Photo Gallery: Elite League: King’s Lynn Stars 39, Swindon Robins 51
- Credit: IAN BURT
A miserable 24 hours for Lynn was compounded tonight as they slipped to their second home defeat of 2013.
The Stars suffered a huge blow on Tuesday when Simon Stead broke his leg and ankle while practising at the Norfolk Arena. And it didn't get any better when the six-man Saddlebow Road side endured their heaviest loss of the term on their own shale.
In an action-packed clash in front of the Sky Sports cameras, there were thrills and spills. But too many didn't go in Lynn's favour as the champions exacted revenge for their 54-40 mauling in Nelson's County earlier this term.
The result was enough to see Swindon leapfrog Norfolk's Elite League outfit into third – who in turn slipped a place to fifth. However, it was not a disastrous defeat and the Stars still harbour serious hopes of reaching the top four - especially if they can take points off the Robins in the return fixture tomorrow.
The evening got off to the worst possible start when Niels-Kristian Iversen's engine failure robbed Lynn of a certain 5-1 maximum in the opener. The Dane and Richie Worrall had led from tapes up but it was left to the latter to pick up a race win after the Stars' number one's misfortune.
And that bad luck continued in the third when Worrall was leading, being pushed hard by Peter Kildemand, and third-placed Eddie Kennett hit the deck. To the dismay of the crowd referee Dave Robinson called for a re-run – even through the hosts' Englishman had started his fourth lap.
Worrall failed to win the re-run and a fired up Robins' outfit took control of the meeting with some hard racing and fast gating from there on in.
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The visitors' cause was helped when Robinson made another controversial decision in the seventh after a horrible incident. Kildemand's chain appeared to snap on the top bend propelling him into the shale with a thud. Somehow, somehow, Rory Schlein avoided running straight over him but as a result ploughed into the air fence.
It was a similar third-lap crash to what had happened earlier on in the evening. However, much to the anger of the home faithful – and Norfolk Arena supremo Buster Chapman – the man calling the shots up in the referee's box awarded the race.
Every time Rob Lyon's men looked to be staging a mini-revival, by leading a race or closing the gap on the Wiltshire club, they couldn't quite see it through.
A much-needed heat advantage finally came in the 10th when Iversen's brilliant cut-back on the first turn saw him dart from fourth to first. It helped narrow the gap to four, yet any hopes of a late comeback were put to bed when Kildemand and Ashley Birks picked up the first 5-1 to leave Lynn eight behind with three to go – a deficit they never looked like overhauling.
Lynn (number of rides): Iversen 10 (5), Worrall 6+2 (5), Alden 8+1 (5), Schlein 7 (5), Porsing 3+1 (5), Lebedev 5 (5)
Swindon: Harris 6+2 (4), Morris 7+2 (4), Kildemand 8+1 (5), Kennett 6 (4), Batchelor 14 (5), Birks 8 (5), Gathercole 2 (3)