Another away defeat for King’s Lynn Stars – but this time there’s a consolation prize
- Credit: Ian Burt
King's Lynn Stars threw everything at Elite League leaders Coventry in a thrilling contest at Brandon on Friday – and came away with a thoroughly deserved point after a 48-42 defeat.
The Stars led by six points at the halfway stage, only for a series of 5-1s to turn the meeting in the Bees' favour.
But Lynn refused to cave in and skipper Niels-Kristian Iversen ensured they would have some reward with a crucial heat 15 win.
The first half of the meeting saw Rob Lyon's side make a series of fast starts, and they held the advantage with home riders making errors as they attempted to come through.
That was the case especially in heat two when both James Sarjeant and Jason Garrity fell, with Lewis Kerr a clear winner and Ashley Morris in second spot for a 5-1.
Vaclav Milik lost third place when he fell on the last lap of heat three, and Coventry narrowed their early deficit to two points when he snatched victory from Kerr on the run to the line in heat five.
But Lynn hit straight back with a superb maximum in heat six as Iversen and Milik kept Danny King at bay, and Kenneth Bjerre got the better of Danish rival Hans Andersen in the next as the two went into close combat on the fourth bend.
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The home side began to raise the stakes when Kerr was squeezed out on turn two by Garrity and Joonas Kylmakorpi in heat eight, and that narrowed the gap to two points.
Garrity then withstood a late surge from Robert Lambert in the next race which saw the Bees man again just take the verdict.
Iversen had looked untouchable but heat 10 produced a big shock as the Stars skipper found himself sandwiched on the first turn and then unable to land a challenging blow on Andersen and King as Coventry banked a shock 5-1 to take the lead for the first time.
And that was followed up by another maximum in the next with Garrity replacing Aaron Summers and partnering Chris Harris to a 5-1 over Milik.
Kerr impressively won the second reserves' race ahead of Garrity as the gap was reduced to four, and then Iversen and Milik both moved past Andersen for a 3-3 in a competitive Heat 13.
But Lynn's hopes of victory were ended with a 4-2 from Kylmakorpi and King in heat 14, before Iversen held off Kylmakorpi and Harris in the last race for the league point.
It was the latest in a long sequence of away defeats for the Stars but it was a big improvement on their recent showings and should put them in good heart for their next meeting – a trip to Wolverhampton tomorrow evening.
Coventry: Chris Harris 9+3 (5 rides), Aaron Summers 1 (3), Danny King 7+1 (4), Joonas Kylmakorpi 11 (5), Hans Andersen 6 (4), Jason Garrity 14+1 (6), James Sarjeant 0 (3).
King's Lynn: Niels-Kristian Iversen 12 (5), Nicklas Porsing 1 (4), Kenneth Bjerre 7 (4), Robert Lambert 4 (4), Vaclav Milik 4+2 (5), Lewis Kerr 9 (4), Ashley Morris 5+3 (4).