Postponement frustration halts King’s Lynn Stars’ Elite League play-off push
- Credit: Ian Burt
King's Lynn were just four laps away from securing another Elite League win tonight before their meeting was controversially abandoned.
The Stars only needed to complete one more heat for the result to stand from their home fixture against Leicester Lions. But as the heavens opened, referee Dave Robinson opted not to let the tapes fly up one last time which would have ensured the match would not need to be re-run.
'It's frustrating, disappointing and I think rider safety is paramount,' said Stars' team boss Rob Lyon, whose side were winning 35-22 after nine heats when the plug was pulled on the clash at Saddlebow Road.
'Having said all of that, you had three riders out of the four out for heat 10 and ready to go. I think supporters understand the heat 10 situation nowadays. Had we of got a result from heat 10 (even an away 5-1) Leicester couldn't have even got a point out of the meeting. I think everybody would have understood had we have got to that stage (10 heats) and knocked it on the head. I don't think anybody would have had a problem with that.
'The referee came down and spoke to both parties. Our guys were happy to go out, Kevin Doolan was already out there, and we've now got to do it all again when we were one race off finishing it. I don't ride a bike but the fact our boys were happy to do it suggests to me the track was safe, even though it was raining.'
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While Robinson did well to push through nine races in 40 minutes, it was his decision to leave the referee's box and consult both teams – while Lynn's Kenneth Bjerre and Vaclav Milik as well as the visitors' guest Doolan made their way to the start line – which infuriated the Stars' hierarchy the most.
Once that delay had been created he had little choice but to curtail the action as the strong rain quickly turned into a downpour which flooded the Adrian Flux Arena circuit. The official could, however, argue that had the meeting started five minutes earlier, at 7.45pm, a conclusion would have been reached as heat 10 would have been completed before the weather worsened.
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Lyon added: 'It is what it is and we've now got to rearrange a date. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
'In an ideal world we maybe wouldn't have had a parade. It was a five-minute window we lost but the rain came a little bit earlier than we expected. You can't control the weather. It's not an easy decision to make but dates are a problem for us.
'I said to the referee that rider safety is paramount. I told him if he felt it was not safe to run it was his call. Some referees see it differently to others I guess.'
Proceedings being brought to a halt would have really frustrated Ashley Morris and Nicklas Porsing. The Lynn duo were in fine form against the basement boys. Porsing's sublime heat five triumph, which saw him come from fourth to first by taking the long route around the outside, was the highlight of a dominant home showing.
However, their efforts eventually counted for little leaving Lynn scrambling to find a date for the restaging as they continue to push for the play-offs.