Poole Pirates 61 King’s Lynn Stars 29 – Stars given some solace by Palm Toft
- Credit: Matthew Usher
King's Lynn were grateful for a glittering guest performance from Michael Palm Toft as he piled up 13 paid 14 points to restrict Poole to a 61-29 win.
Pirates pummelled the Stars on their last visit to Dorset on August 10, triumphing 65-25. This trip was slightly less painful, and Palm Toft's brilliant battling performance at number six, as he replaced the injured Nicklas Porsing, was a huge ray of light on an otherwise bleak evening for Lynn.
With the Stars once again missing number one Niels-Kristian Iversen due to a Swedish Elitserien play-off meeting, getting close to the Elite League champions was always going to be a tall order.
Victory was realistically out of King's Lynn's reach as early as heat six when Poole duo Brady Kurtz and Edward Kennett combined to deny Stars guest Chris Harris double points while taking their tactical ride.
But Palm Toft refused to let Pirates completely destroy his adopted team. The Scunthorpe star produced the ride of the night in heat eight, scything under Kurtz on lap four, bend two, before rounding Kyle Newman on the last corner for a victory that earned a great ovation from the home fans.
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Dorset-based Somerset boss Garry May was standing in as Stars team boss and clearly sensed MPT was on form.
He sent him out for heat nine in place of Carl Wilkinson and he repeated the trick, blasting under Pirates' Adam Ellis on lap three, turn two and sneaking past Poole skipper Bjarne Pedersen a lap later to triumph.
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May gave him the chance to make it three on the bounce in heat 10, but he had no answer to a terrific first turn from Kennett and had to make do with third behind Harris.
So good was Palm Toft that May even pitched him into heat 13 to replace struggling former Grand Prix rider Troy Batchelor and the Dane ended a superb night with second behind Poole maximum man Chris Holder.
Poole 61: 1 Chris Holder 12 (4), 2 Adam Ellis 7+2 (4), 3 Edward Kennett 10+1 (4), 4 Brady Kurtz 12+2 (5), 5 Rohan Tungate 3+1 (4), 6 Bjarne Pedersen 10+2 (5), 7 Kyle Newman 7 (4).
King's Lynn 29: 1 Chris Harris 4 (4), 2 Robert Branford 0 (3), 3 Robert Lambert 8 (5), 4 Kai Huckenbeck 3 (5), 5 Troy Batchelor 1 (3), 6 Michael Palm Toft 13+1 (7), 7 Carl Wilkinson 0 (3).