Poole Pirates 62 King’s Lynn Stars 30 – Play-off hopes out of Stars’ hands
- Credit: Ian Burt
King's Lynn's Elite League play-off hopes are out of their hands after they crashed to a 62-30 mauling at Poole.
On an emotional night at Wimborne Road, which saw Poole race their first match since their Aussie hero Darcy Ward suffered serious spinal injuries in Poland on August 23, the hosts were in inspired form.
But the Stars' season appears to have come off the rails at the worst possible time, and they must now hope Belle Vue do not win at struggling Wolverhampton on Monday night if they are to finish in the top four.
With Czech international Vaclav Milik no longer racing in the UK and Lewis Kerr sidelined by the head injuries he suffered at Peterborough last month, King's Lynn must rely on guests for the rest of 2015.
Stand-in star Richard Lawson contributed a creditable seven points, while Josh Bates managed three after a superb win in heat two ahead of Poole's reserve rocket Kyle Newman.
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But the fact King's Lynn registered just two heat advantages all night – with one of them coming courtesy of a tactical ride win – meant they always had a mountain to climb.
With his side 21-9 down after five races, Stars team manager Rob Lyon nominated Danish ace Niels-Kristian Iversen for a double points outing.
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But there was nothing the four-time Danish champion could do to halt a terrific charge by Pirates' Kacper Gomolski, as he dived under Iversen and his partner Kenneth Bjerre with a breathtaking first turn.
Iversen held second to double two points to four with Bjerre just fending off Poole's Dakota North for third place.
Four 5-1s and two 4-2s saw Pirates pull into the distance. But Stars will take some consolation from an incredible ride by Great Britain's Robert Lambert, which saw him dash Gomolski's maximum hopes in heat 14. With North excluded after falling on bend three in the first staging, Gomolski was left to fend for himself and made a poor start in the re-run.
But the Pole quickly forced his way under Lawson on turn three, before setting off after Lambert. He barged up the inside of the Lynn hero on lap two, turn three but the teenager shot straight back up the inside.
Despite trying every move in the book, he couldn't find a way through as Lambert ended a testing night on six points.
With his fellow Stars top guns Iversen and Bjerre managing only eight and one paid two respectively, King's Lynn were no match for a Poole side, which saw all but one of their riders paid for a race win.
POOLE (62): Chris Holder 10+1 (4), Davey Watt 10+2 (4), Dakota North 3+1 (4), Kacper Gomolski 13+1 (5), Maciej Janowski 13+1 (5), Paul Starke 4+1 (4), Kyle Newman 9+2 (4).
LYNN (30): Niels-Kristian Iversen 8 (5), Nicklas Porsing 3 (4), Robert Lambert 6 (4), Richard Lawson 7 (5), Kenneth Bjerre 1+1 (4), Josh Bates 3 (4), Ashley Morris 2 (4).