Injury takes shine off Stars' victory

Lynn's injury curse struck again last night when Trevor Harding crashed out of the champions' Premier League stroll.

King's Lynn 60, Edinburgh 33 (107-76 on aggregate)

Lynn's injury curse struck again last night when Trevor Harding crashed out of the champions' Premier League stroll.

Harding headed off for a precautionary hospital visit after tangling with Edinburgh heat leader George Stancl.

The Monarchs' number one appeared to clip the in-form Aussie in a heat 11 duel.

Stancl limped back to the pits but Harding was ferried away by ambulance after lengthy treatment trackside and withdrawn from the meeting - the champions' third recent casualty following heavy crashes for Paul Lee and Chris Mills.

James Brundle fended off Stancl in the re-run as the table-toppers cruised to another routine home victory.

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Ex-Finnish Grand Prix star Kai Laukannen was the only visitor capable of stemming the home onslaught - gating to a superb heat 12 tactical success over Daniel Nermark.

The former Monarch looked odds-on to repeat his five ride maximum from June's reverse fixture but Laukannen dived inside the Swede and held on to back up his earlier heat seven flag.

The Swedish Elite League racer then spoiled Tomas Topinka's perfect night in a photo-finish finale.

Compatriot Kalle Katajisto failed to trouble the scorer along with out-gunned guest Nathan Irwin - the Weymouth racer replacing original booking Simon Lambert.

Mills powered past Derek Sneddon to chase home Topinka in the opener before the impressive Brundle gated to a routine reserve maximum.

Lee edged a thrilling tussle with Laukkanen as Lynn moved into top gear - Harding maintaining the early onslaught, ahead of former Lynn favourite Matthew Wethers.

Nermark hunted down Stancl around the top bend before Mills repelled Wethers as Topinka anchored Lynn's fourth maximum of the first six one-sided contests.

Laukkanen broke the cycle with a smooth trap to out-fox Harding and Brundle. Mills powered past Sneddon down the back straight to open his account.

Nermark's usual pre-interval procession nudged Lynn 22 clear on the scoresheets - Lee reeling in Wethers after the Aussie had dived into Nermark's slipstream from the tapes.

Laukkanen split the Lynn duo on the resumption before Harding's painful heat 11 exit - Lynn's in-form second string excluded as the primary cause after his heavy shunt with Stancl.

The fiery Finn re-emerged to inflict Nermark's first defeat against his former employers in nine league rides this season, expertly cutting back inside on the opening lap.

Topinka guided Brundle through a heat 13 minefield - the skipper passing Stancl in the early sparring then holding off Wethers' last bend assault.

Lee repeated his Berwick heat 14 success after his niggling rib injury but Laukkanen had the final say, trapping in front of Topinka and hanging on to deny the Czech maximum points.

t Stars: Topinka 14, Mills 6+1, Nermark 11, Lee 10+3, Harding 5, Brundle 9+2, Compton 5+2.

t Monarchs: Stancl 5, Sneddon 4+2, Laukannen 15, Katajisto 0, Wethers 5, Irwin 0, Tully 4+1.