King’s Lynn 51 Swindon Robins 39: Lambert stars as Chapman’s gamble pays off
- Credit: Archant
King's Lynn chief Keith Chapman won new admirers after pulling off the great escape.
Chapman was on the verge of pulling the plug on this Premiership showdown with reigning champions Swindon at 3pm.
But he took a gamble and won - on and off the track. It was a particularly tough call as the visitors included Troy Batchelor, one of two riders unceremoniously axed by Chapman after track protests in a meeting against Poole last year.
As fans and riders arrived at the Adrian Flux Arena they were greeted by sunshine. And yet it could so easily have been off.
Despite the standard of opposition the earlier rain and a clash with the Linnets' big play-off game clearly hit the attendance.
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Lynn were on the back foot early on when Adam Ellis made a dream start and partnered Nick Morris for a Robins 5-1 over Craig Cook, on for Stars' top man Niels-Kristian Iversen.
But the meeting turned into an entertaining affair with some fine racing - again thanks to the magnificent work of Chapman and his staff.
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Stars skipper Robert Lambert was involved in a fine race with Batchelor in heat 7 when he timed his move to perfection for a stunning win.
But the real turning point came in heat 9 when Aussie ace Ty Proctor partnered Lambert to a 5-1 over James Sarjeant. And Lambert pulled off a stunning swoop in heat 11 when he went from third to first to win the race and keep the Tru Plant Stars six up.
Batchelor notched his third win of the night in the next but a home victory was assured in the penultimate heat when the impressive Proctor led a Stars 5-1 which put them 47-37 ahead.
Lynn just needed a share of the spoils in the last race to deny the champions a point - and Lambert made sure with another spectacular move from third to first for a 4-2.
Lynn: Robert Lambert 17+1, Lewis Kerr 14+3, Ty Proctor 12+1, Michael Palm Toft 5+1, Craig Cook 3, Ashley Morris 1+1.
Swindon: Nick Morris 11+3, Troy Batchelor 11, Adam Ellis 7, Tobiasz Musielak 5+1, James Sarjeant 4, David Bellego 1, Mitchell Davey 0.