Back-to-back defeats at the start of the season for Adrian Flux Arena outfit
King's Lynn Stars 40 Poole Pirates 50
Poole are sponsored by a carpet cleaning company: they didn’t exactly take Lynn to the cleaners but sealed a first leg win with a penultimate heat 5-1 victory in the Stars’ 2019 home opener.
So King's Lynn could not gain revenge on the reigning speedway Premiership champions in a repeat of last season's Grand Final.
Of course, there’s the Shield second leg to consider on Thursday at the always-challenging venue for away sides of Wimborne Road, so Lynn have all the work to do.
Erik Riss top-scored for the Poultec Stars in last Thursday’s 59-31 curtain-raiser defeat at local rivals Ipswich in the Supporters’ Cup.
The German heat leader followed his 12-point haul with 11 which would have more but for a final-heat fall. He made the opening heat gate while team-mate Robert Lambert didn’t, resulting in a 3-3 shared race with Pirates Josh Grajczonek and Jack Holder filling the middle positions.
The Pirates fielded three former Lynn riders: Nicolai Klindt, Richie Worrall and Nicolaj Busk Jakobsen. It was soon clear that Busk Jakobsen and Nicolai Klindt were enjoying the advantage at reserve.
A second heat Pirates 5-1 headed by Busk Jakobsen and Nico Covatti was the difference between the two sides in the first seven outings – the remainder were shared in a tight affair.
It took until Heat 10 for the Stars to lead for the first time, 31-29, thanks to a second-lap pass by Lambert to back up Riss before the interval.
The hosts had levelled in Heat 8 with their first maximum 5-1 via Riss and reserve switch Palm Toft. Both Brady Kurtz and Busk Jakobsen were warned during the meeting for moving at the start.
British champion Robert Lambert and Lewis Kerr, who both celebrated birthdays during the past fortnight, could not celebrate with heat wins but came close.
Heat 12 proved pivotal, with a 1-5 to the Pirates who regained the lead, 35-37 and held on to it.
Stars: Robert Lambert 4+3, Erik Riss 11, Ty Proctor 5+2, Lewis Kerr 4, Thomas Jorgensen 9+1, Michael Palm Toft 7+2, Kasper Andersen 0.
Pirates: Jack Holder 6+2, Josh Grajczonek 8, Nicolai Klindt 6, Richie Worrall 6+1, Brady Kurtz 11, Nico Covatti 5+1, Nicolaj Busk Jakobsen 8+1.
Fastest time: Heats 4, 6 & 9, Jorgensen, Kurtz & Kurtz, 58.96 seconds.
Referee: Chris Durno.