Lynn Stars suffer Swindon defeat
Lynn Stars' spirited efforts proved in vain with a 52-38 defeat at Premiership leaders Swindon on Thursday.
British Champion Robert Lambert put on another spectacular performance, and support from Niels-Kristian Iversen and Thomas Jorgensen ensured the Tru Plant Stars remained competitive throughout.
But being without three of their regulars allied to Lewis Kerr enduring a nightmare meeting proved too great a hurdle overall.
Stars conceded an early 5-1 to the powerful Tobiasz Musielak/David Bellego combination in Heat 3, and Lambert was unfortunate in his first ride when beaten by Troy Batchelor.
The former Lynn man moved at the start and was warned, but that gave him a second chance and he duly won the re-run.
Iversen had been an impressive winner of Heat 1 and looked set to double up in Heat 5 only for Musielak to squeeze through on the run to the finishing line.
Lambert surged around Adam Ellis to win Heat 6, and was then introduced by boss Dale Allitt as a tactical substitute in the next race – with the move working to perfection as he partnered Jorgensen to a 5-1 over Batchelor.
However, Swindon hit back through Ellis and Zach Wajtknecht in Heat 8 with Kerr suffering his third non-finish of the meeting.
Lambert was an imperious winner of Heat 9 but the Stars slipped 12-down when Ellis and Nick Morris combined to squeeze out Jorgensen in Heat 10, and then Iversen lost out to Batchelor in Heat 11 with Wajtknecht passing Kerr for third.
Trailing by 14-points, Lynn needed big results from Iversen and Lambert in Heats 13 and 15 if they were to salvage a league point – but the first clash of the big guns went Swindon’s way as Morris and Batchelor hit the front and team-rode the Lynn captain out of contention.
Jorgensen was a fine winner of Heat 14 whilst guest Kevin Doolan held second place for three laps before being overhauled by Bellego.
And there was a further Stars 4-2 in the last race with Lambert holding a thrilling outside line to defeat Batchelor with Iversen in third.
Allitt said: “It’s the story of our last few weeks really. We knew we were without Michael (Palm Toft) who had a great night at Redcar, and he scored well here last week, but that’s what it is with doubling up.
“Ty (Proctor) just wasn’t right, and we didn’t have enough power at reserve to cover for that. Everyone gave 100 per cent, and we can say if Tofty had been here it could have been different but it’s all ifs, buts and maybes.
“On Monday (at Somerset) we’ll have Michael and Ty back, and we’ve tried to be completely honest with fans in that when we signed Michael we knew there were a few clashes.
“His last clash is on July 4 and that’s it, so all being well there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have a full team. But you can’t do anything about injuries, and Ty has been a big miss as he’s been riding far above his average.
“Lewis struggled all night, it was just one of those nights for him. He’s been absolutely fabulous for us and it’s just a bad night – all riders have them, and that was his tonight. He’ll come back stronger.”
The Stars boss also expressed his frustration over the absence of Kasper Andersen – who is suspended from British racing as he was deemed to have suffered concussion on Monday, yet was clear to ride in Denmark on Wednesday.
Allitt said: “I think it sets a dangerous precedent, because a rider has been taken out and then passed medically fit by a GP the next day, and that’s been over-ruled.
“My worry there, are riders going to be completely truthful if they’ve got an issue, knowing they can’t be cleared by a GP going forward?
“That’s something that people above my pay grade need to look at.”
Swindon Robins 52: Troy Batchelor 12, Tobiasz Musielak 11, Adam Ellis 9+1, Nick Morris 7+3, David Bellego 6+2, Zach Wajtknecht 6+1, Jack Smith 1.
Lynn Stars 38: Robert Lambert 14, Niels-Kristian Iversen 8, Thomas Jorgensen 8, Kevin Doolan 5+1, Ben Morley 3+1, Lewis Kerr 0, Ty Proctor r/r.