Stars eye more glory on their travels
King's Lynn Stars bid to equal their best-ever Premier League away run at Newcastle tomorrow. (6.30pm)Lynn's superb 47-42 televised victory at the Isle of Wight moved the champions within a win of matching last season's record of six road successes in their march to an historic treble.
King's Lynn Stars' bid to equal their best-ever Premier League away run at Newcastle tomorrow. (6.30pm)
Lynn's superb 47-42 televised victory at the Isle of Wight moved the champions within a win of matching last season's record of six road successes in their march to an historic treble.
Rob Lyon's men are gunning to repeat the feat despite still waiting to open their home title defence after another midweek washout in the scheduled Norfolk Arena return against the Islanders.
“It's strange because we went there last season on six wins and Tomas (Topinka) had problems in the last heat that robbed us of another victory,” said Lyon. “Newcastle are tough to beat at home. They don't have out and out numbers ones, but they do have a solid top five and the reserves are handy. We're in great form and confident. We know how tough it will be, but it doesn't get much tougher than the Isle of Wight.
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“We're at the stage now people will be surprised when we do lose an away meeting - that is a measure of how far we've come.”
Lyon is poised to employ a positional switch to accommodate the resurgent Trevor Harding. The Aussie teenager continued his encouraging form on Lynn's northern tour with a key paid eight display at Smallbrook.
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“He's full of confidence and really starting to produce good stuff on a consistent basis,” said Lyon. “Last year he was improving in a winning side but he has now come into his own. I think he just needed the boost of a full UK season free of injury. He has been gating superbly and switching him around with Paul Lee just gives Trevor a little more responsibility. Paul is still quick but he has struggled a little out of the gate away from home recently.
“It's something we can try for this meeting and Stoke next week with James (Brundle) still waiting to get one more home meeting in for his new average to take effect.”
Lynn also track new recruit Grant McDonald at reserve.
“He hasn't raced for six weeks - so he needs meetings to get his fitness up,” said Lyon. “Grant has the experience and is more than capable of doing a job. We'll put no pressure on him. It's about bedding in and finding that groove. Whatever he scores is a bonus at the start.
“We went down by ten in the KO Cup meeting this season but even that day we we're in the mix right until the last few races. I'm certain it'll be a lot closer this time. We want to keep the run going. If we do slip by a few we still fancy ourselves to claim the bonus.”
Josef Franc returns to the Diamonds' line up after missing last week's 49-41 home win over Workington on world cup duty for the Czech Republic.
Diamonds: 1 Christian Henry, 2 Carl Wilkinson, 3 Josef Franc, 4 Ross Brady, 5 Jonas Raun, 6 Ashley Johnson, 7 Sean Stoddart.
Stars: 1 Tomas Topinka, 2 Chris Mills, 3 Daniel Nermark, 4 Paul Lee, 5 Trevor Harding, 6 James Brundle, 7 Grant McDonald.