Runner-up Ben Fund Bonanza finish for returning King’s Lynn Stars rider Rory Schlein

Rory Schlein. Picture: IAN BURT

Rory Schlein. Picture: IAN BURT - Credit: Ian Burt

Craig Cook may have won British speedway's 2016 curtain-raiser but it was Rory Schlein who stole the show.

The King's Lynn Stars rider was sensational on his first appearance since surgery on a broken back less than 12 months ago. And he almost raised the roof at the Adrian Flux Arena when he nearly pipped Belle Vue Aces' Cook – who was unbeaten all evening – on the line in the final.

Bjarne Pedersen, recently axed by Lakeside Hammers, finished third while Lynn's Robert Lambert came fourth.

The meeting – in aid of the Speedway Riders' Benevolent Fund — was soured somewhat though by injuries to Simon Stead (concussion), Krzysztof Kasprzak (collarbone) and junior rider Kyle Bickley (shoulder) which saw them withdraw from the action.

Final: 1 Cook, 2 Schlein, 3 Pedersen, 4 Lambert

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Semi-final: 1 Pedersen, 2 Lambert, 3 Chris Harris, 4 Nicolai Klindt

Scores (during the 20-heats): 12 - Cook; 10 - Schlein; 8 - Lambert, Klindt, Harris, Pedersen, Jason Doyle (failed to reach semi by virtue of less race wins than the others); 7 - Ulrich Ostergaard, Steve Worrall; 6 - Josh Bates, Josh Auty; 5 - Ryan Douglas; 4 - Richie Worrall, Mads Korneliussen, Kai Huckenbeck (reserve); 3 - Danny King; 2 - Ben Barker, Simon Stead (withdrawn), Krzysztof Kasprzak (withdrawn), Emil Grondal, Kevin Doolan, Kacper Woryna (reserve)

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* For more reaction, and pictures, see Monday's paper.

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