King's Lynn Stars fight back to secure draw with Premiership leaders Wolverhampton
King's Lynn Stars 45
Wolverhampton Wolves 45
King’s Lynn Stars creditably came back to manage their first draw of the season in their bottom versus top clash with Premiership leaders Wolverhampton tonight.
Alex Brady’s troops were 34-38 behind in their penultimate home meeting of the season with three races left but top scorer with a dozen points Thomas Jorgensen and number one rider Richard Lawson turned it around with the hosts’ sole 5-1 maximum of the night.
The next two heats were shared with Jorgensen and Lawson following home former Lynn rider Sam Masters in the nominated Heat 15.
No parade was operated due to gloomy conditions and Ben Barker won an early start to the meeting. Team-mate Lawson was third as the Stars began with a 4-2 heat advantage.
The next two outings were shared. Lynn could have been further ahead, but in Heat 3 with Lynn on a 5-1, race leader Erik Riss fell on bend two of lap three and the race was awarded with home skipper Lewi Kerr in second.
Wolverhampton levelled at 12-12 in Heat 4 thanks to former Lynn captain Rory Schlein edging out Jorgensen, while Leon Flint made third. Schlein, last year’s British champion, is retiring at the end of the season and gained a round of applause before the meeting.
The visitors went ahead with the opening 5-1 via ex-Star Masters and Broc Nicol, but the Minors & Brady Stars hit back with a 4-2 from winner Lawson and third-spot Barker.
Following some track grading, Wolves secured a 2-4 from the victorious Luke Becker, pursued by Barker, and Nick Morris in third position; while Heat 8 was shared to make the scores 22-26 at the midway point.
Kerr won the ninth race from the inside gate in another 3-3 result with the scoreless Riss struggling in fourth.
Morris tumbled into the first bend fence after some typical post-tapes bunching and the race was restarted with all four riders back. While Morris - who it was soon announced had been withdrawn through suffering concussion - was getting treatment, the official interval was taken.
Lawson won the restart ahead of Morris’s impressive reserve replacement Ryan Douglas, who hauled 13 points from seven rides including Heat 15, with Barker in third to halve the deficit at 29-31.
Wolverhampton saw a nine-match winning run end at Peterborough on Monday and Brady’s battlers almost pulled off a similar result but for Riss’s unfortunate fall.
King’s Lynn: Richard Lawson 10+2, Ben Barker 7, Erik Riss 0, Lewis Kerr (captain) 9, Thomas Jorgensen 12, Connor Mountain 1+1, Kasper Andersen 6+2.
Wolverhampton: Sam Masters 8, Broc Nicol 5+2, Nick Morris (withdrawn) 2+1, Luke Becker 5, Rory Schlein (capt.) 4+1, Ryan Douglas 13, Leon Flint 8.
Fastest time: Schlein, Heat 4, 59.12 seconds.