Elite League: King’s Lynn Stars 46 Coventry Bees 44
- Credit: Ian Burt
A sickening crash involving three riders marred King's Lynn's home victory against Coventry.
Stars skipper Rory Schlein and the Bees' Kacper Woryna were taken to hospital by county ambulances after being involved in a spectacular pile-up in the penultimate heat of the meeting.
Lynn's popular Australian – who was almost paralysed less than a year ago following a high-speed accident in Poland – was catapulted over his handlebars and into the air after hitting a prone Woryna and his machine. Coventry's Danny King ploughed into the pair but escaped less serious injury while Lynn favourite Mads Korneliussen's tumble on the same first turn saw him steer clear of danger.
The mangled state of former Bees rider Schlein's bent bike showed the severity of the impact which stunned the crowd into silence. And it raised huge fears that he had caused further damage to his repaired spine.
But thankfully it appeared his back escaped much of the impact with a suspected concussion and shoulder problem forcing him to leave the Adrian Flux Arena with medics. Woryna was said to have suffered a nasty hand injury after being caught up in the collection of strewn bodies and bikes.
The near 40-minute delay the spill caused seemed irrelevant such was the concern for both parties. But it did allow the track to dry out again after a mid-match shower had caused the surface to become slippy.
A home heat advantage in the re-run opened up Lynn's lead to four points and ensured that a last-race showdown would decide the outcome. And while Coventry won it, they only did so by a scoreline of 4-2 to ensure the Stars held on for a hard-fought victory.
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Krzysztof Kasprzak's triumph in the nominated ride clinched his men's losing bonus point – which is the least they deserved. The pass on Lynn ace Robert Lambert, who will appear in tomorrow's British Under-21 final at Sheffield, around the top bend also completed his five-ride maximum.
The Pole was by far the classiest performer on show all evening and if the 31-year-old can continue to gate like that he'll take some stopping this campaign as he looks to try and replicate his 2014 world championship runner-up form.
Unfortunately for the visitors, Chris Harris and Danny King failed to back him up as team boss Gary Havelock was denied his maiden win at Saddlebow Road.
Stars chief Rob Lyon was left to breathe a sigh of relief in the end as his troops bounced back from their resounding defeat last time out at home against Belle Vue. But he will be as concerned as anybody about the crash which sadly overshadowed the match and has left Schlein and Woryna probably facing lengthy spells on the sidelines.
Lynn: 1 Iversen 10, 2 Huckenbeck 5+1, 3 Schlein 5, 4 Korneliussen 8+1, 5 Lambert 6+3, 6 Wilkinson 7, 7 Rose 5+1
Bees: 1 Kasprzak 15, 2 Garrity 7, 3 King 4, 4 Woryna 3, 5 Harris 5+1, 6 Sarjeant 4+2, 7 Bates 6
King's Lynn Young Stars got their National League term off to an absolute flier by destroying Stoke Potters 65-25 during the second part of tonight's double-header at Saddlebow Road.