Brave Stars miss out at Swindon
PUBLISHED: 22:09 06 June 2019 | UPDATED: 22:09 06 June 2019
Swindon Robins 50 King's Lynn Stars 40
A final heat maximum for Swindon denied King's Lynn a consolation point in a 50-40 defeat.
The Stars held their own for large parts of their latest Premiership tie, but 5-1s in heats 11 and 15 for Alun Rossiter's Robins helped the hosts leapfrog King's Lynn into sixth.
Missing Lewis Kerr through injury, Peter Schroeck called upon Italian Nico Covatti to guest in place of the Adrian Flux Arena favourite.
Track craft granted the Robins a two-point advantage after the first four heats.
Rasmus Jensen's stunning double swoop in heat three saved the Robins from conceding an early maximum. The Dane rounded Ty Proctor and Thomas Jorgensen to take the chequered flag, before a shared heat four kept Stars' deficit at two points.
A shared fifth race followed a disastrous heat six - which saw Craig Cook excluded for touching the tapes.
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Covatti stepped in, but he was no match for the home pair of Doyle and Adam Ellis - who pulled off two overtakes in one to establish a six-point lead.
That deficit remained after heat seven, but only after former Star Troy Batchelor pulled off a jaw-dropping final turn cutback on Proctor to steal the race win.
Luck favoured the Stars a race later though. An inspired Jensen couldn't find a way past the Covatti and Palm Toft, as Peter Schroek's septet trailed by two.
An unfortunate mechanical failure for Proctor in heat 10 signalled the starts of Stars' downfall, though. And by heat 11 the meeting appeared to be slipping from the Stars' grasp following a Robins maximum courtesy of Perks and Batchelor.
Two shared heats - with wins for Robins' Jensen and Batchelor - followed, which granted Schroek with the option to use his tactical substitute in heat 14.
British Champion Robert Lambert filled the boots of Nico Covatti. And while the move paid off as the Norwich-born racer beat Perks, it wasn't enough to inspire a late Stars comeback to earn a draw.
A shared race was required in heat 15 to salvage a point, but Doyle and Batchelor paired up for another Robins maximum - ensuring King's Lynn went down 50-40.