King's Lynn Stars boost Premiership play-off hopes with Wolverhampton win
King’s Lynn Stars 54 Wolverhampton Wolves 36
Thomas Jorgensen bagged a paid maximum as play-off-chasing Lynn battled to a vital victory and ended a tumultuous week in a meeting of many minor incidents.
The hosts wrapped up all three league points with a race to spare thanks to reliable Heat 14 rider Jorgensen, whose win earned a final nominated race appearance along with German ace Erik Riss.
Danish speedster Jorgensen led home Riss to make it successive 5-1 maximum closing race wins for the home side against Rory Schlein and Jacob Thorssell.
The Poultec Stars were without injured skipper Robert Lambert and were set to lose fellow heat leader Craig Cook after an incident between Eastbourne and Glasgow.
But the Cumbrian is appealing against an initial three-meeting, 12-day ban and was free to take his place in the one-to-seven.
Co-promoter Dale Allitt said of the saga: “Craig has never once been asked any questions to get his version of events. No direct email was sent to any of us personally from Neil Vatcher (Speedway Control Board co-ordinator) and that is something that needs to be looked at.”
Lynn chief Keith Chapman said in his programme notes it was a “big PR own goal for the sport”.
Lynn also drafted in Poole guest Josh Grajczonek.
The Wolves were on a 5-1 in the meeting opener and Lynn recovered to 3-3 but Grajczonek’s bike troubles that surfaced on his last Poole visit and he retired on lap three to leave Wolves 2-4 to the good.
The reserves’ race saw Ryan Douglas fall on the first lap allowing Nicklas Porsing to grab third, while stand-in skipper Lewis Kerr tasted victory for the hosts to level matters.
It’s suspected Michael Palm Toft lost a primary chain which caused his bike to roll into the Heat 3 tapes. Kerr replaced the excluded (and bemused) Palm Toft and grasped a point despite a failing machine, with Nick Morris already retired, in a Lynn 4-2 earned thanks to winner Jorgensen.
Douglas fell again to be excluded, prompting Porsing to lay down his bike and suffer a twisted knee. Erik Riss won the three-man re-run ahead of Sam Masters and Porsing as Lynn led 14-10.
Douglas replaced Luke Becker who was excluded for touching the Heat 5 tapes but Douglas attracted the fence again in Lynn’s first 5-1 maximum from Danes Jorgensen and Palm Toft.
Wolverhampton halved the deficit in Heat 7 via Nick Morris and ex-Stars captain Schlein’s 5-1.
Kerr came in for a reserve switch with Porsing and backed Cook in a post-grading 5-1 reply to go back to an eight-point advantage at halfway. Masters retired as Palm Toft and Jorgensen made it back-to-back maximums.
Next, Kerr replaced Grajczonek and it was Morris’s turn to burst the tapes with Douglas deputising. Race winner Schlein rescued a 3-3 to make it 36-24 at the interval.
Thorssell bagged his second win in the fastest time of the night in another shared result and then Wolves curiously elected to use a tactical sub, Masters, in Heat 12 when Porsing retired on the line and Palm Toft split the away pairing.
Riss was just a second shy of Thorssell’s time while winning Heat 13. Then Heat 14 specialist Jorgensen wrapped up the win, Kerr joining him in a 5-1, and prevented the visitors from gaining a bonus point.
King's Lynn Stars: Josh Grajczonek (guest) 0, Craig Cook 10, Michael Palm Toft 7+1, Thomas Jorgensen 14+1, Erik Riss 11+1, Lewis Kerr 10+4, Nicklas Porsing 2. Fastest time: Riss, Heat 13, 58.25 seconds.
Wolverhampton Wolves: Jacob Thorssell 9, Luke Becker 2, Rory Schlein 11+1, Nick Morris 3, Sam Masters 6+1, Jason Garrity 5+1, Ryan Douglas 0. Fastest time: Thorssell, Heat 11, 58.24secs.
Lynn host Peterborough Panthers on Monday.
It was announced midway through the Wolves clash that Friday’s Sidecar meeting was postponed due to a bad weather forecast.
More by this authorPete Woodhouse