King’s Lynn Stars 44
Rye House Rockets 46
Bike problems cruelly robbed Lynn in the curtain-closer of the entire regular SGB Premiership 2017 season on Wednesday.
It was all set for a thrilling finish between these two sides, neither of whom made the post-season play-offs, with the scores all-square going into the final Heat 15.
In that last-gasp nominated winner-takes-all heat the teams were locked on a 3-3 when Thomas Jorgensen’s machine spluttered and forced the Dane to agonisingly drop off while in third place and hand the visitors the win led home by Chris Harris, with Michael Palm Toft second.
It was especially hard on Jorgensen − announced as signing for next year along with fellow full asset and youngster Taylor Hampshire before the meeting began − as he had lit up a disappointing second half of the season in which Lynn won only once.
Jorgensen, top scorer Palm Toft, reserve Josh Auty and skipper Robert Lambert were the chief contributors, while Auty again showed stamina in taking seven rides.
The hosts had to do it mainly without Kai Huckenbeck. The German withdrew after he aggravated a shoulder injury.
The Stars were missing Tomas H. Jonasson (Vetlanda) and Nicklas Porsing (Rospiggarna) due to their involvement in the Swedish playoffs.
Lynn led for the first time in Heat 9 with a timely 5-1 – just – from Palm Toft and Jorgensen on the line from Stuart Robson, to make it 28-26 and a second home maximum 5-1 race victory.
The Rockets led 3-9 after two races, but Lynn levelled it with their first 5-1 from Jorgensen/Auty in Heat 5.
The experienced Rockets Great Britain duo Scott Nicholls and Harris levelled matters at 39-39 after Heat 13 to set up a grandstand finish.
Stars: Robert Lambert (capt) 8, Kai Huckenbeck (withdrawn) 0, Tomas H Jonasson R/R, Thomas Jorgensen 9+2, Michael Palm Toft 13, Josh Auty 11+2, Simon Lambert 3. No.8: Taylor Hampshire.
Rye House: Scott Nicholls (capt) 11, Ben Barker 5, Ricky Wells 7, Krzysztof Kasprzak 5, Chris Harris 8+2, Stuart Robson 5+1, Ben Morley 5+1. Fastest time: Nicholls, 59.50 seconds, Heat 1.
Team M W F A Pts
Swindon 28 19 1339 1181 66
Wolverh’pton 28 18 1354 1151 63
Belle Vue 28 17 1310 1224 58
Poole 28 13 1286 1268 50
Rye House 28 15 1289 1237 48
Somerset 28 10 1184 1338 32
King’s Lynn 28 9 1138 1364 29
Leicester 28 7 1197 1334 27