Topinka missing for vital play-off
King's Lynn Stars injured skipper Tomas Topinka remains on the casualty list for tonight's Premier League speedway play-off semi final, first leg at Rye House.
King's Lynn Stars injured skipper Tomas Topinka remains on the casualty list for tonight's Premier League play-off semi final, first leg at Rye House. (7pm)
Topinka missed Lynn's Premier League KO Cup triumph against Somerset after breaking a bone in his left hand during the Pride of the East ten days ago.
Stars' team boss Rob Lyon confirmed the Czech will not be risked at Hoddesdon - Mildenhall's Jason Lyons retains his guest slot after a superb stint in the 62-32 Norfolk Arena romp over Somerset.
“Tomas is improving all the time, but we don't want to risk it,” said Lyon. “I think the laser treatment he's been having probably takes a little while to take effect. I had a look at the hand on Friday and the movement was 100% better than the previous day.
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“He could ride at Rye House but he wouldn't want to let the team down by pulling out. He'll have a spin on Sunday and we're confident Tomas will be ready for the return.
“Jason averages ten around Hoddesdon in three meetings this season. He's a top class performer - an experienced campaigner, the guy showed that the other day. He was unbeaten by a visiting rider after his first race.”
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Rye look set to track an unchanged top five after last weekend's controversial Premier League Pairs' cryoff. The Rockets include exciting youngster Tai Woffinden and Daniel Giffard in a new-look reserves unit.
Lyon insists the double winners are hungry for more success. Defeated Premier Trophy finalists Sheffield await the winners.
“We've beaten every club over two legs this season - we don't intend to stop now,” he said. “Two trophies are in the bag and we want the big one. The team has had a plan all year that has brought success. The guys know their jobs and we expect to go through.
“Rye House haven't gone well recently around King's Lynn. As I always say we are confident without being complacent - everyone still has there feet on the ground. Most people recognize us as the league champions, it's up to the boys to make it official.”
Lynn's canny team boss is relishing another potential Saddlebow party later this month after the champagne-fuelled Somerset celebrations.
“It's only when you sit down and take it all in you realise the scale of what we've achieved,” he said. “Buster Chapman asked me how it felt compared to winning things on the road.
“It's different - at Sheffield we had a clutch of 500 or 600 supporters all in the same section and the atmosphere is so intense. At home we have so many more supporters behind us to share in it.
“We did the hard work in the first leg at Somerset and it would've been a major shock to lose at home - a disaster. The track was also a leveller early on until the boys got to grips with it.
“Winning the league title at home would be a different situation again and I'm sure it would be special.”
Rockets: 1 Edward Kennett, 2 Stuart Robson, 3 Steve Boxall, 4 Tommy Allen 5 Chris Neath, 6 Tai Woffinden, 7 Daniel Giffard.
Stars: 1 Daniel Nermark, 2 Trevor Harding, 3 Troy Batchelor, 4 Kevin Doolan, 5 Jason Lyons, 6 Chris Mills, 7 John Oliver.