King's Lynn Stars rocked by another injury as they slump at home to Peterborough
Depleted King’s Lynn Stars were further rocked by injury which thwarted their quest to notch a home win at the fourth attempt, losing 36-54 to leaders Peterborough tonight (Thursday 1).
This SGB Premiership home derby was shaping up to be close but as soon as guest Rory Schlein crashed in race six it gave Lynn, already missing two key riders, a proverbial mountain to climb.
Richard Lawson starred with 16 points for Lynn who managed just two heat advantages overall and it gave Peterborough team boss Rob Lyon his second victory of 2021 over his former club.
Australian Cameron Heeps, the ex-Ipswich ace, made his Minors & Brady Stars debut while former Lynn captain Schlein deputised for Thomas Jorgensen – who was watching proceedings – and Lynn operated rider replacement for Erik Riss. Both riders were sidelined with shoulder injuries.
Leaders Peterborough were aiming for an East Anglian clean sweep versus local rivals Lynn and Ipswich.
Lawson took the first ‘r/r’ and was second behind Bjarne Pedersen. Schlein followed Lawson in a 3-3 opener.
The away side snuck ahead again thanks to Ulrich Ostergaard’s victory over Lynn reserve Connor Mountain with in-form Jordan Palin third.
They stretched this to 7-11 with another 2-4: multiple Great Britain champion Scott Nicholls was the winner ahead of Heeps on his debut ride, with ex-Lynn rider Michael Palm Toft beating Lewis Kerr.
Lawson became Lynn’s first race winner in Heat 4, defeating Ostergaard and Chris Harris, in 59 seconds exactly – the fastest time of the night.
Kerr and third-spot Heeps next ensured the hosts’ opening heat advantage while Heat 6 saw Kerr taking r/r.
This was heading for a 3-3 with Harris cutting off the home skipper at the first bend before Schlein, in a comfortable third position, slid off on lap three, bend four resulting in neck, chest and possible wrist strains. T
he Aussie was up walking and off to hospital after ten minutes’ treatment and the race was awarded 2-4, with Kerr beating Palin for second, by referee Barbara Horley.
Following a 45-minute delay, Nicholls and Palm Toft prevailed in Heat 7 as Lawson missed the gate while Ricky Wells retired with a lap to go.
Wells was the rider replacement next and he sped from the tapes, but Hans Andersen and Ostergaard both passed him in the Panthers second 5-1 in a row.
In Heat 9 it was Heeps’ and Kerr’s turn to make the start but Harris, lifting thrillingly on the third straight and one of many visitors comfortable around Lynn, overtook them both in a 3-3 result.
The victorious Lawson replaced Schlein in Heat 10 and Heeps, overtaken by Nicholls for third spot at the start of lap two, was the r/r in another 3-3 as Peterborough led 24-36.
Lynn boss Peter Schroeck immediately inserted captain Kerr as a tactical sub for Wells. Kerr trailed behind Lawson, who almost caught Andersen on the line with Pedersen making it a Danish one-two as Peterborough reasserted their supremacy.
Palm Toft hammered this home in a successive away 1-5 while reserve swap Ostergaard performed a similar move to Harris in passing Heeps.
Kerr filled the injury rider replacement berth in the Heat 13 battle which saw Lawson the victo, resulting in a fifth shared race.
Winner Kerr and third-place man Wells ensured that Lynn registered just their second heat advantage; and Lawson notched his fourth win overall in the final shared nominated race, defeating GB duo Nicholls and Harris.
It left team boss Schroeck with four days to pick up his troops for Monday’s televised home clash with Ipswich.
Jorgensen, who bids to return in the No.1 race jacket on Monday at home to the Witches, said of the Panthers clash: “It’s a very important meeting. Peterborough is a strong team. The track looks like normal Lynn. I wish I was riding.”
The Dane had Tweeted earlier this week: "Nothing is broken. Tissue damage and stretched ligaments to right shoulder. I am aiming to be back for next week."
Stars: Rory Schlein 1+1, Erik Riss R/R, Cameron Heeps 6, Lewis Kerr 9+1, Richard Lawson 16, Ricky Wells 2, Connor Mountain 2.
Peterborough: Bjarne Pedersen 10, Hans Andersen 5+1, Michael Palm Toft 8+1, Scott Nicholls 11+1, Chris Harris 9+3, Jordan Palin 2, Ulrich Ostergaard 9+2.