Elite League: Belle Vue Aces 42, King’s Lynn Stars 50
King's Lynn Stars picked up four precious away points, despite ending the meeting with just five riders, after beating Belle Vue Aces tonight to secure their first victory on the road this season.
Niels-Kristian Iversen bagged a 15-point maximum as he inspired Rob Lyon's troops to a victory which was only soured by injuries to Daniel Nermark and debutant Mateusz Szczepaniak.
The Stars went into the meeting looking to pick up points for only the third time this season despite a string of fine performances – especially on the road.
Lyon handed debuts to experienced rider Joe Screen and Pole Szczepaniak as Lynn looked to inflict a fourth pointless meeting on their Manchester hosts.
In-form number one Iversen got his team off to a flying start as he won heat one to help Lynn pick up a 4-2 with Screen grabbing a point in his first ride for the club.
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However, fellow new-boy Szczepaniak endured a less enjoyable first ride in the Norfolk Arena outfit's colours when he was involved in a heavy spill that saw three riders plough into the safety fence in the night's second heat.
The Pole was excluded and subsequently withdrawn from the meeting through injury, leaving Lyon down to six men.
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The Aces responded by sharing the next three heats, but Iversen and Screen picked up another advantage – this time a maximum – in heat five to open up Lynn's lead to six points. But the Stars injury curse, which saw Kozza Smith sidelined before the season began and red-hot reserve David Howe ruled out after a promising start to this year's Elite League campaign, quickly returned when Nermark crashed out of heat seven.
The Swede was forced to retire for the night, leaving Lynn down to just five riders. But Kevin Wolbert, excelling after being dropped down to reserve, and Screen lifted the gloom quickly by securing a 5-1 in heat eight to open up a 10-point gap for Lyon's charges. It took until heat nine for the out-of-sorts hosts to secure a heat win, courtesy of a 5-3.
However, Mads Korneliussen prevented the score from being worse by beating the Aces' tactical rider Adam Shields across the line to prevent him from collecting six valuable points. And the Stars only surrendered two heats for the rest of the evening as red-hot Iversen topped off a fine individual display by winning heat 15 to secure his maximum – and Lynn's eight-point victory – in a shared heat.
Belle Vue: Rory Schlein 9 (1), Marcel Kajzer 3, Adam Shields 7, Adam Skornicki 3 (1), Charlie Gjedde 7 (1), Linus Eklof 3 (1), Josh Grajczonek 10 (1).
Stars: NK Iversen 15, Joe Screen 6 (2), Maciej Janowski 5 (1), Daniel Nermark 2, Mads Korneliussen 6 (1), Mateusz Szczepaniak 0, Kevin Wolbert 16 (1).
National League KO Cup, 2nd leg: King's Lynn 39 (J Cockle 11), Mildenhall 51 (C Heeps 12+1). Mildenhall win 106-79 on aggregate.