Photo gallery: Elite League: King’s Lynn Stars 48, Swindon Robins 42
- Credit: Matthew Usher
Lynn dropped their first home point of the season tonight – but it could have been so, so, much worse.
The Stars were staring a maiden Norfolk Arena 2014 reverse in the face as they trailed with just three heats to go. But two stunning maximum 5-1 race wins ensured they were guaranteed to pick up what had looked like being an unlikely victory. And incredibly they still left themselves with a chance of picking up all three Elite League points.
However, a shared 3-3 in the nominated race wasn't enough to pull off the most incredible of comebacks in front of the Sky Sports cameras as guest Scott Nicholls failed to capitalise fully on Peter Kildemand's mid-race error. That said, picking up any sort of triumph - let alone one that saw them collect two points - was a fantastic achievement for Rob Lyon's men who, bar Niels-Kristian Iversen and Lewis Kerr, had looked so out of sorts for most of the fixture.
The hosts' problem wasn't picking up winners, especially early on – it was the recording of heat advantages. Five times in the first eight races a home rider crossed the line first. However, Lynn still found themselves a daunting eight points behind with seven to go. While Iversen and Kerr were on the gas, too many of their other team-mates just couldn't fire – especially captain Rory Schlein.
Lewis Rose fell in his first outing and seemed to be the unlucky party with replays suggesting he was hit by Robins' racer Steve Worrall on a couple of occassions as the Swindon man tried to push his opponent high and wide on turn two. The 24-year-old got another face full of shale again in the seventh when he went down under pressure from Simon Gustafsson. This time it looked like he only had himself to blame and referee Dan Holt thought the same as he excluded the Lincolnshire-based rookie from the re-run.
While Dane Nicklas Porsing won it, another 3-3 was a saving grace more than anything else. The visitors just kept clocking up key seconds and thirds to keep their total ticking along at an impressive rate. Dakota North and Nick Morris were more than helping big-hitters Kildemand and Troy Batchelor.
Lynn started to squeeze their way back into the meeting with a couple of 4-2s, the improving Porsing picking up a vital point in the 10th, but it was the 13th when the Stars really started to shine.
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The supremely quick Iversen shot out of gate four and was away but behind him Kildemand fell – forcing Nicholls to the ground – and was excluded. With a man advantage, the Saddlebow Road pair made it count by picking up their side's opening max of the night to take the lead for the first time.
Another stunning 5-1 in the 14th – which saw Robert Lambert turn his own frustrating outing on its head with an excellent second as he flew past Simon Gustafsson – to leave Lynn fans dreaming of another victory on their own shale by seven points or more.
But it wasn't to be as while unbeaten Iversen made it five wins from five, Nicholls ran a last. He had a chance when Kildemand ran horribly wide coming out of turn two, but the Robins' number one recovered and came back under the Belle Vue rider to ensure that Lynn didn't make it 15 from a possible 15 at the Norfolk Arena. That pass meant Swindon took a point home – which is the least their efforts deserved.
Lynn: N-K Iversen 15, N Porsing 7, R Schlein 4+1, R Lambert 2+1, S Nicholls 6+2, L Kerr 13, L Rose 1
Swindon: P Kildemand 8+2, D North 8+1, N Morris 7+2, S Gustafsson 3, T Batchelor 9, N Greaves 2+2, S Worrall 5+1