King’s Lynn Stars endure torrid night at high-flying Poole Pirates
- Credit: Ian Burt
King's Lynn Stars endured a monsoon of misfortune as Elite League champions Poole Pirates ruthlessly brushed them aside 65-25 at Wimborne Road last night.
Stars turned up in Dorset without former world No.3 Niels-Kristian Iversen, who was racing for his Danish club Esbjerg. He was replaced by British star Chris Harris, who managed just five points.
Their victory hopes suffered another blow when German rider Kai Huckenbeck was ruled out three hours prior to tapes up after being suspended by his national federation, the DMSB, having reportedly refused an international call-up.
With Huckenbeck due to race at No.2, despite his 3.18 average being lower than that of reserves Lewis Rose and guest Ben Morley, Stars were only allowed to use their bottom pair to cover his rides.
A severely-weakened Lynn were no match for a Pirates side led by 2012 world champion Chris Holder, who romped to 14 paid 15 points – his second straight home maximum.
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King's Lynn will need to mastermind a major turnaround in fortunes tonight as the Pirates head to the Adrian Flux Arena for the return fixture after Poole dropped just 10 points to their visitors all night, registering a terrific 10 5-1s in the process.
A needless two-minute exclusion for guest Ben Morley in heat two when he turned up at the tapes wearing the wrong helmet colour didn't help Stars' chances.
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Nor did mechanical problems at the start of race nine for Rory Schlein, which saw him first handicapped 15 metres, and then booted out of the heat entirely when he failed to return to the track on his spare bike in time.
But it wasn't all doom and gloom for the Norfolk side as teenage sensation Robert Lambert showed his class in heat three, with a superb win under immense pressure from Poole skipper Hans Andersen.
But there was no stopping a Poole team chasing the club's fourth straight Elite League championship.
POOLE 65: Chris Holder 14+1 (5), Adam Ellis 8 (4), Krzysztof Buczkowski 7+1 (4), Brady Kurtz 11+3 (5), Hans Andersen 6+2 (4), Bjarne Pedersen 9+3 (4), Kyle Newman 10+1 (4).
KING'S LYNN 25: Chris Harris 5 (4), Rider Replacement – Kai Huckenbeck, Robert Lambert 5+1 (5), Rory Schlein 6 (5), Troy Batchelor 4 (4), Ben Morley 2 (6), Lewis Rose 3 (6).