Third final for Stars
King's Lynn 60, Rye House 35 (Lynn won 102-83 on aggregate)Treble-chasing Lynn dethroned the reigning champions at Saddlebow last night to clinch a Premier League championship play-off final spot.
King's Lynn 60, Rye House 35
(Lynn won 102-83 on aggregate)
Treble-chasing Lynn dethroned the reigning champions at Saddlebow last night to clinch a Premier League championship play-off final spot.
Sheffield now stand between the Stars and speedway immortality over two enthralling legs next week.
The powerful Yorkshire outfit will be out for revenge after losing last month's Premier Trophy final - but on this form Rob Lyon's history makers look destined for greatness.
Troy Batchelor's bravery after a frightening heat-three shunt typified Lynn's resolve - the Aussie dusting himself down after a head-first collision with the fence to re-emerge in the second half.
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Skipper Tomas Topinka powered to a flawless 12-point four-ride maximum on his return from the broken finger injury suffered in the Pride of the East meeting.
Chris Mills grabbed some of John Oliver's recent limelight with a superb bottom-end cameo - a classic double pass in heat 11 earning Topinka's 'thumbs-up' seal of approval.
Daniel Nermark set the tone with a scorching opening success. Mills and Oliver wiped out Lynn's first-leg deficit in the reserves - Rockets' youngster Josh Auty dragging his machine off the track following a bottom-bend spill.
Batchelor was forced to bail out in the next after a daring cut inside Tommy Allen.
Lynn's recently-crowned Elite League KO Cup winner's hobble back to the pits evoked memories of Topinka's smash in the identical spot a fortnight earlier.
The luckless Auty tasted the shale again from the gate as Topinka announced his return in fine style - despite Chris Neath's early impudence.
Reserve replacement Mills produced a desperate rearguard action to fend off Edward Kennett behind the fast-gating Kevin Doolan as team-mate Batchelor underwent medical checks.
Nermark doused Neath's tactical fire in heat six before Mills poured on the power with a thrilling last-bend dash to split the dazed Rockets' pair.
Trevor Harding outmuscled Stuart Robson to claim heat eight. Batchelor the brave showed his mettle to shadow an in-form Doolan as Lynn moved menacingly through the gears.
Nermark served up a passing masterclass in heat 10 - the Swede slicing through the shale exiting turn two despite missing the break to weave between Steve Boxall and Allen.
Topinka took the points, but Mills earned the plaudits with a sublime double cut back inside the visiting duo to take heat 11.
Rye refused to give up their crown without a fight - Boxall firing from the gate to anchor a huge tactical success.
Nermark kept Kennett at bay behind the imperious Topinka before Doolan hunted down Allen exiting the final bend to back up Mills in the penultimate race.
Neath pinched the finale as Rye closed out their season on a winning note.
Stars: Nermark 10, Harding 5, Batchelor 4+1, Doolan 13+1, Topinka 12, Mills 12+3, Oliver 4+1.
Rockets: Kennett 4, Robson 2, Boxall 8+2, Allen 7, Neath 12, Woffinden 2, Auty 0.