Stars through to KO Cup final
Isle of Wight 45, King's Lynn 45 (Lynn won 94-89 on aggregate)Lynn powered into their third consecutive Premier League KO Cup final last night with a stunning aggregate semi success at Smallbrook.
Isle of Wight 45, King's Lynn 45 (Lynn won 94-89 on aggregate)
Lynn powered into their third consecutive Premier League KO Cup final last night with a stunning aggregate semi success at Smallbrook.
Rob Lyon's battlers stunned the huge home crowd to dump out the highly fancied Islanders and book a final date against Somerset or Newport next month.
Lynn's hunt for a historic third consecutive cup triumph looked in serious danger after a tight 49-44 Norfolk Arena first leg victory.
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Newport guest Chris Schramm posted a semi-final turning paid 16 from reserve after a late call up to replace the departing James Brundle.
Brundle pulled out of his scheduled farewell meeting ahead of the Stars' trip south after being axed from the team earlier this week.
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Lynn's search for back-to-back trebles is now firmly back on with the Premier League table toppers in good shape ahead of the play-offs and just a home second leg away from retaining their Premier Trophy.
Daniel Nermark fired again on the island after starring in Lynn's televised league win in June. The visitors' much maligned second string also turned in a solid display - Paul Lee and Chris Mills providing the perfect response to stinging criticism from co-promoter Jonathan Chapman during the build up.
Islanders' top man Chris Holder was at his imperious best with a five ride max but the Aussie was deserted by top end twins, skipper Jason Bunyan and compatriot Cory Gathercole.
The Elite League racer was edged out by Lee behind Holder in a swift opener - Tomas Topinka grinding to a halt with engine failure.
Lynn's skipper returned to winning ways on his next outing after a trio of shared heats - Nermark cutting back inside Bunyan to pinch heat three in the pick of the early action. Schramm chased down Holder to keep the hosts in check but Krzysztof Stojanowski trapped to drive around Nermark to claim heat seven.
Lee and Schramm sparked for a huge mid meeting max in the next - Chris Johnson pouring on the power in a desperate bid to outwit Schramm around the bottom bend.
Schramm re-emerged for a sharp reserve switch to take heat nine with the out of sorts Bunyan fending off Mills for the minor points.
Holder dragged the hosts back on level terms on the night but Nermark anchored a second decisive pre-interval max to carry Lynn to the brink.
Mills split the Islanders' duo on the resumption as the home side looked to tee up a grandstand finale. Lyon nominated Schramm for the pivotal penultimate heat and the gutsy guest obliged - tail gating young reserve sidekick Benji Compton to square the race and book Lynn's final spot.
Islanders: Holder 15, Gathercole 2, Bunyan 6+1, Phillips 7+2, Stojanowski 10, Bargh 2, Johnson 3+2.
Stars: Topinka 4+1, Lee 7, Nermark 12, Harding 1+1, Mills 6+1, Schramm 13+3, Compton 2.
Lynn host Workington in the Premier League tonight at the Norfolk Arena. (7.45pm) Brundle's replacement Adam Allott comes in for Schramm at reserve.