Photo gallery: Elite League: King’s Lynn Stars 52, Belle Vue Aces 38
22:00 16 April 2014
The Stars showed their strength in depth as they picked up all three points tonight despite Niels-Kristian Iversen not winning a race.
On a rare evening at the Norfolk Arena where the world number three failed to hit his usual very high heights, Lynn’s other riders chipped in to maintain their team’s promising start to the season.
Had Belle Vue’s reserves Stefan Nielsen and Ben Reade, who only picked up three points, paid four, between them, performed better it may have been a little closer. But in the end, the fine performances of Lynn’s young quartet of Robert Lambert, Lewis Kerr, Nicklas Porsing and Lewis Rose – backed up by the fast-starting Kenneth Bjerre – saw the hosts romp to a 14-point triumph.
Number one Iversen’s eight, paid 10 haul wasn’t terrible by any means, even though he looked down on power for most of the clash. Yet once he really fires again and Rory Schlein comes to the party, the current Stars team is clearly going to take some stopping.
Iversen started in the shadows of Grand Prix opponent Matej Zagar who rocketed out of the tapes to win the opener. The Slovenian’s rapid time of 58.56 was little more than a second behind Nicki Pedersen’s track record and inflicted the home side’s number one’s first defeat on his own shale this term.
The two Lewis’, Kerr and Rose, fired back with a maximum 5-1 in the reserves race and the super-quick gating continued in the third as Bjerre pulled out a blinder and held off Craig Cook throughout for a hard-fought triumph.
Rob Lyon’s men were keen on pulling clear and they should have done so in the fourth when Kerr’s error turned a 5-1 into a shared race. The Norfolk ace overcooked it on turn four under no pressure before retiring. But there was a silver lining as team-mate Lambert, aged just 16, passed to record his first home Elite League win of his very young career.
Heat leader Bjerre won the fifth as he whipped round the outside of seven-time British champion Scott Nicholls but Lynn’s six-point lead was reduced by Zagar and Cook’s 5-1. By the eighth, the scores were tied at 24-all.
However, once again during this term, Lyon’s troops powered their way to more success in the second half of the meeting. They seemed to build on the moment an outstanding ride from Lambert turned a 5-1 reverse into a minimal 4-2 heat defeat. It was the move of the night and the Foulsham-based teenager had to show grit and skill beyond his tender years to wind in Michael Palm Toft and pass him at the death for an important second.
Team Lewis’ 5-1 in the ninth started a hat-trick of max’ as the Stars roared into a commanding 12-point lead. In the 10th, the out-of-sorts Iversen swan dived around the outside of Nicholls on turn four to ensure his evening didn’t end in complete personal frustration.
Zagar retired in the 11th – appearing to wave the white flag – as his one-man mission to end the Aces’ miserable start to life on the road began to fade. A few shared heats did little to increase their chances of picking up any points. But the Aces’ number one ended his 12-point meeting by winning the nominated ride to take something home, unlike his team who are still to pick up an away point in 2014.
Lynn: N-K Iversen 8+2, N Porsing 8+1, R Schlein 4, R Lambert 8, K Bjerre 11+2, L Kerr 6+2, L Rose 7+2
Belle Vue: M Zagar 12, M P Toft 6, S Nicholls 7+1, R Worrall 6, C Cook 4+1, S Nielsen 1, B Reade 2+1
- A gallery of Ian Burt’s pictures from tonight’s meeting will be added to this report soon.