Stars given scare before edging home
KING'S LYNN 49, NEWPORT 44: King's Lynn survived a second half onslaught to edge Newport in last night's Premier League tussle at the Norfolk Arena.
Swedish ace Kim Nilsson anchored a painful tactical for the hosts on his way to paid 18 before Craig Watson and Alex Davies moved the Wasps to within touching distance. The faultless Olly Allen and newly-crowned supporters' rider-of-the-year Tomas Topinka steadied the Stars before Kozza Smith sealed victory in the penultimate tour.
Allen put his Young Shield nightmare at Rye House behind him in the opener but sparring partner Lasse Bjerre provided the fireworks with a last bend assault to pip Leigh Lanham. National League youngster Jake Knight pocketed a fortuitous point on his elevation to the senior ranks when Adam Roynon span out chasing Todd Kurtz.
Smith and Chris Mills reprised their popular double act with a confident home maximum before treating the Main Stand to an impromptu celebratory dance routine. Topinka underlined why he remains the fans' number one in heat four – despite the limpet-like attentions of Robin Asbegren. Allen maintained his throttle-perfect evening with Bjerre again worthy of a special mention in dispatches for a swift trap from the outside gate before leaning on the dangerous Asbegren into turn one.
Topinka clinched an eventful heat seven with Lynn poised to secure a second maximum courtesy of Craig Watson's tumble until Roynon rashly drifted into the deep stuff around the bottom bend to gift Nilsson second.
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Bjerre flew from the tapes again to subdue Nilsson on a rider replacement outing, with the battling Knight keeping Kurtz honest in the rear. Smith and Mills delivered fresh entertainment on the cusp of the interval with, first the Aussie and then Mills out of shape before Mills needed all his defensive powers to repel Asbergen. The home duo swapped dance moves for the other's bike down the back straight to hail their latest maximum that moved Lynn 10 clear.
Allen's heat 10 flag was the precursor to a moment of light relief when the previously assured Norfolk racer slipped off his machine checking his starting position for heat 13. Nilsson's tactical foray signalled a fightback, with Lanham stout protection behind to foil Topinka.
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The Czech exacted revenge with Allen in a textbook team ride two races later – Allen drifting wide to block Lanham as Topinka drove underneath. Smith capped another impressive outing in the penultimate but deferred to Nilsson in the final act.
• Stars: Allen 12, Bjerre 10+2, Mills 6+1, Smith 10+1, Topinka 9+1, Roynon 1, Knight 1.
• Wasps: Lanham 5+1, Nilsson 18, Watson 6+1, Asbergen 3, Davies 5+2, Kurtz 7+2.