Photo Gallery: Elite League: King’s Lynn Stars 39, Poole Pirates 50
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Lynn's terrible run of luck with injuries continued tonight as their proud home record came crashing to an end.
It was Groundhog Day at the Norfolk Arena as the returning Mads Korneliussen – who hadn't ridden since hurting himself at home to Poole three meetings ago – was forced to withdraw from the clash after injuring his head and wrist.
And just like their earlier fixture against the south coast side, the Stars were left to compete with just five men in the end. Seb Alden was the latest man in Lynn colours to take a nasty tumble and played no further part after leaving his home track in an ambulance. However, brave Lynn's fight didn't pay off this time as they slipped to their first home defeat of 2013.
The loss ended an outstanding run of five maximum three-point victories from as many meetings for the Stars who will now be hoping for brighter times in the coming weeks. A host of the in-form side's riders have been on the treatment table already of late with Simon Stead being unable to face the Dorset club this evening after suffering more fitness problems of his own at the weekend.
Eight points was the gap when the two sides met at Saddlebow Road in April. But with the Pirates desperately trying to resurrect a woeful start to 2013 – and naming British champion Tai Woffinden and world champion Chris Holder in their line-up – many thought it would be a closer run thing.
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It certainly was with five of the first eight heats being shared. The opening four were fairly routine until the night's bizarre events kicked in.
Korneliussen hit the deck with a thud after the fifth race had been stopped for an unsatisfactory start. The awkward fall, which saw him get tangled up with his own bike after clipping Dawid Stachyra, was enough to ruin his comeback and end his evening.
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Woffinden and Stachyra picked up Poole's first heat advantage in the re-run, a maximum 5-1, to put their side in front. But Rory Schlein and Richie Worrall soon lowered the colours of Holder, like they had done at the Norfolk Arena earlier this term, to put the Stars ahead.
However, Rob Lyon's men's luck didn't last for long when Alden came off in heat nine and played no further part in the night's strangeness. Rohan Tungate had packed in before the Swede's spill so just two men competed in the re-run – which was comfortably won by Maciej Janowski.
A three-point advantage for the hosts was enough to see them go into the interval in an element of control. But that soon disappeared when two immediate 5-1s after the re-start saw the seven-man visitors power into a five-point lead.
They never let go of it by making sure they picked up heat advantages in the remaining three heats with 14-point guest rider Woffinden winning the 15th race to end on a high.
Lynn (number of rides): Iversen 12 (5), Howe 2+2 (3), Korneliussen 2 (1), Alden 2+1 (3), Schlein 5+1 (5), Worrall 7+1 (7), Grajczonek 9 (6)
Poole: Woffinden 14 (5), Stachyra 5+3 (4), Holder 9 (4), Miskowiak 0 (3), Janowski 11 (5), Howarth 1 (3), Tungate 10+1 (6)