Elite League: Coventry Bees 48, King’s Lynn Stars 46
King's Lynn's play-off aspirations are almost at an end - despite an incredible fightback at Coventry last night.
An outstanding display from skipper Mads Korneliussen was not quite enough for the visitors, who now require a mathematical miracle to make it into the end-of-season shoot-out.
The Stars were given a boost on the morning of the meeting when Richie Worrall's Premier League match for Newcastle at Plymouth was postponed, meaning he could re-route to Brandon instead.
But they could hardly have made a worse start as, just as on Wednesday against Lakeside, they found themselves 10-2 down after two races with guest No.1 Chris Harris falling on the first bend of Heat 1.
Stand-in reserve Jason Bunyan got the Stars moving with a fine effort in Heat 3 to bundle his way past Olly Allen going into the last corner, with the home rider falling and the visitors ending up with a 5-1.
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But they quickly slipped ten-down as Harris could only split Grzegorz Zengota and Allen in Heat 5, and Rory Schlein surprisingly conceded a maximum in the next when he went too wide on turn two after making a good start.
Korneliussen collected the full six points from a tactical ride in Heat 7, but they could make no further progress in the next set of heats, the Bees being superbly served by flying reserve Aaron Summers.
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The Australian was finally beaten in his fifth outing by Korneliussen in Heat 10, but the Stars remained nine points adrift with five races to go.
And with Harris, on his old home track, remarkably conceding a maximum to the in-form Coventry reserves in Heat 11, the Stars' hopes were fading fast.
But a third place from Bunyan on a last-ditch tactical ride in Heat 12 kept things just alive, and the Stars then gained a 5-1 in the next with Schlein winning convincingly and Harris making his best start of the match.
Heat 14 really opened things up with Summers falling on turn four when contesting the lead with Worrall, and with the Bees man disqualified the Stars were back to within two points with a 5-1 in the re-run.
With the momentum on their side, Lynn had a big chance in the decider but Schlein was squeezed out by Nicholls and Zengota, so Korneliussen's fifth win of the night left his side just short.
Coventry: Scott Nicholls 8+3 (5), Michal Szczepaniak r/r, Gregorz Zengota 10+1 (5), Olly Allen 3 (5), Linus Sundstrom 2 (2), Kyle Howarth 9+2 (6), Aaron Summers 16+1 (7).
King's Lynn: Chris Harris 5+1 (4), Richie Worrall 6 (5), Mads Korneliussen 18 (5), Lasse Bjerre r/r, Rory Schlein 8 (5) , Jason Bunyan 8+3 (7), Ryan Douglas 1+1 (4).