Lambert races through pain barrier as King’s Lynn Stars tame Lions
Maximum man Robert Lambert rode through the pain barrier as Lynn mounted a superb comeback to keep their play-off hopes alive on Wednesday night.
The Norfolk-born teenager will take the plaudits for going unbeaten with 15 points despite an ongoing knee problem, but the key was Josh Auty.
The reserve notched successive victories to ensure Lynn bagged a morale-boosting win as they enter the crucial final ten meetings of the season.
Despite opening up with a 5-1 maximum heat victory, the hosts were 22-26 behind at the midway stage.
Skipper Lambert was fresh from winning the European Championship U19 title and completed his hat-trick to make the scores 29-31 at the Heat 10 interval.
Enter Auty to lead home crucial 5-1 and 3-3 results in Heats 11 and 12 respectively, in the former pairing up with the much-improved Thomas H Jonasson who remained unbeaten in his last four outings.
This put Lynn 37-35 up and they sealed success with two 5-1’s on either side of a 3-3 shared heat to close out the meeting.
Michael Palm Toft also weighed in with a brace of first places to make up for Kai Huckenbeck suffering a rare off-night, his helmet hitting the Heat 3 tapes and having to take a 15-metre penalty.
Lambert said: “It was looking a bit down and out at one stage. But we picked it up and got a couple of 5-1’s.
“The track was pretty even tonight which was good and how we like it.
“So we’re back to our winning ways and hopefully we can continue it.”
Lambert said of his European win: “It’s another good feather in my cap. “It’s another stepping-stone to where I want to be. I managed to make six starts and get a good win.
“For sure obviously it’s busy. I’ve got Sheffield tomorrow (Thursday) and I am flying off to Germany for some practice.
“I’ve got Newcastle on Sunday (SGB Championship ) as usual so yes, it’s a busy week.”
On his knee injury, the 19-year-old added: “It’s sort of a niggling problem, but it’s slowly getting better.
“In the first heat I caught it again. I’ve just got to battle through the pain barrier.”
The Stars ended a run of six successive defeats in this bottom-of-the-table clash. Both teams still had a slim chance of the end of season play-offs with Leicester Lions on 21 points, ten off the top four; with Lynn on 26 points but enjoying two meetings in hand on their visitors.
However this positive result put the Adrian Flux Arena outfit five points behind fourth-spot Poole Pirates with three meetings in hand.
The hosts made a late change with Simon Lambert coming in for Nicklas Porsing who was ruled out of the Premiership showdown with Leicester through illness.
The Danish reserve felt unwell while in Sweden with club bosses quickly drafting in Lambert as a last-ditch replacement.
Recent signing Thomas Jorgensen said: “They were so good from the start, we were struggling with our gating.”
Jorgensen added on Heat 10 when the Dane was third, almost second, then finished fourth in a great race against Cameron Heeps and Lions skipper Danny King: “I made some silly mistakes. Going outside was a bit of a risky move but I thought I might have a chance. It’s another thing to learn.”
Monday’s rained-off clash at Wolves has been re-arranged for Monday, September 4.
Next for Lynn is Monday away at Swindon in the Premiership, live on BT Sport.
King’s Lynn Stars: Robert Lambert (captain) 15, Thomas Jorgensen 6+2, Michael Palm Toft 7, Kai Huckenbeck 3, Thomas H Jonasson 11+3, Josh Auty 8+1, Simon Lambert 0.
Leicester Lions: Josh Grajczonek (guest) 7, Erik Riss 7+2, Cameron Heeps 10+2, R/R for Pawel Przedpelski, Danny King (capt) 8, Josh Bates 4+1, Kyle Newman 4+1.
Fastest time by Michael Palm Toft, Heat 3, 59.28 seconds.