King’s Lynn go for glory

Injured King's Lynn ace Kozza Smith admits toppling Poole in the Elite League play-offs would be the perfect pick-me-up after his season-ending crash.

Rob Lyon's men host the Pirates in tonight's televised first leg of their semi-final minus the popular Aussie who dislocated his shoulder in the final regular season home finale (7:40pm).

Smith was drafted back into the Stars' septet to replace Tomas Topinka recently and justified the management's faith with big returns at Wolves and at home to derby rivals Peterborough. Smith will again be in the Saddlebow pits tonight to urge on the underdogs against a Poole outfit spearheaded by high class compatriots Chris Holder and former Lynn team mate Darcy Ward.

Smith's good friend and another former Star Kevin Doolan has landed a guest booking for the Pirates who travel without injured trio Davey Watt, Jason Doyle and Dennis Andersson.

'It would have been good to be a part of the play-offs – especially if we can beat them and get to the final. It would've been awesome,' said Smith. 'I'll be there to cheer the boys on, like I always was in the past. If I can't be there on the track then I want to be there in the pits so I am with them trying to do my part. It's a tough one because of how good a side they are, but I've seen a few of the latest results and they have had a few injuries as well.

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'If that is the case it might even things up and play in our favour. The fact we have the home leg first is good for us because if we can go out and get a big score then it makes it tough for them and takes a bit of pressure off us. Don't forget King's Lynn have some very good riders in their own team. It's all about who performs on the day in the big meetings.'

Smith will find out tomorrow when he is likely to return to full fitness after his heavy spill against Birmingham following a smash involving reserve ally Filip Sitera.

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'The shoulder feels okay,' he said. 'I'd had a pretty good season Premier League-wise and then got a chance in the Elite League and felt I had started well but it has just been stomped on now. I slid off and Filip ran me over and hit me straight in the head. It was pretty big. It knocked me out for a bit, dislocated my shoulder and there is a fracture in there as well.

'It's in a sling at the moment. I'm allowed to move it slightly, but no major movements. It has put me out for six weeks or so. I was complaining in the ambulance and I couldn't remember the accident until I got to hospital but then I remembered everything and I have watched it since. It's just healing time now, and trying to get fit again. The only good thing is it came towards the end of the season.'

Club officials are urging home fans to arrive early at the Norfolk Arena tonight. A large screen will also be available for supporters to watch the other Elite League semi-final, play-off tie between Lakeside and Eastbourne.

• Gates open 5:30pm. Parade 7:20pm, First race 7:40pm.

• Admission prices: Adults �15, concessions �12, junior (aged 12 to 15 years) �5 with free entry for children aged 11 and under.

• Stars: 1 Kenneth Bjerre, 2 Lasse Bjerre, 3 Olly Allen, 4 Mads Kornelliusen, 5 Niels Iversen, 6 Fillip Sitera, 7 Sam Masters.

• Pirates (from): Chris Holder, Thomas H Jonasson, r/r (Davey Watt), Kevin Doolan, Darcy Ward, Kevin Wolbert, Morten Risager.

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