King’s Lynn Stars reach speedway Premiership Pairs Round 3 semi-finals at their Adrian Flux Arena home with Ipswich victorious
The King’s Lynn Stars reached the semi-finals when they played host in Round 3 of the Premiership Pairs at the Adrian Flux Arena tonight (Thursday).
Ipswich beat Sheffield 5-4 in the Grand Final thanks to Witches pairing Jason Doyle and Danny King heading the minor placings behind Tigers' winner, Grand Prix star Jack Holder, with British champion Adam Ellis in last place.
Before this meeting the Minors & Brady Stars were the joint series leaders with Sheffield after two rounds, having won the opener at Peterborough in May, and they were again represented by skipper Josh Pickering and Richard Lawson, with Jason Edwards as reserve.
Round four will be at Wolverhampton on Monday, July 18.
In this format there is a departure from league points-scoring; in the Pairs four points are awarded for first position, three for second, two for third and zero for fourth.
Fifteen qualifying heats are raced: the team with the most points goes to straight to the Grand Final and the next two teams race in a semi-final for the right to face the Grand Finalists.
Matej Zagar won the opening outing for Belle Vue ahead of Wolverhampton Wolves rider Steve Worrall.
The Minors & Brady Stars made their bow in the next race. Skipper Pickering was second behind his idol, Ipswich's Doyle, while Lawson finished last.
The home duo fared much better in Heat 4, picking up a maximum seven points thanks to a first-second from Lawson and Pickering over Wolves' Sam Masters and Worrall.
Each team had to nominate their Rising Star reserve rider for at least one heat.
Belle Vue were the first to show their hand with Tom Brennan going out in the fifth race, earning third behind team-mate Zagar and winner Chris Harris who had a superb night with four wins.
An early interval was taken after Heat 6 due to the bright setting sun. Belle Vue and Ipswich led with 11 points from Lynn on 10.
Lawson and Pickering took their second maximum, versus the Aces' Max Fricke and the retiring Zagar, this time to assume the lead – 17 compared to Ipswich's 16 – after every team had three outings each after Heat 9.
Lynn did themselves a favour by beating the team they share the overall series with, Sheffield, 6-3. Pickering won, Adam Ellis was second and Lawson third, the latter who just held on against Jack Holder.
In the last round of qualifying rides Lynn held their Rising Star until last: Edwards just failed to beat Peterborough opposite number Jordan Jenkins which ultimately proved costly since Pickering lowered Harris's colours in a 4-5 result to the Panthers.
Ipswich and Lynn finished level-first on 27 points. Ipswich went straight through to the final by virtue of the fact they beat Lynn in Heat 2.
But the Stars were knocked out in the semi-final by Sheffield, who guaranteed to move themselves ahead of Lynn in the overall series picture.
Scores (reserve rider listed third) – Belle Vue 20: Max Fricke 6, Matej Zagar 12, Tom Brennan 2.
Ipswich 27: Jason Doyle 14, Danny King 10, Danyon Hume 3.
King’s Lynn 27: Josh Pickering 17, Richard Lawson 10, Jason Edwards 0.
Peterborough 21: Chris Harris 19, Hans Andersen 0, Jordan Jenkins 2.
Sheffield 23: Jack Holder 14, Adam Ellis 9, Connor Mountain 0.
Wolverhampton 15: Sam Masters 3, Steve Worrall 10, Leon Flint 2.
Semi (line-up Holder, Ellis, Lawson, Pickering): Holder, Pickering, Ellis, Lawson.
Grand Final (line-up Doyle, King, Holder, Ellis): Holder, Doyle, King, Ellis.
Referee: Tony Steele.