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Battling Stars grab a point at Swindon

PUBLISHED: 22:07 19 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:09 20 April 2018

King's Lynn's Lewis Kerr. Picture: Ian Burt

King's Lynn's Lewis Kerr. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

King’s Lynn’s gutsy mid-meeting revival helped them secure a thoroughly deserved league point from a 42-48 defeat at champions Swindon on Thursday.

The Tru Plant Stars fought back from 13-23 down to level the scores at 27-27 before the home side re-established control of the meeting.

But the visitors refused to cave in completely, and a pair of 4-2s from Robert Lambert and Niels-Kristian Iversen in heats 13 and 15 ensured they finished within six points on the night to add to their Premiership total.

Stars twice conceded early 5-1s to the Adam Ellis/Nick Morris combination but hit straight back with their own maximums on both occasions.

Reserves Lewis Kerr and Kasper Andersen combined well in heat two, although skipper Lambert suffered mechanical trouble in his first ride as Swindon built their lead.

Ty Proctor was then involved in back-to-back Stars’ 5-1s, teaming up first with Thomas Jorgensen and then with Kerr to slash the gap to two points – and then Lambert got the better of Troy Batchelor in heat nine with Andersen riding a mature race to keep David Bellego at bay for third place.

That levelled the scores, but it was advantage Swindon across the next three races as youngster Zach Wajtknecht caused a shock by combining with Tobiasz Musielak for a 5-1 over Iversen in heat 11 – and he also stole a point from Proctor in the next.

Stars trailed by eight points with three heats to go but Lambert saw off Morris in heat 13 with Iversen forcing his way inside Musielak for third place.

Bellego and Wajtknecht ensured Swindon’s win with a 4-2 in heat 14 but with the Stars needing a race advantage in the finale, Iversen chose the perfect time for his best ride of the night – and with Lambert supplying third place ahead of former Stars rider Batchelor, the visitors gained reward for their efforts.

Manager Dale Allitt said: “Swindon were massively up for tonight, for lots of reasons, but we said to the boys we’re taking one match at a time in what is a long season.

“I have to say there was a great team spirit. Everyone is working together, and we proved that when Rob had bike problems in his first ride, and again it was a great team performance.

“It was a tough call for Heat 15 because there were several who could have gone. Niels had changed bikes for heat 13 and he had so much speed there, so I had to give him the opportunity, and that’s why he’s our number one.

“It was also good to see Kasper scoring his first proper paid win after a gifted one last night, but it’s about the whole team and we did it without Lewis Rose, who used to ride here – and we only got three points from his rides.

“Niels is finding his feet, it’s only his fifth or sixth match since July, Robert had an engine failure and it still wasn’t right in his second one, but he came back really well, so overall it’s another really good performance.”

The Stars return to action at the Adrian Flux Arena on Wednesday with a mouth-watering clash against Poole.

Swindon 48: Nick Morris 11+2, Troy Batchelor 11, Adam Ellis 8, Tobiasz Musielak 7, Zach Wajtknecht 5+1, David Bellego 5, Mitchell Davey 1.

King’s Lynn 42: Robert Lambert 10, Niels-Kristian Iversen 8, Ty Proctor 7+1, Lewis Kerr 7+1, Thomas Jorgensen 7, Kasper Andersen 3+1, Lewis Rose r/r.

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