Photo gallery: Elite League: King’s Lynn Stars 53, Leicester Lions 43
22:17 30 April 2014
© Archant Norfolk 2014
Lynn kept up their hot streak – but they were made to work for it by resilient Elite League new-boys Leicester last night.
The Stars had threatened to annihilate their new A47 derby rivals after racing into a 14-point lead after just five. However, despite staring an embarrassing defeat in the face, the Lions showed their fighting spirit to slow Rob Lyon’s in-form side.
They did such a good job – including two tactical race wins for Jason Doyle and former Stars ace Mads Korneliussen which saw them both collect six points for their wins rather than the normal three – that they still had a chance of taking a losing bonus point home up until the nominated ride. And while Lynn never looked in danger of losing, they certainly would never have expected to be taken to the wire by a team who would have been blown away had they not restored some pride with 6-3 and 7-2 race triumphs thanks to a couple of clever tacticals.
So it came down the 15th to decide whether Lynn would collect all three league points and keep up their maximum 100pc home record. And once again Niels-Kristian Iversen did the business as he blasted by Doyle and Korneliussen like they weren’t there when they were on a decisive maxium 5-1 which would have seen them take a losing bonus point back up to Leicester.
The pair never looked like catching the Grand Prix superstar – even though they weren’t given the chance because the race was awarded following Kenneth Bjerre’s nasty crash on lap three, his second spill of the evening and third in two home meetings. The little Dane was thrown shoulder first into the shale following Doyle’s push towards the fence and was excluded leaving Lynn to pick up the three points but end the clash more concerned about the seriousness of their heat leader’s shoulder and collarbone injury.
Stars chief Buster Chapman’s excellent track craft worked wonders again as a grippy oval provided some rapid racing once more. It was no surprise that main man Iversen won heat one but the fact he was just 0.3 seconds off Nicki Pedersen’s track record stunned many. It has stood for 12 long years.
It was the first of many sub-minute heat times as the sliders screamed their way round Saddlebow Road at a terrifying pace. That speed was often too much for the visitors to cope with. The Lions just couldn’t handle the Stars as they roared into a daunting 14-point advantage early on.
Team Lewis, the reserve duo of Rose and Kerr, racked up another 5-1 to prove they are among the best Fast Track talents in British speedway’s top flight. Even when one of Norrie Allan’s troops got out of the gates first, like Korneliussen did in his opening ride, they didn’t stay there for long as the Dane was passed by Bjerre and Rory Schlein.
It took until the sixth for the Lions to record a race winner and that came in the shape of Doyle who took advantage of donning the black and white helmet colours. Even that hadn’t looked like stemming the tide though as Kerr showed his improvement by ushering Rose home for another 5-1 to put the hosts 15-up.
But Korneliussen saw off his good friend Iversen, who was all over the back of him, in the 10th and four shared 3-3s after the interval left it all to play for right up until Bjerre’s accident.
Lynn: N-K Iversen 12+1, N Porsing 3+2, R Schlein 7+2, R Lambert 5+2, K Bjerre 8, L Kerr 10+1, L Rose 8+2
Leicester: J Doyle 13, S Masters 5, M Korneliussen 13+1, S Stead 9, R Fisher 1, T Perry 2, M Clegg 0