Elite League: King’s Lynn Stars 38 Poole Pirates 55
Understrength Lynn's miserable 48 hours continued as they slumped to their heaviest home defeat of the season.
For the second night in a row the Stars were well beaten by champions Poole Pirates and although the loss was far less embarrassing at home than it had been in Dorset yesterday it still produced the same outcome. Zero points towards Rob Lyon's side's hopes of reaching the Elite League play-offs.
Their cause wouldn't have been helped against any side – let alone the most dominant team in recent British speedway history – with Niels-Kristian Iversen opting to sit out both meetings as he prepares for Saturday's Grand Prix.
Injury to Simon Lambert and an inability to find an available Fast Track Draft rider forced Lynn to track Premier League and National League rider Ben Morley home and away. And just when Lyon thought it couldn't get any worse the Germen federation slapped a ban on Kai Huckenbeck for refusing to ride for his country in a meeting.
With his name being declared in the line-up on both nights the Stars had to not only operate with a weakened team, but use just six riders rather than seven. Unsurprisingly Poole took full advantage.
You may also want to watch:
They showed no mercy by picking up all of the seven points available across both meetings and had tonight's canter wrapped up before the interval. That 15-point lead, which eventually finished as 17, would have been even greater had Robert Lambert not picked up a double-points scoring haul of six when being used as a tactical rider.
That 8-1 race win prevented the scoreline from being humiliating – which was the least the Stars deserved. There was no shortage of effort. But operating with one hand tied behind their back, if not two, they never really stood a chance.
- 1 Atlantis Tower up for sale after owner signs ‘outrageous’ loan deal
- 2 Covid rates continue to fall across Norfolk, especially in Norwich
- 3 Norfolk woman fined after travelling 200 miles to visit daughter
- 4 9 of Norfolk's most famous blue plaques
- 5 Centre takes action after IT failure causes long queues for Covid jab
- 6 Fired twice in two months: Events boss feels the pain of Covid
- 7 Jack-knifed lorry shuts busy Norfolk road as police issue ice warning
- 8 Norfolk bowls star tests positive at world indoor championships
- 9 Out on the beat - we join police Covid patrol on the seafront
- 10 A life in agony: 27-year-old's daily torture battling constant pain
Rory Schlein's total of three, coupled with Morley scoring nought, and Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen chalking up paid three, hardly helped. Yet it shouldn't be forgotten that Troy Batchelor (10 plus one), Robert Lambert (12 plus one) and Lewis Rose (11 plus one) deserved huge credit for their returns. However, with Hans Anderson and Bjarne Pedersen – operating at reserve in what has become a farcical system originally designed to bring youngsters on, not allowing 38 year olds to run riot – in such hot form and supported across the board by their team-mates there was only ever going to be one winner.
Poole's superiority was summed up in one heat 11 pass when Krzysztof Buczkowski shot from fourth to second in one daring move. He threw his bike into the corner and Lynn's Batchelor and Busk Jakobsen had no answers.
Damage limitation after the interval ensured the mauling was not more severe with Batchelor lowering Anderson and Pedersen's colours in the final action of the evening. Afterwards the Aussie grabbed the microphone to address the crowd and said what everyone was thinking.
'It's hard to win when we haven't got much of a team,' said Batchelor.
'We're really missing Niels, Simon's walking around the pits and we really miss him and then Kai gets slapped with a ban. Thank you all for standing by us but sometimes you just can't fight it.'
The closing line was wrong because Lynn didn't go down without a scrap. Yet against one of the league's big-hitters their hopes of bouncing back from a south-coast drubbing was always going to be met by a knockout blow.
Lynn: 1 Batchelor 10+1, 2 Rider-replacement N/A, 3 Schlein 3, 4 Morley (Guest) 0, 5 R Lambert 12+1 (included tactical), 6 Busk Jakobsen 2+1, 7 Rose 11+1
Poole: 1 Holder 5+1, 2 Ellis 7+2, 3 Buczkowski 6+1, 4 Kurtz 5, 5 Andersen 14, 6 Pedersen 12, 7 Newman 6+1