Young Aussie shows class as Stars hang on
Paddy DavittKing's Lynn 52, Rye House 41: King's Lynn's big guns fired to repel a battling Rye House in last night's Premier Trophy opener at the Norfolk Arena. Kevin Doolan and Tomas Topinka secured the victory in a heavyweight heat 13 before Joe Haines applied the gloss after the hosts had struggled on the difficult track conditions.Paddy Davitt
King's Lynn 52, Rye House 41
King's Lynn's big guns fired to repel a battling Rye House in last night's Premier Trophy opener at the Norfolk Arena.
Kevin Doolan and Tomas Topinka secured the victory in a heavyweight heat 13 before Joe Haines applied the gloss after the hosts had struggled on the difficult track conditions.
Haines was the stand-out performer in the early sparring but Ricky Wallace endured another tough outing for his new club.
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The young Aussie was pulled out of his final programmed ride following a heat 11 tumble but was fit to return for a couple of second half tours after the main event.
Rye House heat leader Chris Neath inflicted a rare defeat on home shale for Topinka in the opener.
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Team-mate Stefan Ekberg pocketed a well deserved consolation on his first Norfolk Arena appearance since a horror smash in an end-of-season promotion battle two years ago.
Casper Wortmann carried on where he left off at Newport over the Easter weekend with a smooth reserves' cruise but Wallace's charge faded swiftly.
Haines rocketed to the next, with Kozza Smith pouncing on Luke Bowen's late error. Doolan glided out of Linus Sundstrum's slipstream exiting turn two to land a classy heat four contest.
Haines embellished his growing reputation in a crackerjack next - Smith the entertainer coming to grief around a tricky bottom bend trying to hunt down Neath.
Linus Eklof flew around the boards with Topinka his bodyguard for an opening home maximum to move Lynn six clear.
Doolan coasted to the next but Buster Chapman's impromptu start line pep talk for Wallace failed to pay dividends - the Aussie again paying for a sluggish gate.
Wortmann cashed in on Ekberg's wide line exiting turn four to pip the Rye House racer on the finish line.
Sundstrum replied in kind with a successful tactical raid to nullify the Haines and Smith double act.
Eklof and Jordan Frampton diced for second behind Topinka but the former Elite League ace bravely cut back inside to split the Stars' duo.
Doolan was awarded heat 11 when the luckless Wallace tumbled at the back of the field - the senior man displaying his compassionate side with a lift back to the pits.
Frampton moved Rye House back in striking range ahead of the interval but Lynn's 'dream team' settled the A10 clash on the resumption.
Haines poured on the straight line speed to turn the penultimate heat into a procession but Doolan's bid to go through the card was blunted by Sundstrom in the finale.
The Swede dived from turn two before some classic defence frustrated the Aussie to continue his impressive week after a paid-12 headline act in Easter Monday's televised league win over Birmingham.
Stars: Topinka 9+2, Eklof 7, Smith 5, Haines 10+1, Doolan 14, Wallace 0, Wortmann 7+1.
Rockets: Neath 6+1, Ekberg 5+1, Frampton 10, Bowen 1+1, Sundstrom 13, Shields 1+1, Hughes 5.