Stars must make up 10-point deficit
Speedway: Newcastle 50, King's Lynn 40Rob Lyon's KO Cup holders were buried by a late Newcastle onslaught in their first round, first leg tie.The defending champions need a Saddlebow special in Wednesday's Norfolk Arena return to keep alive dreams of retaining their crown for a third successive season.
Newcastle 50, King's Lynn 40
Rob Lyon's KO Cup holders were buried by a late Newcastle onslaught in their first round, first leg tie.
The defending champions need a Saddlebow special in Wednesday's Norfolk Arena return to keep alive dreams of retaining their crown for a third successive season.
Diamonds' second string Jonas Raun eclipsed Lynn dangermen Daniel Nermark and Tomas Topinka to help the hosts' edge three of the last four heats.
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Lynn's Czech skipper led from the front (paid 12 from five) with his finest away display of the new season. Guest reserve Andrew Tully (paid six from five) again impressed after his Premier Trophy heroics at Stoke earlier this month.
Topinka cut back on Pepe Franc to claim a swift opener but Carl Wilkinson fended off Chris Mills to square the heat. Tully and Trevor Harding claimed back-to-back flags but the team riding Diamonds kept Newcastle in touch. Topinka made hay after Raun was excluded under two minutes in heat five but Wilkinson outgated Paul Lee for a timely maximum - Lynn's guest reserve Byron Bekker cut adrift at the rear.
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Harding replied in kind with Nermark foiling the determined Christian Henry.
The experienced Wilkinson moved Newcastle back in front at halfway after Tully was pinged for touching the tapes.
Lee's early exit with mechanical failure gifted Brady a chance to nudge Newcastle six clear before Raun moved centre stage.
Nermark poured on the power around the outside in heat 12 but the home racer shut the door exiting the final bend.
Topinka grabbed Lynn a lifeline in the next after Henry hit the shale but over-worked reserve Shaun Stoddart split Lynn's duo in the penultimate heat to seal the win.
Raun and Henry doubled Newcastle's advantage for the trip to Norfolk with a comfortable max in the finale.
Diamonds: Franc 8+1, Wilkinson 7, Raun 10+1, Brady 9+1, Henry 9+1, Stoddart 6, Johnson 1+1.
Stars: Topinka 12, Mills 4+1, Nermark 7+1, Harding 7, Lee 4, Bekker 0, Tully 6.
t Lynn moved top of their Premier Trophy qualifying pool despite a last heat 47-43 defeat at Workington on Saturday.
James Wright anchored a thrilling maximum in the finale after Comets' skipper Kauko Nieminen outwitted Topinka from the gate - Workington gaining a measure of revenge after a heavy 65-27 Norfolk Arena reverse.
Workington veteran Carl Stonehewer impressed (paid 11 from four) after coming out of retirement - Nermark's heat ten success his only reverse.
Lynn's guest reserve duo edged the bottom end battle - Lee Dicken's heat two victory fired the holders into an early lead.
Lee held his nerve to drive under Nieminen from the tapes in a re-run heat four. Nermark edged Lynn five clear at the midway point - Harding cutting smartly inside debutant Scott James for the minor places.
Stonehewer and Nieminen shut the door on Topinka in heat 13 to move Workington in front for the first time. Harding hit back in the penultimate race after Branney slide off to square the tie on the scoresheets but Wright and Nieminen powered away in the finale.
Comets: Stonehewer 10+1, Carpanese 3, J Wright 12, Branney 5+1, Nieminen 12, C Wright 5+1, James 0.
Stars: Topinka 6+1, Mills 6+1, Nermark 12, Harding 5, Lee 7, MacDonald 2+1, Dicken 5.