Wolverhampton 47, King’s Lynn 43
Lynn lost a last heat decider at Monmore Green tonight, but grabbed a losing point to bolster their Elite League play-off push.
Rob Lyon's men bounced back well from a recent home defeat to reigning champions Coventry – despite the injury absences of skipper Olly Allen and Filip Sitera. Lynn's reserve could now be ruled out of the rest of this season after breaking his collarbone racing in the Czech national championship at the weekend whilst Allen was again absent with a shoulder problem.
Lynn's consolation point moved them back into second spot in the overall standings behind runaway leaders Poole in the race for a top four berth – play-off rivals Belle Vue losing ground last night with a defeat at Birmingham.
The Stars drafted in Newcastle guest Kyle Newman to replace Sitera who justified his booking with a solid bottom end showing alongside returning club asset Kozza Smith. The excellent Mads Korneliussen and Niels-Kristian Iversen went to the tapes in the finale with the clubs deadlocked on 42-42 – but Tai Woffinden and ex-Star Davey Watt powered away into turn one to settle the meeting.
Watt's night started poorly when a puncture saw him tailed off in the opener but Ty Proctor trapped ahead of the Bjerre boys. Newman split the home reserves in the next but Woffinden wore down Korneliussen to increase the hosts' early lead.
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Smith incurred the wrath of the Monmore Green faithful in heat four after a flying start and then a duel with Ludvig Lindgren in the re-run which ended with the Wolves' reserve careering into the fence.
Lynn cashed in on their numerical advantage to cut the deficit but Lasse Bjerre picked up grip to leave a gap for Woffinden and team mate Ricky Wells to exploit. Watt's heat six flag triggered a spate of shared races – Smith trapped swiftly in heat eight to hold up compatriot Proctor but the occasional Stars' Premier League guest dipped decisively inside on the final lap. Iversen replied in kind to keep Lynn only six points adrift on the scoresheets before Korneliussen wound it on to weave around Proctor and then chase down Watt.
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Kenneth Bjerre came to the party in heat 11 and Korneliussen's rider replacement outing in the next helped anchor a superb away maximum with Lyon's hunch to replace Newman with Smith paying full dividends.
Watt stemmed the Stars' onslaught in a crackerjack heat 13 duel with Kenneth Bjerre at the head of affairs but Iversen swarmed all over Peter Karlsson. Korneliussen's mastery of Monmore tipped the penultimate race in Lynn's favour but Wolves pinched the minor spoils with Lindgren exacting a measure of cold revenge on Smith.
Woffinden blasted out of the tapes in the finale with Watt diving into his slipstream to seal victory.
• Wolves: Watt 10+1, Proctor 7+1, Wells 6+1, Woffinden 12+1, Karlsson 6, Tomicek 2+1, Lindgren 4+1.
• Stars: K Bjerre 7, L Bjerre 4+2, Korneliussen 15, Iversen 9+1, Newman 3+1, Smith 5+1.