King's Lynn suffer injury blow
Rye House 48, King's Lynn 42:Lynn captain Tomas Topinka suffered a suspected broken leg in the holders' Premier Trophy defeat at Hoddesdon.Topinka crashed out in his second ride after a high speed heat five shunt with Luke Bowen that propelled the pair into the back straight boards.
Rye House 48, King's Lynn 42
Lynn captain Tomas Topinka suffered a suspected broken leg in the holders' Premier Trophy defeat at Hoddesdon.
Topinka crashed out in his second ride after a high speed heat five shunt with Luke Bowen that propelled the pair into the back straight boards.
The Czech managed to hobble to the pits for further medical treatment on a twisted ankle, damaged hand and suspected fracture to his lower right leg. Club officials are now expected to confirm today Topinka will miss the rest of the Premier Trophy campaign and the early weeks of the league season.
Rob Lyon's depleted side still pushed the Rockets all the way until newly-crowed British U21 champion Joe Haines and Kevin Doolan deferred to Rye's main men Chris Neath and Jordan Frampton.
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Darren Mallett's impressive return to the club's senior ranks was one bright spot with the Boston-born racer and his reserve ally Casper Wortmann softening the blow of Topinka's early exit.
Bowen powered to the opener in the fastest time of the season at Rye House on a perfect racing track before Neath cut back inside Linus Eklof.
Mallett reproduced his midweek heat two heroics in a re-run reserves following Kyle Hughes' tumble. The 23-year-old powered from the traps again with Wortmann on the gas to hold up Kurt Shields.
Haines' first outing since clinching the British U21 crown at Lakeside 24 hours earlier ended inauspiciously with a pointless heat three tour behind Elite League starlet Frampton.
Doolan moved Lynn within two points in the next but Shields dipped inside Wortmann to split the away duo. Topinka's night ended prematurely in a sickening shunt with Bowen with the pair jostling for position on the opening lap.
Lynn's skipper was eventually helped back to the pits and out of the meeting but Bowen bravely re-appeared to claim the re-run after a lengthy stoppage for repairs to the battered fence.
Neath reeled in Mallett to foil a Stars' 5-1 before the old protagonists traded shared mid-meeting heats to preserve the hosts' four point lead.
Dependable Doolan shadowed Mallett in heat nine but Frampton turned on the power to overhaul Lynn's improving reserve. Frampton and Neath then combined to shut out Haines and the struggling Kozza Smith but Eklof and Mallett replied in kind.
Neath was awarded heat 13 when Rye House guest Sam Masters cartwheeled in the rear. Bowen's exclusion in the penultimate race set up a tense finale but Neath and Frampton gated superbly to wreck Lynn's bid for an against-the-odds win.
Rockets: Neath 13+1, Ekberg r/r, Frampton 15+2, Bowen 7+2, Masters 4, Shields 7+1, Hughes 2+1.
Stars: Topinka 1, Eklof 7, Smith 3, Haines 7, Doolan 12, Mallett 7+1, Wortmann 5+2.
Lynn youngster Joe Haines described his British U21 title success as 'a dream come true'.
The Wolves asset edged out club mate Tai Woffinden and reigning champion Lewis Bridger to win the final after qualifying third behind the classy duo.
'I can't believe it,' he said. 'I came here looking to qualify for the final but I just felt better and better as the night went on. To win the title is like a dream come true for me and it's a real boost for my season. For me to beat Tai and Lewis is a real confidence boost and gives me more belief.'