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Norfolk star Robert Lambert shrugs off pain to help GB to World Cup triumph at King’s Lynn

PUBLISHED: 15:18 02 July 2017 | UPDATED: 15:18 02 July 2017

Team GB skipper (2) Craig Cook and Australia's Troy Batchelor in the first heat of the night. Picture: Ian Burt

Team GB skipper (2) Craig Cook and Australia's Troy Batchelor in the first heat of the night. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2017

Robert Lambert put injury behind him to help Great Britain clinch a World Cup final spot in Poland on Saturday.

The King’s Lynn Stars rider, still feeling the effects of a bad crash the previous weekend, dropped only two points all night as the Lions produced a scintillating display in front of 5,000 fans at the Adrian Flux Arena.

Great Britain stormed to five wins in the opening five races and never looked back, securing first place with three races to spare.

Alun Rossiter’s new-look side surrendered just seven points during the whole meeting to finish nine points clear of Australia in front of a partisan home crowd.

Captain Craig Cook set the tone in the first heat of the night as the hosts reeled off a string of race victories in style.

Team GB's Steve Worrall won heat two. Picture: Ian BurtTeam GB's Steve Worrall won heat two. Picture: Ian Burt

Lambert’s opening assignment of the night saw him come out on top of a ding-dong battle with his Stars’ team-mate, Austalian Chris Holder.

Norfok’s finest made it back-to-back victories in the next as the hosts put clear daylight between themselves and the Aussies who failed to cope with the loss of Jason Doyle to a foot injury before the showpiece.

Holder, the 2012 world champion, ended Great Britain’s winning streak in heat six before Batchelor gave Australia some hope by taking the next.

Cook and Holder exchanged race wins in the next two heats before the former added three more points to the Great Britain collection with a stunning ride in heat 10.

Team GB's Chris Harris won heat three. Picture: Ian BurtTeam GB's Chris Harris won heat three. Picture: Ian Burt

Trailing by seven points, the Aussies opted to use Holder as a tactical joker in Heat 11 and the move paid off as he got the better of Lambert.

But any hopes of an Aussie comeback were soon dispelled as the Lions reeled off six successive race wins. During the sequence, Cook delivered the best ride of the night when he totally blew the start in heat 15 but still managed to lower the colours of Holder.

Lambert’s final ride in the penultimate race of the evening summed up the spirit and determination of the Great Britain camp.

The youngster looked set to be the first British rider not to finish the top two of a heat before passing Josef Franc with consummate ease – much to the delight of the home faithful.

Robert Lambert flying for Team GB in heat four. Picture: Ian BurtRobert Lambert flying for Team GB in heat four. Picture: Ian Burt

SCORES

Great Britain 53: Craig Cook 14, Robert Lambert 13, Chris Harris 13, Steve Worrall 13, Adam Ellis DNR.

Australia 44: Chris Holder 19, Troy Batchelor 12, Max Fricke 8, Nick Morris 5, Jason Doyle DNR.

Chris Holder on the gas for Australia. Picture: Ian BurtChris Holder on the gas for Australia. Picture: Ian Burt

USA 15: Gino Manzares 7, Ricky Wells 3, Dillon Ruml 2, Luke Becker 2, Broc Nicol 1.

Czech Republic 13: Vaclav Milik 6, Josef Franc 4, Hynek Stichaeur 3, Matej Kus 0, Eduard Krcmar 0.

Heat by heat

Skipper Craig Cook was at his sublime best for Team GB. Picture: Ian BurtSkipper Craig Cook was at his sublime best for Team GB. Picture: Ian Burt

Heat 1: Cook, Batchelor, Stichauer, Wells (X). 59.37

Heat 2: Worrall, Manzares, Franc, Morris (FX). 58.96

Heat 3: Harris, Fricke, Franc, Milik. 59.62

Heat 4: Lambert, Holder, Becker, Kus. 59.44

Scenes from the Speedway World Cup at King's Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtScenes from the Speedway World Cup at King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Heat 5: Lambert, Manzares, Fricke, Krcmar. 59.75

Heat 6: Holder, Harris, Franc, Wells. 60.04

Heat 7: Batchelor, Worrall, Milik, Becker. 59.91

Heat 8: Cook, Morris, Nicol, Kus. 59.37

Action from the Speedway World Cup in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtAction from the Speedway World Cup in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Heat 9: Holder, Worrall, Ruml, Stichauer (FX). 60.36

Heat 10: Cook, Fricke, Becker, Franc. 59.85

Heat 11: Holder (tactical joker), Lambert, Wells, Milik. 60.03

Heat 12: Harris, Batchelor, Manzares (tactical joker), Krcmar. 60.72

Scenes from the Speedway World Cup at King's Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtScenes from the Speedway World Cup at King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Heat 13: Lambert, Batchelor, Franc, Ruml. 59.98

Heat 14: Harris, Morris, Stichauer, Becker. 60.16

Heat 15: Cook, Holder, Milik, Manzares. 60.19

Heat 16: Worrall, Wells, Fricke, Kus. 60.32

Craig Cook celebrates the win for Team GB. Picture: Ian BurtCraig Cook celebrates the win for Team GB. Picture: Ian Burt

Heat 17: Worrall, Fricke, Stichauer, Becker. 61.16

Heat 18: Holder, Harris, Manzares, Kus. 60.53

Heat 19: Batchelor, Lambert, Franc, Ruml. 61.38

Heat 20: Milik, Cook, Morris, Wells. 61.22

Chris Holder at the pit gate. Picture: Ian BurtChris Holder at the pit gate. Picture: Ian Burt

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