Elite League: King’s Lynn Stars 58, Lakeside Hammers 34
- Credit: Ian Burt
Lynn ripped Lakeside apart tonight but suffered damage of their own as two riders were injured during their season opener.
The Stars were simply too good for the Hammers as they sent out a statement of intent to their Elite League title rivals in front of the Sky Sports cameras. But Lewis Kerr's serious crash and the recurrance of Nicklas Porsing's knee injury took the gloss off their side's truly sensational start to the term.
Kerr's massive spill in heat five saw him withdrawn with a concussion and taken to the town's Queen Elizabeth Hospital while his team-mate tweaked the same problem which saw his evening – just like it did against Poole in the Shield second leg on Thursday – end early.
Despite being left with just five men from the sixth heat, the hosts made light work of a visiting team that would have been left even more embarrassed had number one Andreas 'AJ' Jonsson not scored 11 points.
It was almost total dominance from start to finish with Robert Lambert producing his most impressive display yet in Lynn's senior colours. The 16-year-old showed flashes of brilliance during his maiden top-flight campaign but nothing quite so complete as what he put together during his second paid maximum in the British scene's top tree.
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The Norfolk sensation rammed in a paid 18 but it was how he did it which will live long in the memory. From the tapes, which often let him down in 2014, the teenager was electric. His jet-propelled starts left seasoned GP riders like the Hammers' AJ in his trail and once he was out in front he never looked like being caught.
And when Lambert wasn't leading the way, he was showing maturity beyond his tender years by team riding like a seasoned pro and guiding his fellow compatriots across the line. If it was a glimpse of what's to come then it's going to be a year to remember for the Foulsham rider.
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He was part of a line-up that offered a gating masterclass to their disappointing opponents. Twelve out of the 15 heats saw a man in home colours – managed by Young Stars boss Dale Allitt and not Rob Lyon for the clash – hit the first turn in control.
Three 4-2s on the bounce set the tone for a night which will belong to Lambert but also saw Niels-Kristian Iversen, Rory Schlein and Ashley Morris highlight that they're ready to shine in the Stars' 50th season.
A maximum 5-1 win for Porsing, in his only ride of the fixture, and Morris opened up a 10-point gap early on that was only reduced when Jonsson, going for double points as a tactical, inspired the Arena Essex outfit to a 5-3 race win – only one of three paltry heat triumphs.
On the odd occasion when they did gate riders like Schlein, in the sixth, had too much power and class and stormed from third to first in a way which suggests Lynn could reach the play-offs without hitting top gear.
However, that was what Lambert and Iversen were in all evening, especially from the start, as they helped inspire six 5-1 romps.
Lynn still know though that they will need to avoid some luck with injuries, which was their curse of last term, to lift silverware. So fingers will be crossed that Kerr and Porsing's problems are not the start of things to come.
Lynn: N-K Iversen 10, R Lambert 16+2, R Schlein 13+1, N Porsing 3 (WDN), K Bjerre 5+2, L Kerr 3 (WDN), A Morris 8+1
Lakeside: A Jonsson 11, K Nilsson 4+1, M Bech 4, E Kennett 1, R Lawson 3+1, A Ellis 8+1, A Birks 3+1