King's Lynn Stars beaten on their Premiership travels again
Wolverhampton 53 King's Lynn Stars 36
King's Lynn left Wolverhampton the walking wounded after an eventful night in the West Midlands.
The battered and bruised Poultec Stars produced a brave effort against an in-form Wolves side, but ultimately slipped to a 53-36 defeat.
Craig Cook pulled out after two rides through illness, Michael Palm Toft was withdrawn part way through with a left ankle injury while skipper Robert Lambert battled on despite an ongoing back problem.
Palm Toft took the chequered flag in the opener while there was frustration for Lambert who finished at the back after being outgated by his rivals.
Guest reserve Ulrich Ostergaard led down the back straight in the second before home man Ryan Douglas came charging underneath on the first lap.
Stars fell behind when Wolves struck the first 5-1 of the fixture in Heat 3 before a missed opportunity came about in the fourth.
Home reserve Luke Becker divebombed Ostergaard on bend three of the last lap and cleaned the Dane out.
But Wolves were still able to pull another point clear after Cook had retired from the race a lap earlier in a heat that had two finishers only.
Palm Toft and Lambert sat on a 5-1 in the early stages of the fifth, but Lambert drifted wide off bend two allowing both Wolves riders to come underneath before Palm Toft was passed by Nick Morris on the final lap.
The Stars registered their first heat advantage of the night in the sixth to reduce the gap to five with Lewis Kerr getting the better of Douglas for third whilst Cook cut-back intelligently off the final bend to pip home No.1 Sam Masters on the run to the line but that would be the end of his night.
Palm Toft was the next one ruled out three races later as he tangled with Morris down the back straight and with Stars only able to register three more heat wins and just one more advantage, the side were sent back to the Adrian Flux Arena empty handed as their outside play-off hopes were dealt a bitter blow.
Stand-in team boss Dale Allitt said: “Sometimes people make excuses when they lose but sometimes there are just nights like we’ve had here where things happen that you can’t really control.
“Craig had a big issue and he simply couldn’t continue.
“He was in a really bad way and it was actually the paramedics who pulled him out.
“He’ll still no doubt get criticised on social media tonight but I hope people just ease off him for
“MPT was in a horror crash with Nick Morris and he’s now got an ankle injury and Robert lifted in his second ride, hurt his back again and in all honesty he probably shouldn’t be riding.
“But Robert’s Robert and he’ll always go out there if possible and do his best.
“We’ve thrown the kitchen sink at them with what we had, we still scored more points than Poole did here a week ago and it has been a really tough night for everyone involved – but I couldn’t ask for too much more at the same time to be honest.”
King’s Lynn host reigning champions Poole at the Adrian Flux Arena next Monday (September 9, 7.30).
Wolves 53: Jacob Thorssell 14, Nick Morris 13+1, Rory Schlein 11+1, Sam Masters 9+2, Ryan Douglas 4+2, Luke Becker 2+2, Kyle Howarth R/R.
Lynn Stars 36: Erik Riss 9+1, Michael Palm Toft 6+1, Lewis Kerr 6+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 6, Robert Lambert 4, Craig Cook 3, Thomas Jorgensen 2.