ELITE LEAGUE B
King’s Lynn Stars 48
Coventry Bees 43
The Stars wasted a great start which hit their play-off hopes as Coventry rescued a league point in a final race decider at the Norfolk Arena on Wednesday.
Lynn needed a 3-3 shared result for all three league points in the nominated final Heat 15.
The home pairing of Mads Korneliussen and Rory Schlein were briefly in that position but Grand Prix rider Krzysztof Kasprzak notched his third win in a row and former Great Britain ace Scott Nicholls bagged third place to rescue a point.
Team boss Rob Lyon said: “Ideally I would have liked three points. We knew Coventry tonight would be tough. Without doubt they have got riders that can do damage around here.”
On the play-offs he added: “If we are still in the mix we need to strengthen our team. It’s pretty clear we can’t make it with the team we have now.”
Lyon lamented the absence of his spearhead: “We missed Niels-Kristian Iversen (riding in a rearranged meeting in Denmark) tonight, while Cameron didn’t quite get it together.”
The Stars were 20-10 up after the fifth heat thanks to two maximum 5-1 triumphs and two 4-2 heat advantages.
The 5-1s came from Lasse Bjerre and guest Cameron Woodward (Heat 1), plus top-scoring skipper Korneliussen and Richie Worrall (Heat 3).
The interval was called during the restarted Heat 8 because Bjerre went into the first bend fence, but was up on his feet within minutes.
In Heat 11 came the sole Bees 5-1 from Kasprzak and Michal Szczepaniak which reduced the hosts’ lead to three points, 35-32.
Lynn replied with their first maximum since the third outing from Korneliussen and guest Kozza Smith, who grabbed third behind winner Worrall in the penultimate race for Lynn to seal victory.
The result leaves seventh place Lynn on 31 points, eight behind Lakeside who are in the last (fourth) play-off spot.
Schlein had returned at home after being misdiagnosed with a broken leg.
Team manager Rob Lyon revealed in his programme notes that the club were making contingency plans to recruit former rider and ex-world champion Nicki Pedersen.
Lyon said: “I don’t think it’s any secret that we were talking to Nicki Pedersen, he had come back to us with a problem with some dates just literally five minutes before Rory phoned me to say he’d just walked out of hospital!
“We will review the situation because we still have the scope to bring in a new rider with a decent average if we need to.”
Next is a must-win meeting at home to Lakeside.
Lynn are still waiting for an ACU appeal date of the deduction of two league points regarding their recent use of Kozza Smith as a guest against Peterborough.
Stars: Cameron Woodward (guest) 4+1, Lasse Bjerre 7, Mads Korneliussen 12+1, Richie Worrall 8+1, Rory Schlein 7, Nicklas Porsing 1, Kozza Smith (guest) 9+1.
Bees: Krzysztof Kasprzak 9, Michal Szczepaniak 5+1, Grzegorz Zengota 5+1, Aaron Summers 6, Scott Nicholls 9, Stuart Robson 6, Josh Grajczonek (guest) 3.
n A brilliant solo display from Niels-Kristian Iversen couldn’t prevent the Stars from a heavy 53-39 defeat at the Eastbourne Eagles on Monday.
The Stars, who were forced to ride without Kozza Smith due to a BSPA ruling, found themselves 12 points down after four heats and 17 in arrears after ten.
An 8-1 from Iversen and captain Mads Korneliussen in heat 11 was the highlight of the night.
Eastbourne Eagles: Simon Gustafsson 14+1, Timo Lahti 10, Bjarne Pedersen 9+3, Cameron Woodward 9+1, Kim Nilsson 6+1, Mikkel Michelsen 5+2, Lukas Dryml R/R.
Lynn Stars: Niels-Kristian Iversen 16+1, Rory Schlein 7, Mads Korneliussen 6+1, Richie Worrall 6+1, Nicklas Porsing 3, Lasse Bjerre 1, Adam Ellis 0.