Birmingham 52, King’s Lynn 38
King's Lynn were unable to add to their Elite League points total last night at one of their traditionally strong away venues.
The Stars lost out by 14 points, with the home side emerging from a sluggish start to pile up the points in the second half of the meeting.
The Brummies' hero was undoubtedly reserve Ales Dryml, who took his maximum quota of rides after Claus Vissing had withdrawn injured, while former Stars man Darcy Ward also did plenty of damage as a guest.
The visitors were fast-gating in the early stages of the meeting and an away win looked highly likely as their riders won four of the first five races – although with the home side generally packing the places, the visitors were only two points up.
A maximum advantage looked possible in Heat five but Tomas Topinka was moved aside by first Ben Barker and then Ward, and Mads Korneliussen's chase of Daniel Nermark in Heat seven was halted when Vissing crashed on the third lap and the race was awarded.
The Stars' position improved further in Heat eight with Topinka making a quick start to win, and Sam Masters took a crucial third place ahead of Kevin Wolbert, and that left them 26-22 up.
But the meeting turned completely in the next three races, first when Iversen was out-done by Nermark and Ben Barker in Heat nine, Barker surging around the outside off turn two to level the scores – and then Birmingham went ahead in Heat 10 with Ward taking advantage of Dryml's clever ride to move Korneliussen aside off the fourth bend to follow his team-mate through.
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That put the home side four points up with five heats to go, but nobody could have expected that the previously unstoppable Bjerre would have been on the wrong end of another 5-1 in Heat 11, losing out to Nermark and Dryml and, although Korneliussen rode well to pass Dryml on the last bend of Heat 12, it actually prevented the Stars from using a tactical ride in the next race as they remained eight down rather than ten.
Iversen won Heat 13 after repelling a frantic chase by Ward but the home side always looked strong in the penultimate race, and so it proved with Barker and Dryml getting the better of Korneliussen and clinching the match with a 5-1.
Stars could have salvaged a point had they taken a 5-1 from the last race, and it looked possible when Iversen and Bjerre made good starts but as they drifted to the outside, Barker and Ward found plenty of drive to surge through and give the scoreline a more emphatic look.
• Birmingham: Dryml 15+3, Barker 13+2, Ward 12+3, Nermark 11, Wolbert 1+1, Vissing 0, King r/r.
• Lynn: Korneliussen 10, Iversen 9+1, K Bjerre 8, Masters 7, Sitera 2+2, Topinka 2, Allen r/r.