Stars season finale drifts away as Poole claim top spot
PUBLISHED: 21:55 19 September 2019 | UPDATED: 21:55 19 September 2019
King's Lynn's last meeting of a disappointing season ebbed away much as their play-off hopes had as champions Poole Pirates sealed top spot with a 51-39 win.
The Poultec Stars stayed with the standard bearers of the modern era for 10 heats before Brady Kurtz hammered home his second and third race wins to give Poole pick of semi-final opponent in the title deciders.
Erik Riss was sent out as an early rider replacement only to hit the tapes yet still pocketed a point from a 15-metre handicap to back up Robert Lambert's chequered flag following Nico Covatti's retirement.
Lewis Kerr, Riss and Craig Cook followed that with heat wins but the Stars were only able to establish a four-point lead as Pirates packed the minor places during the opening exchanges, home guest Chris Harris getting the better of Nicolai Klindt in heat three to double the cushion.
Kurtz finally bagged Poole's first win in the fifth leading home Covatti to level but Lambert's triumph and third place for rider replacement Kerr nudged the hosts back in front.
A switch of reserves in the seventh and eighth backfired with Cook leading a 3-3 before Kerr, in for Josh MacDonald, brought up the rear to hand a maximum to Ricky Wells and Covatti.
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That put Poole in front for the first time but Wells then came in for ex-Star Tomas H Jonasson in the ninth and finished last, Riss and Harris pocketing the 4-2 that levelled the meeting once more.
Lambert's hat-trick was brought up in heat 10 but persistent visitors Josh Grajczonek and Klindt kept Kerr at the back and it was from there that Pirates truly established a stranglehold.
Kurtz and Covatti scooped their second 5-1 as Cook retired, while Riss could only split Klindt and Jonasson as MacDonald hit the deck in the 12th.
More ground was lost in the clash of the big hitters with Kurtz claiming a treble of his own and Jack Holder getting the better of Cook at the back.
It was all over with a race to spare, despite Riss winning Harris retired to round off a tough night for the Ipswich charger and Holder and Klindt added gloss to the score to finish.
Stars: Erik Riss 13, Robert Lambert 11, Craig Cook 6, Lewis Kerr 5, Chris Harris 4, Josh MacDonald 0, Thomas Jorgensen r/r.
Poole 51: Brady Kurtz 11, Jack Holder 10, Josh Grajczonek 8, Nicolai Klindt 7+3, Ricky Wells 7+2, Nico Covatti 6+3, Tomas H Jonasson 2+1.