King’s Lynn Stars edge to 47-43 cup win over Swindon Robins
- Credit: IAN BURT PHOTOGRAPHY
King's Lynn skipper Robert Lambert came up with a big heat 15 win to secure victory over Swindon Robins on Monday night.
The Poultec Stars were 47-43 winners over the Robins, who took a point from the meeting and remain favourites to reach the final – but success on the night kept the home side's encouraging run going, and Lambert was the man to deliver.
It was always going to be a tough test against a visiting side packed with heat-leader strength and a lively reserve in Zach Wajtknecht.
Lambert won his opening duel with former world champion Jason Doyle but an early four-point lead for the home side was cancelled out by Tobiasz Musielak and Adam Ellis in heat 3.
The Stars hit straight back as Thomas Jorgensen pounced on an early error by Troy Batchelor in heat 4 as the Dane teamed up with fellow countryman Michael Palm Toft to put the Stars back ahead.
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But Swindon wouldn't be shaken off as Doyle, Batchelor and Musielak reeled off a series of wins, with Wajtknecht taking an important third place off Ty Proctor in heat 5.
And even when Ellis, taking rider-replacement for the absent Dawid Lampart, broke the tapes in heat 8, Wajtknecht came in to get the better of Erik Riss and Simon Lambert, a late guest call-up for hand injury victim Kasper Andersen. But the Stars did manage a big breakthrough in heat 10 as the Musielak/Ellis combination was upstaged by Robert Lambert and Riss to give them a six-point advantage.
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Jorgensen so nearly took the scalp of Doyle in heat 11 only for the Australian to surge past on the last lap in a high-quality move and the Robins kept in the fight with a 4-2 in heat 12 as Batchelor headed Robert Lambert for the second time. A further 4-2 followed in the next with Jorgensen coming to grief while chasing Ellis, meaning a nervous finale, especially when Doyle won the supporter-nominated heat 14.
But as so often, Lambert was the man for the big occasion as he scraped the fence of turn two in heat 15 to beat Batchelor while Jorgensen added insurance with third place.
King's Lynn 47: Robert Lambert 12+1, Michael Palm Toft 11+3, Erik Riss 8+2, Thomas Jorgensen 7+1, Lewis Kerr 4, Simon Lambert 3, Ty Proctor 2+1.
Swindon 43: Jason Doyle 14, Troy Batchelor 12, Tobiasz Musielak 7, Zach Wajtknecht 6, Adam Ellis 4+1, James Shanes 0.