King's Lynn Stars record first home win of 2021 SGB Premiership season
King’s Lynn Stars won a grandstand finish 46-44 to get new boss Alex Brady off to a dream start tonight (Thursday 22) and notch their first home win of 2021.
Belle Vue’s Jye Etheridge fell on lap two, bend two in the penultimate heat and the race was awarded a 5-1 maximum to Lynn’s skipper Lewis Kerr and Connor Mountain to leave it 43-41 to the Stars.
It set up the first SGB Premiership last heat decider here at the Adrian Flux Arena in 2021.
So, Heat 15, one race remaining: Thomas Jorgensen and Richard Lawson (17+1 points) for Lynn; Dan Bewley and Richie Worrall for The Aces.
Bewley made the start for the win but Lawson and Jorgensen vitally held the next two places to seal a memorable first home win of the campaign.
Bewley almost broke King’s Lynn Stars’ hearts with a key thrilling Heat 13 ride.
There was just two points in it at that stage and Lynn’s hopes were up when Lawson and Jorgensen made the start, but Bewley passed both on successive final straights to steal a 3-3.
Lynn had let a good start slip. Lynn led for the first half before the Aces came back strongly to lead by six in Heat 11.
The meeting also marked the return of German ace Erik Riss ahead of schedule from a shoulder injury.
On Belle Vue’s side, they boasted freshly-crowned British Under-21 champion Tom Brennan.
Lynn’s Australian Cameron Heeps is a week away from fitness and he was covered by the rider replacement facility which means his four programmed rides can be taken by colleagues.
The same was true for Aces’ Charles Wright after crashing heavily at Birmingham the previous night.
In-form Lynn spearhead Richard Lawson got the hosts off to a good start, something they’ve sorely lacked mainly at home this season, by winning from the tapes over ex-Star Richie Worrall with number one team-mate Jorgensen in third to ensure a 4-2 opening result.
Ricky Wells won the reserves’ race over Brennan, with Mountain third, in another 4-2 and Lynn maintained this advantage thanks to skipper Lewis Kerr’s triumph from the tapes. Riss retired in last place on the final lap while Richie Worrall had replaced Wright.
Lawson swooped to conquer again, this time off gate three rather than one, ahead of Etheridge and sparkling Brit Bewley.
Riss gained a fillip by recording Lynn’s fifth first spot out of five while Aussie visitor Brady Kurtz was warned to remain still at the start.
Bewley broke that sequence in Heat 6 but Jorgensen and Mountain - on rider replacement - filled the in-between places, which has been an issue during 2021, in the fourth shared race in a row.
Next Etheridge stood in for Wright. Etheridge and Steve Worrall headed Lawson before he passed them to complete his hat-trick.
The visitors drew level 24-24 at the midway point by notching their first heat advantage in style with a 5-1 maximum via canny reserve switch Brennan and R. Worrall over Lynn ‘r/r’ Kerr and Wells.
Following a track grading which seemed to favour Belle Vue another shrewd switch by team manager Mark Lemon saw Etheridge follow home Bewley for their second maximum.
Wells was Lynn’s Heat 10 r/r up against Belle Vue’s Bewley,who emerged the victor in the minor positions. Jorgensen superbly passed Steve Worrall on lap three, turn two to preserve a 3-3.
Kurtz recovered his No.1 form by defeating Lawson in a 2-4 when Richie Worrall overtook Mountain to make the score 30-36.
This prompted debutant manager Brady to insert Lawson as a Heat 12 tactical sub.
This timely tweak did the trick for Lynn’s first 5-1 as Lawson clung to the tyres of winner Riss to reduce the deficit to two before the drama of the last few heats.
Lynn: Thomas Jorgensen 8+2, Cameron Heeps R/R, Erik Riss 6, Lewis Kerr (captain) 8, Richard Lawson 17+1, Connor Mountain 4+2, Ricky Wells 3.
Belle Vue: Brady Kurtz 4+1, Richie Worrall 9+1, Steve Worrall (capt.) 6+2, Charles Wright R/R, Dan Bewley 14+2, Tom Brennan 5, Jye Etheridge 6+1.