Sundström.
Good team riding by Wolbert and Janowski saw off the Bjerre brothers as the shocked Stars replied with a 5-1 to make it five maximums in the first five races. That run was broken by the first shared heat won by the Swede Sundström over Iversen and Daniel Nermark. David Howe and Stars skipper Mads Korneliussen maxed out to level the scores after Heat 7. A reserve swap with Howe entering the fray in Heat 8 did not work for Lynn, but an immediate switch did work for Peterborough and it meant a fourth victory for Jensen and the visitors went back in front 30-24.
Both home manager Rob Lyon and away counterparts Jan Staechmann and Trevor Swales asked for the meeting to be called off either side of Heat 12, in which the Stars gave themselves a lifeline via a Howe/Janowski 5-1 to reduce the deficit to two points.
Stars: Niels-Kristian Iversen 9+1, Daniel Nermark 5+2, Maciej Janowski 6+2, Kevin Wolbert 7, Mads Korneliussen 7+1, David Howe 8+1, Filip Sitera 1. Panthers: Kenneth Bjerre 5, Lasse Bjerre 1, Olly Allen 5, Jesper B Monberg 4+2, Linus Sundström 12+3, Richard Lawson 3+1, Michael Jepsen Jensen 17.
Points from Peterborough, Panthers: K. Bjerre 4+1, Rene Bach 4+1, Allen 10+2, Monberg 5+2, Sundström 7+1, Lawson 3+1, Jensen 16. Stars: Iversen 13+1, Nermark 6+1, Korneliussen 6+1, Wolbert 0, Janowski 8, Howe 8+2, Sitera 0.