King's Lynn Stars go down fighting in narrow SGB Premiership defeat at Sheffield
The King's Lynn Stars went agonisingly close to a shock win at Sheffield but missed out 46-44 in last heat drama.
Going into the decider 43-41 up after a brilliant performance they knew a 3-3 would suffice to shock the rest of the Premiership.
But home heroes Adam Ellis and Kyle Howarth delivered the goods over guest rider Chris Harris and Richard Lawson to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat for the South Yorkshire side.
The Minors and Brady Stars claimed a consolation league point by losing narrowly away from home – but it was a case of so near and yet so far!
The Stars, who called upon British icon Harris as a replacement for the injured Erik Riss, made a stunning start.
At the first track grading break after four heats they were six-points up – and it could have been more.
Reserve Ricky Wells, a former Sheffield rider, was following partner Richard Lawson for a 5-1 when he retired with bike problems late in the race.
By that stage Lynn were 15-9 up instead of 17-7 and the fans were in disbelief.
But Sheffield fired a warning when Great Britain star Adam Ellis partnered debutant Josh Pickering for a 5-1 over Thomas Jorgensen and Connor Mountain - in for the injured Cameron Heeps.
Harris made it two wins in succession by seeing off home rider Danny King, who was covering for injured Australian ace Jack Holder, to keep Lynn 22-20 ahead.
Wells jumped out and was a shock winner of Heat 8 ahead of home skipper Kyle Howarth with Lawson, no doubt brought in for Heeps to win the race, at the back.
Sheffield struck back with a 5-1 from Ellis and Pickering to take the lead for the first time in the next at 28-26.
But a maximum from Lawson and Jorgensen in Heat 13 swayed the meeting back in Lynn’s favour – and when they shared the spoils in the next they only needed a 3-3 to win the meeting.
Sheffield pulled through to preserve their unbeaten run – but Lynn can take heart after a dreadful run.
Said Richard Lawson: “I think especially with them missing Jack (Holder), we really wanted to take advantage of that – we wanted to win.
“We got close, but didn’t pull it off unfortunately.
“It’s hard to take but it is what it is.
“You’ve got to take the positives from these sorts of meetings though and we’re not rolling over for anybody.”
The Minors and Brady Stars are back in action at the Adrian Flux Arena next Thursday when they host Belle Vue.
Sheffield 46: Adam Ellis 12, Kyle Howarth 10+1, Josh Pickering 8+2, Danny King 8, James Wright 3+1, Troy Batchelor 3, Dan Thompson 2+2.
King's Lynn 44: Chris Harris 10+1, Richard Lawson 9, Ricky Wells 8+2, Lewis Kerr 7+2, Thomas Jorgensen 6+2, Connor Mountain 4+1, Cameron Heeps R/R.
Premiership points: Sheffield 3 King’s Lynn 1.