King's Lynn Stars, led by stand-in skipper Lewis Kerr, claim memorable East Anglian derby win against Ipswich Witches
King’s Lynn Stars 57 Ipswich Witches 33
Stand-in skipper Lewis Kerr led his home town club’s troops to a memorable derby triumph tonight.
Missing number one rider Robert Lambert, the Poultec Stars came through a tough test with a solid effort and sealed victory with three races to spare.
Captain Lambert was a ‘big miss’ after suffering two serious crashes in two weekends and sustaining T4 and T5 vertebrae injuries.
The Great Britain star is undergoing physio in Germany while resting this week and assessing whether he will make the Speedway European Championships in Vojens on Saturday.
But the Witches had problems of their own, with Cameron Heeps withdrawn after a Heat 5 crash.
The question was, could Lynn – protecting an unbeaten 5-1-0 home league record – gather enough points from Norwich-born Lambert’s rider replacement outings?
Answer: emphatically yes. The Poultec Stars were already out of sight at 38-22 by the interval.
Fellow Norfolk rider Lewis Kerr was skipper in Lambert’s absence, and was rewarded with an extra Heat 15 nominated ride. Kerr was third behind team mate and top scorer Erik Riss and winner Danny King, without whom Ipswich would have been desperately poor.
Craig Cook took the opening ‘r/r’ in Heat 1 and stormed to a 5-1 maximum behind team mate Michael Palm Toft with key away man Chris Harris struggling to a retirement.
Dersingham’s Kerr led home Nicklas Porsing in maximum No.2 with opponents Edward Kennett and Krystian Pieszczek also struggling.
It was Harris’ dramatic last-heat ride that secured a 45-45 draw here last time these teams met.
King was warned in Heat 3 to stay still at the start, and Thomas Jorgensen swapped places with and held off the away skipper in a home 4-2 as Riss passed Jake Allen for third.
Cook became Lynn’s fourth heat winner in the first 3-3, then Harris was hurt in a first-bend collision with team mate Heeps, who was excluded on the second lap in the restarted race after another fall and needed attention from the track ambulance. Riss and Jorgensen beat Harris in the second re-run to put Lynn 22-8 up.
R/r Riss and Palm Toft maxed out in race six while Palm Toft won Heat 8 to leave the scores 33-15 at halfway.
It was time for King to go out as a victorious tactical sub and produce Ipswich’s first heat advantage, with Richard Lawson in third.
Jorgensen and Palm Toft did well to limit a possible Ipswich 5-1 into a 3-3, with King winning his second race in succession.
A Heat 12 4-2 from race winner Riss and third spot from recent signing Porsing sealed a home victory.
King's Lynn: Robert Lambert R/R, Michael Palm Toft 12+2, Erik Riss 14, Thomas Jorgensen 9+2, Craig Cook 9+2, Lewis Kerr 10+2, Nicklas Porsing 3+1. Fastest time: Palm Toft, Heat 7, 58.32 seconds.
Ipswich: Chris Harris 4, Cameron Heeps 1 (withdrawn), Danny King 16, Jake Allen 3, Richard Lawson 5+1, Edward Kennett 1, Krystian Pieszczek 3+1. Fastest time: King, Heat 7, 58.12secs.
Next for Lynn is Wolverhampton at home on Thursday, August 15.
Lynn skipper Lambert’s mother Helen raised £2,500 from a skydive for the Keeping Abreast charity.