Photo gallery: King’s Lynn Stars kick-start Elite League term with double derby triumph over Peterborough Panthers
- Credit: IAN BURT
King's Lynn exacted sweet Good Friday revenge on fierce rivals Peterborough to get their season off to a flier.
The Stars, who lost both meetings against the Panthers in the Easter A47 derby double-header last term, turned the tables to pick up two victories on the Elite League's opening day.
A fine 50-40 triumph on the road at the East of England Showground yesterday afternoon was followed by a 41-33 success at the Norfolk Arena later in the day – in a clash which was abandoned due to icy conditions after 12 heats.
However, due to the number of races that had already been ridden, the hosts were awarded the win to leave Rob Lyon's men walking away with a maximum seven point-haul that had been available to them.
The day's action had started promisingly for the Stars as they stormed to a maximum 5-1 race win on Panthers territory thanks to the hosts' asset, Niels-Kristian Iversen – who is back on loan with Lynn for a third successive campaign – and Simon Stead.
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Peterborough hit back immediately as both sides battled for supremacy and for much of the opening exchanges there was little to separate the two teams. The scoring remained nip and tuck to leave the match tantalisingly poised at 30-30 going into the interval.
However, after the break it was the Stars who kicked up a gear and stormed to four heat advantages to secure the biggest possible away win, by seven points or more, to put four on their new 2013 league total.
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Iversen, with 13, paid 14, from his five rides was Lynn's hero but captain Mads Korneliussen chipped in with a-more-than healthy 11 to help push his side over the line. Swede Seb Alden secured Lyon's troops win in heat 14 when he cut past Dakota North on the final turn to clinch a 4-2 and a memorable away victory for the Stars' faithful.
Thousands of fans travelled back up the main road which links the two speedway outfits for the night's Saddlebow Road return – which, like the earlier clash, was tied at 18-all after six heats. Iversen's luck had deserted him but a host of mechanical failures hurt the visitors more as they soon fell 10 points behind after eight. After gaining a slice of their own fortune, when Korneliussen's machine packed up as Lynn homed in on a third straight maximum, another 5-1 pushed the Stars 12 ahead.
Kenneth Bjerre, on a tactical, blew the Panthers best chance of hauling themselves back into proceedings by only picking up four points, rather than a possible six, as he went for double points.
But the visitors still weren't out of it when a nasty spill involving Iversen and Linus Sundstrom, not the first accident of the night, saw the meeting called to a close as Lynn bagged early-season bragging rights.
First meeting (East of England Showground)
Peterborough 40 Lynn 50
Panthers (no. of rides): Bjerre 5 (5), Fisher 8 (4), Kosciuch 1 (1), Larsen 11+1 (5), Sundstrom 5+1 (4), Hougaard 3 (3), North 7+1 (6)
Stars: Iversen 13+1 (5), Stead 5+1 (4), Korneliussen 11 (5), Klindt 6+2 (4), Schlein 8 (4), Alden 7+1 (5), Smith 0 (3)
Second meeting (Norfolk Arena)
Lynn 41 Peterborough 33 (abandoned after 12 heats)
Stars: Iversen 3 (3), Stead 10+1 (4), Korneliussen 7 (4), Klindt 6+2 (3), Schlein 5 (3), Alden 6+2 (3), Smith 4+1 (4)
Panthers: Bjerre 9 (3), Fisher 1+1 (2), Kosciuch 1 (3), Larsen 2 (3), Sundstrom 6 (3), Hougaard 3+1 (5), North 11+1 (5)