Elite League: King’s Lynn Stars 54 Coventry Bees 35
- Credit: Ian Burt
The Stars head to Swindon knowing they're just six points away from securing a play-off place after the Bees hit the self-destruct button.
Even if fourth-placed Belle Vue Aces and the Robins, fifth – who host Rob Lyon's in-form troops tomorrow evening – wipe the floor of all their remaining opponents they'll be unable to prevent Lynn's progress to the end-of-season shoot-out.
The Adrian Flux Arena outfit's hopes of finishing in the top four were further strengthened tonight as they thumped one of at least two sides expected to finish above them in the standings.
Coventry, second, are tantalisingly close to qualifying for the battle of glory along with champions Poole Pirates so will not be too concerned by their post-interval implosion at Saddlebow Road. But they – and the rest of the top flight's title hopefuls – were given a stark reminder of the Stars' power as the business end of the campaign approaches over the horizon.
Gary Havelock's 2014 Elite League runners-up were only four behind following 10 heats of hard-fought close action in front of the Sky Sports cameras. Yet they ended up adding only seven to their total in the remaining five heats as they limped to a heavy defeat against a side that remain one place and now just four points behind them.
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First, Hans Andersen shut the door on his team-mate Joonas Kylmakorpi in the 11th and nearly forced him into the fence on the back straight. The Finn, probably suffering from a case of shock, eventually retired as Lynn clinched a 4-2 – the first of five successive heat advantages during their strong finish.
Matters got even worse as the wheels came off for the Midlanders in the next outing. Reserves Jason Garrity and James Sarjeant had been dominant all evening – especially against their Lynn counterparts – which included Lewis Kerr's replacement for the evening, Lakeside Hammers' Adam Ellis.
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However, the latter destroyed the tapes to find himself hampered with a 15-metre penalty for a re-run which saw Garrity rightly excluded for whacking Ashley Morris off his machine coming out of the first turn.
If that wasn't bad enough, referee Ronnie Allan used the advantage of television replays to also disqualify Sarjeant who was caught trying to gain an advantage at the start by sneakily edging his bike over the white line.
Havelock's charges never recovered from that unusual 5-0 scoreline as impressive home heat leader duo Niels-Kristian Iversen and guest Freddie Lindgren rubbed salt in their rivals' wounds by ending their fine nights on a high. The pair rammed in a final-heat 5-1 to put the gloss on their impressive displays with Lynn's number one completing a faultless six-ride 18-point maximum. Coventry simply had no answer to the Dane's brilliance.
Wolves' rider Lindgren warmed up for pulling on Lynn colours tomorrow night again in Wiltshire by adding paid 13 as the Stars maintained their 100pc home record. And with two Arena meets still to go, Lyon's championship challengers know they can even afford to lose their two remaining away meets and make the top four as long as their fortress remains unbreached – which they look more than capable of ensuring.
Lynn: N-K Iversen 18, N Porsing 5+1, K Bjerre 9+2, F Lindgren (Guest) 12+1, A Ellis (G) 7, A Morris 3+2
Coventry: C Harris 7, M Kus (G) 4, D King 1+1 (withdrawn), H Andersen 10, J Kylmakorpi 3, J Garrity 5+2, J Sarjeant 5+1