Swindon Robins 55 King’s Lynn Stars 38 – Painful night for Robert Lambert as visitors are beaten
King's Lynn Stars were unable to put the brakes on Swindon Robins' return to the Elite League summit as their three-meeting unbeaten run was brought to an end last night.
Former Swindon captain Troy Batchelor rode for the first time in 2016 but was unable to inspire the Stars at his former stomping ground as the Robins' Justin Sedgmen led the hosts to victory with a six-ride paid maximum.
The Stars shone early on as Niels-Kristian Iversen and Mads Korneliussen romped to a 5-1 in the opening heat but Carl Wilkinson was disqualified for colliding with team-mate Lewis Rose in heat two, allowing Sedgmen and Stefan Nielsen rack up a 5-1 win of their own.
Batchelor handed his former employers a shock in heat three as he and Robert Lambert stamped their authority all over Josh Grajczonek and Rohan Tungate but the pendulum swung back the other way in heat four as Nielsen's superb move to overtake Kai Huckenbeck helped tie things up at 12-12.
Sedgmen grabbed a second successive heat win in the sixth, Iversen's untouchable ride in heat seven saw the scores levelled up again in the seventh, and then, Swindon captain Doyle, supported by Grajczonek, fired the hosts to another maximum.
Nick Morris scorched away from the Korneliussen and Wilkinson in heat eight and in the next race Swindon took a big stride towards victory as Sedgmen and Wright dominated Rose and Huckenbeck, who suffered his second fall.
With the Stars' Iversen sent out on a tactical ride in heat 10, the action was held up as Tungate's night was ended by a nasty-looking tumble, but once the racing got back under way, King's Lynn hauled themselves back into contention with a thumping 8-1 triumph. But the momentum surged back the way of the Robins as Batchelor and Lambert were beaten by Doyle and Sedgmen in heat 11.
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The Stars' hopes all but went up in smoke in the 13th as Doyle sauntered to victory over Iversen and Batchelor and then Lambert nicked the air fence and suffered a fall in the penultimate race of the meeting, with his night ending in the back of an ambulance. To finish things off, the Robins rubbed salt into the wounds with a pair of maximums, leaving the visitors with plenty to think about ahead of the two sides' reunion in Norfolk next week.
Robins (number of rides): Jason Doyle 13 (5), Charles Wright 3+1 (3), Rohan Tungate 0 (3), Nick Morris 12+2 (5), Josh Grajczonek 3+1 (4), Justin Sedgmen 17+1 (6), Stefan Nielsen 6+2 (4).
Stars: Niels-Kristian Iversen 14 (5), Mads Korneliussen 9+2 (5), Robert Lambert 4+1 (4), Kai Huckenbeck 0 (3), Troy Batchelor 5+1 (4), Carl Wilkinson 0 (5), Lewis Rose 6 (5).