King's Lynn Stars rally but Ipswich Witches take honours in derby

Lewis Kerr and Thomas Jorgensen grabbed a 5-1 in heat five.

Lewis Kerr and Thomas Jorgensen grabbed a 5-1 in heat five. - Credit: Ian Burt

King's Lynn Stars 43
Ipswich Witches 47

King’s Lynn rallied to three late maximums to at least prevent Ipswich from taking all four points from what had started out as a derby disaster. 

The Stars trailed by 16 after nine heats but as the track dried and their big hitters got going, the hosts fought back to cut the deficit to 43-47 by the end. 

The bad start began with Ty Proctor breaking the tapes and his replacement Lewis Bridger was excluded for crossing the white line in a 5-1 led by Danny King. 

Erik Riss and Ryan Kinsley chase down Anders Rowe in heat four.

Erik Riss and Ryan Kinsley chase down Anders Rowe in heat four. - Credit: Ian Burt

Anders Rowe passed the swift-gating Bridger before roaring away with a shared reserve race but Thomas Jorgensen took the home side’s first chequered flag in style by blasting around the boards to surge from third to first in another shared heat. 

Rowe gated to make it back-to-back wins with success over Erik Riss but Jorgensen led the fightback with Kerr putting the squeeze on Crump who then fell in a much-needed Stars 5-1. 

That joy was short lived, though, as King and Kemp retaliated from the tapes in heat six, the first of three Ipswich maximums in a row. 

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The Stars seemed set to respond in the ninth but Kerr locked up from the front and then retired and Jorgensen also suffered mechanical trouble on the last bend, King dashing through to claim an unlikely Witches 4-2. 

Lewis Bridger hunts down Anders Rowe.

Lewis Bridger hunts down Anders Rowe. - Credit: Ian Burt

Cook looked more like himself in the 10th, pouncing when Ostergaard moved inside to lead a heat advantage and Riss also benefited from a drying track to claim heat 11 but it was shared after Rowe got by Bridger at the back. 

The game was up when Rowe sailed to success in the 12th despite the best efforts of Jorgensen but the Stars refused to give in and Cook and Riss then Kerr and Bridger slammed in 5-1s to put Ipswich’s bonus point in doubt. Cook jetted away in the 15th and Riss, who had got out of shape and passed by both Witches on turn three, recovered to dart around the outside and claim the maximum that stifled Ipswich celebrations.  

King's Lynn Stars v Ipswich Witches

Action from King's Lynn's Premiership opener against Ipswich Witches - Credit: Ian Burt

Stars 43: Craig Cook 11, Erik Riss 10+2, Thomas Jorgensen 10, Lewis Kerr 5+1, Lewis Bridger 4+1, Ty Proctor 2, Ryan Kinsley 1+1. 

Ipswich 47: Anders Rowe 12+2, Danny King 12, Jason Crump 7+1, Cameron Heeps 6+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 6+1, Drew Kemp 4+1, Nicolai Klindt r/r. 

Erik Riss flew out of the trap in heat seven.

Erik Riss flew out of the trap in heat seven. - Credit: Ian Burt