King's Lynn beaten in open Premiership fixture at Wolverhampton
King's Lynn’s perfect start to the season came to an end with a 53-37 defeat at Wolverhampton in their opening Premiership fixture.
The Minors & Brady Stars, who had got the better of Peterborough and Ipswich in the League Cup, were largely walking wounded at Monmore Green as the hosts took full control of the meeting, despite the sterling efforts of Thomas Jorgensen.
The visitors lost skipper Josh Pickering after two rides, with the Australian reporting a high temperature which had clearly affected his performance, whilst Niels-Kristian Iversen was struggling with a chest infection and Richard Lawson with the after-effects of a heavy spill at Foxhall last week.
Team boss Alex Brady said: “It was a tough one. We came into the meeting full of confidence after the League Cup campaign, but it just wasn’t our night.
“Niels is struggling to breathe, Josh is struggling as well and you could see Richard Lawson hobbling around with his knee, so it was a disappointing night – but we go again on Thursday.
“Thomas was brilliant value, and I was really pleased for him because he’s had a bit of an indifferent start – a good one and then a couple of bad rides, so he’s not quite performed how he’s wanted to.
“He’s a confidence rider, so this meeting will do him a power of good, and if there’s one positive we can take from tonight it’s his performance.”
Lynn did share the first two races with Richie Worrall a clear winner of Heat 2, but they fell behind to a 5-1 from Luke Becker and maximum man Ryan Douglas in Heat 3.
The home side extended their lead in Heat 5 when Iversen hit trouble, although a battling effort from Jorgensen saw him pass Becker on the third lap – and a little more time could well have seen him catch Douglas too.
But after a re-start to Heat 6 when Wolves man Steve Worrall hit the deck, Worrall recovered to partner Sam Masters to a 5-1 over Pickering which put then ten points to the good.
Stars gated on a maximum in Heat 8 before Worrall managed to split Jorgensen and a hard-riding Jack Thomas, but their 4-2 gain in that race was cancelled out in the next when Richie Worrall lost control on the fourth bend, being overtaken by Becker for third place.
By this stage, Brady was juggling his options with injury rider replacement for Pickering, but they found themselves realistically out of contention when they conceded a 5-1 in Heat 10 as Lewis Kerr was the next to get out of shape on the first bend.
Jorgensen took a tactical substitute ride in Heat 12 and rode superbly to just fend off the thrusting Becker, but he had no answer to Masters and Nick Morris in Heat 13 as the home side secured their victory.
Stars will hope to hit back when the sides meet at the Adrian Flux Arena on Thursday, although they will also be awaiting news on the unwell Pickering.
Wolverhampton 53: Ryan Douglas 14+1, Sam Masters 11+1, Nick Morris 11+1, Steve Worrall 7+1, Luke Becker 7, Drew Kemp 2, Joe Thompson 1+1.
King's Lynn Stars 37: Thomas Jorgensen 14, Richie Worrall 6+2, Richard Lawson 6, Lewis Kerr 4+1, Niels-Kristian Iversen 3+2, Jack Thomas 3, Josh Pickering 1+1.