Elite League: Poole Pirates 47, King’s Lynn Stars 43
Spirited Lynn ground out an outstanding point at Wimborne Road tonight despite fielding a patched-up side.
Mads Korneliussen, Simon Stead and David Howe were all missing but the six-men Stars took the meeting to a last-heat decider.
And they picked up a 3-3 in it to come home from the south coast in happy spirits despite losing their fourth fixture on the bounce.
The understrength Stars travelled to Dorset hoping to end their bad run and terrible luck with injuries. But it certainly didn't start promisingly on a horrible track that looked wet and full of ruts. It took until heat five for Lynn to get a race winner, and pick up a heat advantage. It came courtesy of the always flying and inspirational number one Niels-Kristian Iversen as he blasted round the outside of impressive debutant Przemyslaw Pawlicki on the top turn to take control of the race and storm to a crucial victory.
Lynn continued to dig deep to stay in the clash with Iversen, Rory Schlein and team boss Rob Lyon all bemoaning the state of the track in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Guest reserve Kevin Doolan, who rode for the Stars in their Premier League days, was doing himself proud with a gritty display. He'd ridden five heats before the eighth race of the night and was more-than doing his bit to keep the men from Norfolk in it.
He followed Swede Seb Alden home to pick up a maximum 5-1 to reduce the Pirates' lead to just two. And it was the hero of the night, undoubtedly Doolan, again who kept Lyon's men within touching distance by beating heat leader Pawlicki in the 12th. But the drama didn't stop there with Maciej Janowski and Schlein flying into the turn one air fence spectacularly to stop heat 13. Both men picked themselves up and brave Schlein went toe-to-toe with Holder in the re-run and finished second in a shared heat.
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Poole thought they had the victory wrapped up in the penultimate race when they looked set to bag a comfortable 5-1. However, in the last lap Dawid Stachyra suffered heartbreaking engine failure to let Lynn's men past and take it down to the nominated heat. And Schlein and Iversen did enough when the tapes came up to secure the point Lyon's men deserved.
Poole (number of rides): Holder 14 (5), Tungate 3+2 (4), Pawlicki 10 (5), Miskowiak 0 (3), Janowski 9 (4), Stachyra 4 (4), Jonasson 7 (5)
Lynn: Iversen 9+2 (5), Doolan 12+1 (7), Kennett 5 (4), Alden 6+2 (5), Schlein 8+1 (5), Worrall 3+2 (4)