Tough opening night for Stars against old rivals Ipswich
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
King's Lynn Lynn's first trip to Ipswich since 2002 ended in a hefty 59-31 defeat in their Premiership Supporters' Cup season-opener.
Whilst the Witches clearly benefited from their double warm-up against Leicester last week, the Poultec Stars suffered myriad first-night problems in a match to forget.
Skipper Robert Lambert was reduced to just two points from five rides, and his crash on the first bend of the opening heat of the night rather set the tone for the meeting as far as the visitors were concerned.
The home side dominated at reserve with young Aussie Cameron Heeps especially impressive, giving them a strength-in-depth scorechart – whilst the Stars struggled to support German ace Erik Riss.
Thomas Jorgensen and Lewis Kerr grabbed an excellent 5-1 in the third heat to cut back an early deficit, but the Witches responded immediately and Riss found himself upstaged by Krystian Pieszczek in heat five.
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The Stars gained a point in the sixth heat when David Bellego suffered trouble late-on, but Kerr fell whilst leading the following race and Ty Proctor touched the tapes in heat nine as the hosts stretched clear.
The group points were virtually in the bag when Bellego shot past both Jorgensen and Kerr to join Chris Harris for a 5-1 in heat 10, although Riss kept on charging with a fine ride to win the next.
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But the Witches rubbed it in with two successive maximums before the nominated races, where Heeps duly completed an unbeaten night in another 5-1 with Danny King – and even hopes of a Riss/Kerr consolation in the last clash of the evening were thwarted by a spectacular effort from Harris.
Manager Scott Campos, standing in for Dale Allitt, said: 'It's disappointing, especially in a local derby. I thought there would be a bit more fight, but it's the first one of the season, a few problems have been ironed out and we'll come back.
'Erik was on fire, he attacked it well and he looked a class above, but overall the guys are bitterly disappointed and it's going to be a different story from now on.'
Stars turn their attentions to the Premiership Shield next week, with Poole visiting the Adrian Flux Arena in the first leg on Monday, with the Stars heading to the south coast on the following Thursday for the return leg before Ipswich head to Norfolk on Monday, April 15.
Ipswich: Chris Harris 12+1, Cameron Heeps 11+1, Danny King 10+4, Krystian Pieszczek 7, Richard Lawson 7, David Bellego 6+1, Jake Allen 6+1.
King's Lynn: Erik Riss 12, Thomas Jorgensen 5+1, Lewis Kerr 4+1, Ty Proctor 4, Michael Palm Toft 3, Robert Lambert 2+1, Kasper Andersen 1.