King's Lynn Stars keep play-off hopes alive by beating Peterborough 53-37
PUBLISHED: 22:19 19 August 2019 | UPDATED: 22:19 19 August 2019
King's Lynn made it seven home wins in succession on Monday evening by seeing off local rivals Peterborough 53-37 at the Adrian Flux Arena.
It wasn't entirely plain sailing for the Poultec Stars as the bottom club put up quite a fight and only trailed by six points with three races remaining, but the hosts then finished strongly.
The struggling Panthers pulled back an early deficit with a shock 5-1 over Craig Cook in heat four but the Stars then looked to be taking control of the meeting.
Back-to-back maximums enabled the home side to go eight points up with the strong Erik Riss/Thomas Jorgensen combination getting the better of Rohan Tungate in heat five, while Michael Palm Toft and guest Chris Harris headed Scott Nicholls in the next.
The visitors suffered a further blow when British champion Charles Wright touched the tapes in heat seven and the gap was up to 14 shortly after when skipper Lewis Kerr combined with the impressive Palm Toft for another 5-1.
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Panthers' skipper Hans Andersen was withdrawn with a wrist injury but his side covered for his absence well in heat 10 as Wright and Nicholls ended Palm Toft's run with a maximum of their own.
That cut the gap to 10 and a heavy fall for Riss on the first bend of heat 12 gave the Panthers further hope, with Nicholls and Wright adding another 5-1 in the re-run.
But a nervous finale was averted when Harris won heat 13, with Cook collecting third place, before Jorgensen and Kerr wrapped things up with a 5-1 in the penultimate race - and another maximum in the last heat set the seal.
Although the Stars remain outside the top four for now, the play-off race was ramped up by Wolverhampton's win at Belle Vue - meaning the Aces are dragged right back into the thick of the battle.
The Manchester side visit Norfolk on Thursday in what is a must-win contest, with the return in the North West on Bank Holiday Monday also now assuming major significance.
King's Lynn 53: Craig Cook 11, Michael Palm Toft 10, Erik Riss 9, Chris Harris 8+2, Lewis Kerr 7+2, Thomas Jorgensen 6+1, Simon Lambert 2.
Peterborough 37: Scott Nicholls 13+2, Charles Wright 8+1, Jason Garrity 7+3, Rohan Tungate 5, Aaron Summers 4, Ty Proctor 0, Hans Andersen 0.