Leicester prove too strong for King’s Lynn in Insure Premiership clash
King's Lynn showed plenty of fight on their return to Sports Insure Premiership action before going down to a 54-36 defeat at Leicester last night.
The scoreline in no way told the story of the efforts put by the MacInnes Stars, who had the second-placed team worried at one stage with the scores still level after seven races.
And at that stage Simon Lambert, Thomas Jorgensen, Nicolai Klindt and Artem Laguta had all won races for the visitors.
But a controversial disqualification for Lambert in Heat 8 changed the complexion of the meeting, and Leicester took advantage with a run of three 5-1s in four races to go clear.
Stars boss David Hoggart said: “I think the team did better than a lot of people would give them credit for, and if we were going down then we were going down fighting tonight.
“We gave Leicester a bit of a scare in the first seven or eight races without any shadow of a doubt, and it wasn’t easy for them at that point.
“Obviously Simon got excluded in Heat 8 which was a bit of hard riding and I think a more experienced rider might have stayed on.
“Stewart (Dickson) will probably disagree with me on that one, but that’s speedway at the end of the day.
“Nicolai Klindt is a great captain and a great rider. He’s a great guy to work with, we go through the programme and the changes together, and he does like the track here.”
Home No.1 Max Fricke smashed the track record in Heat 1 as the Lions opened with a maximum, but the Stars dug in with a 4-2 in Heat 2 as Lambert passed Jake Allen after Drew Kemp had crashed out.
And they could even have taken the lead in Heat 3 as they held a 5-1 only for guest Kyle Howarth to drift wide enabling Chris Harris to pass him on the inside.
Still, wins for Klindt and Laguta followed with the Stars No.1 riding strongly to defeat Harris in Heat 5, and the Lions had a little fortune in Heat 6 when both Fricke and Justin Sedgmen appeared to touch the tapes, with Sedgmen being the rider disqualified.
Fricke duly won the re-run but the Stars kept level with two 3-3s, before the events of Heat 8 which saw another battle between Lambert and Kemp, and as the Lynn man charged down the inside into the second lap there was light contact and Kemp went down.
Lambert was disqualified and Leicester took full advantage in the re-run with a 5-1 from Sedgmen and Kemp over Anders Rowe, before Harris worked his way to the front of Heat 9 when the Stars looked like they could take points back.
But the meeting really went away in Heats 10 and 11 in which the Lions scored back-to-back 5-1s, first from Fricke and Sedgmen in the tenth, and then when Richard Lawson and Allen both made their way inside Laguta on the first lap of the next race.
Klindt came into Heat 12 as a tactical substitute and pulled off a great move to go past Kemp on the last lap, but Leicester then made the score more convincing with two 5-1s in Heats 13 and 14, the latter seeing Harris again come from the back against Jorgensen.
But there was one consolation in the end when the excellent Klindt won Heat 15, becoming the first visiting rider in three meetings to defeat the flying Fricke around Beaumont Park.
With the Lions taking the aggregate point from the Round 1 encounters, the sides meet again on Thursday at the Adrian Flux Arena in a Round 2 fixture, where the Stars will have Rory Schlein guesting for Michael Palm Toft.
Leicester Lions 54: Max Fricke 14, Richard Lawson 11+2, Chris Harris 9+1, Justin Sedgmen 7+2, Jake Allen 7+1, Drew Kemp 5+2, Troy Batchelor 1+1.
King's Lynn Stars 36: Nicolai Klindt 13+1, Simon Lambert 7+1, Thomas Jorgensen 5+1, Artem Laguta 4, Kyle Howarth 4, Anders Rowe 2+1, Kye Thomson 1.
Leicester win the aggregate point