King’s Lynn 44, Coventry 48
Lynn's Elite League play-off bid suffered a setback in tonight's spicy tussle against champions Coventry.
Home skipper Olly Allen was ruled out pre-meeting after a failed fitness test on his shoulder injury as the hosts slumped to only their second home league defeat of the campaign. Rob Lyon's men remain in third place in the race for a top four qualifying slot, but Coventry moved menacingly into sight with meetings in hand after a comprehensive display. Lynn prevented Coventry from claiming a full house in the finale with a welcome maximum courtesy of Niels-Kristian Iversen and Kenneth Bjerre. Lynn's normally placid number one was earlier involved in a family spat alongside younger brother Lasse in a feisty heat ten duel with Ryan Fisher. Coventry's abrasive second string clashed bikes with Bjerre senior following the race before squaring up to Lasse prior to the arrival of reinforcements to diffuse the potential flashpoint.
The Bjerre boys doubled teamed Emil Sayfutdinov in the opener but the highly-rated Nick Morris underlined his growing reputation with a swift trap to dictate the reserves. Przemyslaw Pawklicki maintained his heavy points-scoring form after double figures at Peterborough earlier this week to seal heat three on his Saddlebow debut. Iversen oozed class to dive out of Kenni Larsen's slipstream around the top bend but Tomas Topinka failed to make an impression at the rear to leave Coventry two clear in the early sparring.
Kenneth Bjerre picked up excess grip exiting turn two in the next but it was pantomime villain Fisher who tumbled – Lynn's Dane forced to lay his bike down to avoid a nasty collision with the American.
Lynn's stand-in skipper appeared to have his say after getting to his feet before the excluded Fisher earned a less than warm welcome from the home fans on his walk back to the pits before Bjerre senior shepherded Lasse home in the re-run. Pawlicki coasted to the next for the champions and Lynn were fortunate to grab a share of the spoils in heat eight when Morris slithered off out of turn four with Fisher well clear. Sayfutdinov underlined Coventry's dominance in the fastest tour of the night to extend the visitors' lead on the cusp of the interval.
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Fisher's popularity sunk to new depths after playing hard ball with Bjerre junior in a superb heat 13 and the American further endeared himself by wrecking Mads Korneliussen's tactical raid in heat 12. Fisher revelled in the jeers of the home crowd – wiping away imaginary tears across the finish line to a cacophony of boos.
Young Morris again sparkled in the penultimate race until trundling to a halt to leave the youngster beating his handlebars in frustration but Pawlicki swept up behind to seal the away win before Lynn finished on a high in the finale.
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• Stars: K Bjerre 11+2, L Bjerre 8, Korneliussen 11+1, Iversen 11, Lambert 1, Topinka 2+2.
• Bees: Sayfutdinov 12+1, Larsen 10, Fisher 6+2, Pawlicki 11, Auty 5+1, Morris 4+1.