Photo gallery: Elite League: King’s Lynn Stars 48, Coventry Bees 43
- Credit: IAN BURT
The Stars blew a fantastic start to drop a crucial point in their play-off chase tonight.
It had looked like it was going to be so, so easy for Rob Lyon's men to begin with as they roared into a 10-point lead.
But Coventry forced their way back into the clash to leave the hosts needing at least a 3-3 in the final heat to secure a victory by at least seven – and pick up all three points.
However, the men from the Midlands picked up a last-heat 4-2 to take something home to Brandon and further damage Lynn's top-four hopes.
Four heat wins and race advantages in the first five had appeared to set the Saddlebow Road side on their way to a comfortable home win. With Grand Prix ace Kryzsztof Kasprzak well off the pace it looked like the Bees had no answer to a fired-up Stars side.
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Stuart Robson was the only visiting rider to enjoy early joy as Lasse Bjerre, Rory Schlein and home skipper Mads Korneliussen cruised to race wins. A couple of maximum 5-1 triumphs had home fans in good spirits.
And when the visitors' Scott Nicholls blew a tactical ride, going for double points, it looked like the Norfolk Arena side would power away.
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His third, which gave him two points instead of the usual one, meant a 5-2 rather than an 8-1. Yet the Bees showed they still had a sting in the tail by hanging onto their opponents' coat tails.
Kasprzak got his act together and started to look like he was racing with an engine, rather than delivering power from a bike with two pedals. And his three victories, after two lasts, did a lot to damage Lynn's hopes of closing the gap on fourth-placed Lakeside Hammers even more than they ended up doing.
Captain fantastic Korneliussen's last-ditch pass on the also previously unbeaten Robson kept the gap at seven after nine. And unfortunately that was as much as lead got.
Gary Havelock's troops picked up a fine 5-1 in the 11th to close the gap to three. But Korneliussen and Kozza Smith hit back with one of their own to restore their advantage.
However, a see-saw night continued right up to the death as the Stars extended their lead to seven, lost it again, extended it once more – and then lost the all-important final race.
It was a victory, but not the one Lyon had demanded going into the night's action. And as a result, Norfolk's speedway outfit still sit eight points outside of a place in the end-of-season showcase with just five meetings left.
Lynn (number of rides): Cameron Woodward 4+1 (4), Lasse Bjerre 7 (4), Mads Korneliussen 12+1 (5), Richie Worrall 8+1 (4), Rory Schlein 7 (5), Nicklas Porsing 1 (3), Kozza Smith 9+1 (5)
Coventry: Krzysztof Kasprzak 9 (5), Michal Szczepaniak 5+1 (4), Grzegorz Zengota 5+1 (4), Aaron Summers 6 (4), Scott Nicholls 9 (5), Stuart Robson 6 (4), Josh Grajczonek 3 (4)