Stars on course for place in semis
CHRIS LAKEY Stars team boss Rob Lyon is confident King's Lynn will be in the KO Cup semi-final draw next week.
Stars team boss Rob Lyon is confident King's Lynn will be in the KO Cup semi-final draw next week.
The Stars head south to Rye House tonight for the second leg of their quarter-final with just a 13-point advantage, but Lyon is convinced it will be enough, despite the likely absence of heat leader Daniel Nermark.
"A lot of this is psychological," he said. "I would say Rye House will be happy with 13 points but, looking at their home form this season, they know this is far from over. They know we will be there fighting all the way and I really think it could go all the way, possibly even down to the last race or two.
"But I am confident we can do it."
"If we had Daniel I'd go so far as to say I believe we could win on the night - without him we can get through."
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Lyon will know this morning whether or not Nermark has recovered from the leg injury which kept him out of Wednesday's first-leg 54-41 win at the Norfolk Arena.
"In an ideal world we'd want him fighting fit and racing because he can be worth eight or nine points for us," added Lyon. "But I'm not optimistic and therefore we will just have to knuckle down and get on with it. It will weaken us, not necessarily damage us."
Lyon points to Lynn's away record as evidence to support his case for tonight: apart from a poor night on the Isle of Wight with a weakened team when they lost heavily, Lynn have not been beaten by more than a dozen points on their travels. And their only visit to Rye House this season ended in a 50-40 reverse.
"We can take something from that sort of form, with or without Daniel," he said. "We are clearly capable of coming back with something."
Lynn's first-leg advantage was built around another immaculate performance from skipper Tomas Topinka on Wednesday, with major supporting roles by Kevin Doolan (14) and Troy Batchelor (10), but they came on a track slicker than the riders are usually accustomed to.
"There were a few issues with the track and for various reasons it went slick and played into Rye House's hands a little," said Lyon. "The boys were caught out a little. Rye House don't like a lot of grip and we do and it didn't help - hopefully we will rectify that at their place."
Rye House, who were beaten by just four points at Redcar on Thursday, are likely to again be without Ross Brady, who has a broken finger, but proved at Lynn that they have plenty of quality in their side, with the likes of Edward Kennett, Chris Neath and impressive reserve Steve Boxall.
At Mildenhall, the Tigers face Somerset in the second leg of their KOCup quarter-finals.
Entertainment at West Row begins at noon when the Academy will be looking for their first Conference League points of the season against Scunthorpe.
At 4pm all eyes will be on a giant screen for the World Cup match between England and Ecuador before racing resumes at 6pm.
Admission is £17 for adults, £15 concessions, children 12-15 £8.