Photo Gallery: Elite League: King’s Lynn Stars 46, Coventry Bees 44
A late comeback salvaged a vital victory and two precious Elite League points for King's Lynn at the Norfolk Arena tonight.
The Stars were six points behind Coventry with just three heats left but turned it round to secure a spirited win against a dogged Bees outfit who picked up a point - the least their efforts deserved on the night.
The meeting was going to have to be a special one to beat last week's classic against Poole. And Rob Lyon's Stars - looking to secure back-to-back victories for only the second time this season - were hardly helped by the absence of red-hot number one Niels-Kristian Iversen who was riding for his Danish club.
Coventry were without a star of their own after Scott Nicholls decided not to risk his shoulder injury ahead of his appearance for Great Britain in the Speedway World Cup at the Norfolk Arena on Monday.
But while Lynn could replace Iversen with a guest - former Stars number one Kenneth Bjerre, the Bees were forced to operate rider/replacement in Nicholls' absence.
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Any fears that Bjerre couldn't step in for Iversen were blasted away in heat one as the Dane flew out of the traps to secure a race win and a 4-2 heat advantage for the hosts.
But that positivity quickly vanished as the Bees responded with two maximum 5-1s in what was a couple of miserable races for the hosts. David Howe retired through injury before Maciej Janowski reared up, hit the deck, and was excluded after Kevin Wolbert couldn't miss him and came crashing to the ground.
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Any advantage Lynn had gained by Nicholls' omission was cancelled out when Howe pulled out of the meeting after 'aggravating an existing shoulder injury' on top of riding with broken ribs.
A slow start for the Stars gradually improved after a 4-2 heat win and a couple of shared heats but the red-hot Chris Harris and former Star Adam Roynon kept clocking up race wins to keep the visitors in front.
And a miserable 5-1 reverse in heat nine saw Lyon's troops go in four down, 29-25, at the interval. The Stars had missed too many starts and looked a shadow of the side that had ended Poole's unbeaten run on Friday.
A big response was needed and it certainly came after the interval with Lynn enjoying three heat advantages including two maximums.
Their luck seemed to turn in heat 13 when Harris, in second, packed up gifting the Stars a 5-1. And in the next heat the previously flying Roynon over-cooked it and hit the deck on turn two leaving Lynn a huge opportunity to capitalise in the re-run.
The Stars grabbed it by bagging another maximum before Bjerre won heat 15 to finish on a stunning 14-point haul to help Lynn to a valuable two-point victory.
King's Lynn: Kenneth Bjerre 14, Mads Korneliussen 5 (1), Maciej Janowski 3, Kevin Wolbert 5 (1), Daniel Nermark 9 (1), David Howe 0, Mateusz Szczepaniak 10 (3)
Coventry: Chris Harris 9 (1), Aaron Summers 2 (1), Edward Kennett 6 (2), Kenni Larsen 10, Adam Roynon 12, Henning Bager 5 (2)