King’s Lynn 44 Somerset 46: Stars slip to heart-breaking late defeat
- Credit: Archant
King's Lynn's injury and illness problems caught up with them in a frustrating last gasp 46-44 defeat at the hands of Somerset on home shale.
Dale Allitt's men went into the meeting without Danish ace Thomas Jorgensen, who was ruled out on the eve of the fixture through illness, and world class number one Niels-Kristian Iversen, but still looked to have enough in the tank to see off the Rebels.
Aussie aces Jack Holder and current world champion Jason Doyle had other ideas, however - and they inspired the Oaktree Arena side to a shock result.
Lewis Kerr once again proved to be a trump card at reserve with skipper Robert Lambert in the points to continue his stunning run of form for the Stars.
Aussie ace Doyle revelled on the fast Adrian Flux Arena circuit and opened the night with a comfortable win.
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Kerr handed the Stars the lead in the second race ahead with a tapes to chequered flag win and with colleague Kasper Andersen third it put them 7-5 up.
But Allitt's boys had to dig deep in heat four when Richard Lawson prvoved tough to beat. After four laps of pulsating racing Lambert edged out Lawson with Kerr third to level the match.
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The home side edged ahead again two races later when Michael Palm Toft kept his cool to pass Lawson on the inside with guest Sam Masters third.
And by the halfway stage Stars were 26-22 up after Kerr powered away from the gate and Palm Toft settling for third behind Jake Allen. The highly-rated Lambert edged out Lawson in a heat nine thriller to put Lynn six-up but when Holder won the next and Charles Wright rounded Palm Toft for a Rebels' 4-2 the score was 32-28.
In his next race GB prospect Lambert made a clever switch to pass Doyle with Lawson in third place but more importantly Lynn stayed four points up with only two heats remaining.
Bu when Kerr fell in the penultimate race, leaving Proctor as the sole Star, the pressure was on. Somerset duly notched a 4-2 heat advantage to go within two and force a last heat decider on the table. Holder, brother of ex-Star Chris, combined superbly with the top class Doyle for a maximum to inflict a painful defeat on the hosts.
• KING'S LYNN 44: Robert Lambert 15, Lewis Kerr 12, Michael Palm Toft 6+1, Ty Proctor 5+1, Sam Masters 5, Kasper Andersen 1, Thomas Jorgensen r/r.
• SOMERSET 46: Jack Holder 13+1, Jason Doyle 12, Richard Lawson 7+1, Charles Wright 6+2, Jake Allen 5, Bradley Wilson-Dean 3, Ryan Kinsley 0.