Photo gallery: Elite League: King’s Lynn Stars 47, Peterborough Panthers 43
- Credit: IAN BURT
Two of speedway's fiercest rivals took something away from Saddlebow Road after a cracking A47 derby tonight.
Lynn picked up their third victory over Peterborough this year but could only claim two of the three points on offer. They needed a maximum 5-1 win in the last race to grab full bragging rights.
But the Panthers claimed an all important shared heat to take a point back to Cambridgeshire that they probably deserved.
It was only Rob Lyon's men's second win in 10 meetings but they showed enough heart and fight to suggest their Elite League play-off hopes are far from over.
A string of 4-2 race wins was traded at the start to prove there was little to separate the teams. Even when the improving visitors recorded back-to-back triumphs, they could only edge two points clear.
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A pumped up Mads Korneliussen stormed to a heat win but there was another man in Lynn colours who was revved up for the battle. And that was the Australian Kozza Smith.
Lynn's guest, who lost his place in the team earlier this term, fought so, so hard to claim a second in his opening ride and then ripped round the outside of Krzysztof Buczkowski to inspire the first 5-1 in the seventh.
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Equally impressive was Rory Schlein, a man who has looked low on confidence of late. He squeezed by the Panthers man in the tiniest of gaps to clinch a late second in the same outing.
The pair, ably supported by Korneliussen and number one Niels-Kristian Iversen, drove the Norfolk Arena club on. Smith recorded back-to-back wins as he continued to look like a man with a point to prove.
And after an early interval, due to a low sun being in the riders' eyes, it was the Aussie and Iversen who started the chain of two 5-1s that put Lynn eight clear. The second came courtesy of Smith and his countryman Schlein as they showed more grit and togetherness than their cricket team have done so far during this summer's Ashes. Team riding may be something of a dying art but they showed just how it should be done by holding off ex-Lynn rider Kenneth Bjerre – a man who knows every inch of the Saddlebow Road shale.
However, the city team weren't going to take their impending defeat laying down and they took the clash to a thrilling last heat decider by winning races 12 and 14. The latter was the Panthers' first 5-1 of the night.
And it left both sides on tenterhooks going into the final action of the night – which was shared after Schlein's fall on the first turn.
Lynn (number of rides): Iversen 13+1 (5), L. Bjerre 3 (3), Korneliussen 7 (4), Worrall 2 (4), Schlein 7+2 (5), Smith 13+1 (6), Lebedevs 2 (3)
Panthers: K. Bjerre 6 (4), Bech 4 (5), Buczkowski 6+1 (4), Kylmakorpi 10+1 (5), North 4 (5), Hougaard 13+1 (7)