King's Lynn's home woes continue as they are beaten in East Anglian speedway derby by Ipswich Witches
The television cameras brought the best out of depleted Ipswich’s reserves in beating the King’s Lynn Stars 42-48 tonight (Monday 5) in a must-win speedway derby.
Peter Schroeck’s Lynn charges had lost all four (now five) 2021 Premiership home meetings while the Witches had tasted defeat in their last seven clashes.
Plenty of fans turned up despite the meeting being broadcast live on Eurosport. Lynn began and finished well with a 5-1 and 4-2 but away reserve Paul Starke was key with seven rides and 14, paid 16, points. At reserve, Ipswich – mainly down to six riders after Anders Rowe withdrew – boasted paid 20 versus 4.
New Stars number one Thomas Jorgensen returned after a short spell on the sidelines.
The Minors and Brady Stars were without shoulder injury victim Erik Riss, who is expected to be out for at least another fortnight, and seven-times British champion Scott Nicholls - Peterborough’s top-scorer at Lynn’s Adrian Flux Arena with 11+1 points on Thursday - stepped in.
Ipswich missed Jason Crump (rib injury) and another former Star, Belle Vue’s Steve Worrall, substituted for the Aussie.
This was Lynn fans’ first sight of Craig Cook, who controversially exited the Norfolk stadium after just two meetings in May.
Referee Mick Bates unusually warned two riders, Nicholls and Worrall, in the opening heat to remain stationary at the tapes.
Rowe fell coming out of the restart first bend. All four riders were back for restart number two. Jorgensen and Nicholls’ 5-1 maximum victory sensationally secured Lynn’s first opening heat advantage of the campaign. The previous sequence beginning with Ipswich on May 17 was 1-5, 2-4, 1-5 and 3-3.
Lynn’s Ricky Wells took the reserves’ race, defeating Starke and Kemp, while Connor Mountain fell and retired on the third lap.
Away skipper Danny King won the third outing, ahead of opposite number Kerr and Heeps, while Jake Allen fell at the start of lap three.
Cook stole Heat 4 by a wheel-rim on the line from Lawson, followed by Starke and Mountain to make the scores 13-11.
Anders Rowe was ruled out with a dislocated knee, but Worrall and Starke gave the visitors a boost with a 1-5 to take the lead for the first time.
Nicholls prevailed in Heat 6 ahead of Cook, who Jorgensen tried to pass three times, and Kemp, to level at 18-18 in the fastest time of the night, 59.24 seconds.
A second-bend lift cost Lawson who recovered to second behind King who ensured Ipswich led by two.
Kemp filled-in for Rowe at the midway Heat 8, won by Nicholls.
Richie Hawkins inserted Starke in on an inspired reserve switch, winning Heat 9 and backed by Cook, over Kerr and the struggling Heeps, to go 24-30 ahead.
Jorgensen lowered King’s colours by passing him on lap two with Nicholls sealing a tenth-race 4-2 (28-32).
Kemp took Rowe’s Heat 11 spot and was edged out by Lawson in a 3-3 result.
The busy Starke came in next again for Kemp and followed King in Ipswich’s third maximum which effectively settled the match at 32-40. Heat 13 saw Cook beat Lawson, with Worrall almost being caught by Jorgensen.
Schroeck used Nicholls as a tactical sub in the penultimate race, coming third behind winner Kerr and Starke in a home 4-2.
Jorgensen partnered Lawson in the final nominated race versus King and Cook. Lawson starred by top-scoring again, holding off Cook while Jorgensen settled in third as Lynn finished well as usual.
King's Lynn Stars: Thomas Jorgensen 8, Scott Nicholls (guest) 10+1, Cameron Heeps 1+1, Lewis Kerr (captain) 7, Richard Lawson 12, Ricky Wells 3, Connor Mountain 1.
Ipswich Witches: Steve Worrall (guest) 5+1, Anders Rowe 1 (withdrawn), Danny King (capt.) 11, Jake Allen 1, Craig Cook 12+1, Drew Kemp 4+2, Paul Starke 14+2.