King's Lynn Stars go with six of the best for vital Wolves double-header
PUBLISHED: 11:02 20 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:02 20 August 2018
King's Lynn Stars have opted to go with a six-man squad for the crucial double-header at home to Wolverhampton on Wednesday night.
Two wins would see the Stars top the Premiership – but they will have to do it without Niels-Kristian Iversen, as his home team in Denmark have pulled rank on his services, despite assurances the Stars had priority for the rest of the season.
It’s a big night elsewhere in the speedway world, which means Lynn were limited to either selecting a guest from fellow title rivals Belle Vue team or opting for rider replacement, which sees the remaining six Stars riders taking extra rides to cover for Iversen.
And with so much at stake, Lynn’s management and riders have opted to keep their destiny in their own hands and compete with a six-man plus one reserve squad.
“We have carefully considered our strategy for this critical double-header and the whole team have bought-in to running rider replacement for Niels,” said team manager and co-promoter Dale Allitt.
“To ask the riders to take extra rides on an already busy night is a big ask, but to the man they all immediately stepped up to the challenge. The decision was heavily influenced by the desire to keep our destiny in our own hands and we all know what is required on Wednesday night.
“Another key factor is that Belle Vue are a Premiership challenger to the Stars and we felt that it would be unreasonable to place such pressure to perform on an opponents’ rider”.
The Stars have been forced into a double-header after bad weather forced several postponements in March and April, coupled with the September 10 league cut-off date.
Owner and co-promoter Keith Chapman said: “For a number of reasons we would prefer to have the meetings on two separate evenings but this is now not possible due to the league cut-off date. The lessons from running previous double-headers have been carefully scrutinised and we have forward planned for as many eventualities as is possible. We have Josh Bailey at number eight (a reserve rider who can be used in the event of injury) giving us options in both matches.
“We have also employed an additional rider to be on stand-by, at the stadium, for the second match. On the basis that ‘the show must go on’ we have even arranged for two ambulances to be on site, so in the unlikely event one is needed we still meet the health and safety requirements to continue with the evening.”
Gates open at 6pm with the first match tapes up at 7pm and the second match build-up starting at around 8:15.