Away defeat hits King’s Lynn Stars’ hopes of reaching play-offs
- Credit: Archant
King's Lynn Stars left Wolverhampton the walking wounded after an eventful night in the West Midlands.
The batter and bruised Poultec Stars produced a brave effort against an in-form Wolves side, but ultimately slipped to a 53-36 defeat.
Craig Cook pulled out after two rides through illness, Michael Palm Toft was withdrawn part way through with a left ankle injury while skipper Robert Lambert battled on despite an ongoing back problem.
Palm Toft took the chequered flag in the opener while there was frustration for Lambert who finished at the back after being outgated by his rivals.
Guest reserve Ulrich Ostergaard led down the back straight in the second before home man Ryan Douglas came charging underneath on the first lap.
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Stars fell behind when Wolves struck the first 5-1 of the fixture in heat three before a missed opportunity came about in the fourth. Home reserve Luke Becker divebombed Ostergaard on bend three of the last lap and cleaned the Dane out. But Wolves were still able to pull another point clear after Cook had retired from the race a lap earlier in a heat that had two finishers only.
Palm Toft and Lambert sat on a 5-1 in the early stages of the fifth but Lambert drifted wide off bend two, allowing both Wolves riders to come underneath before Palm Toft was passed by Nick Morris on the final lap.
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The Stars registered their first heat advantage of the night in the sixth to reduce the gap to five, with Lewis Kerr getting the better of Douglas for third, while Cook cut back intelligently off the final bend to pip home No.1 Sam Masters on the run to the line - but that would be the end of his night.
Palm Toft was the next one ruled out three races later as he tangled with Morris down the back straight and with Stars only able to register three more heat wins and just one more advantage, the side were sent home empty handed as their outside play-off hopes were dealt a big blow.
Wolverhampton 53: Jacob Thorssell 14, Nick Morris 13+1, Rory Schlein 11+1, Sam Masters 9+2, Ryan Douglas 4+2, Luke Becker 2+2, Kyle Howarth R/R.
King's Lynn 36: Erik Riss 9+1, Michael Palm Toft 6+1, Lewis Kerr 6+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 6, Robert Lambert 4, Craig Cook 3, Thomas Jorgensen 2.