King's Lynn lose unbeaten home record to Ipswich in East Anglian derby
Maximum man Jason Doyle ensured depleted King's Lynn Stars lost their unbeaten 2022 home record, 43-47, against Ipswich tonight in a final heat decider.
Already missing a Danish duo, Lynn were a third rider down early on when reserve Jack Thomas was excluded and injured versus their East Anglian Premiership rivals.
Former world champion Doyle won all his five rides including a tapes-to-flag win in the crucial Heat 15 2-4 result against fellow Aussie Josh Pickering, Lynn's captain; Ipswich skipper Danny King was third and Lynn guest Chris Harris fourth.
Lynn needed to make last-minute changes for their Scandinavian speedway pair at the Adrian Flux Arena.
Niels-Kristian Iversen was ruled out of the derby clash with a bout of food poisoning. Fellow Dane Thomas Jørgensen picked up an injury in Denmark the previous night and was also missing.
Great Britain veteran 'Bomber' Harris, three-times British champion, guested for Iversen and Lynn operated rider replacement for Jorgensen.
For Ipswich, the visitors operated 'r/r' for Paul Starke.
The two sides were fresh from last Thursday night’s clash at Foxhall which went 46-44 to the Witches.
Former play-off finalist with Lynn, Erik Riss was the away side's first rider replacement in the opener, celebrating by following new team-mate Doyle home in an Ipswich 1-5 maximum race victory versus Lewis Kerr and Richard Lawson.
Richie Worrall clawed back two points by winning the reserves' race over Ben Barker, who rode for Lynn last year, while last-spot Danyon Hume would have been disqualified if ending in any other position for crossing two wheels over the inside line.
The busy Harris, at local rivals Peterborough again this campaign, broke 59 seconds in a Lynn 5-1 with r/r Worrall as Riss retired.
Thomas was excluded in Heat 4 for hitting the back of reserve switch Barker, with Thomas' wheel appearing to strike Barker's head area but Barker was soon up after treatment.
Ex-Lynn ace Troy Batchelor won the three-man re-run over home captain Pickering in a 2-4.
Stars No.8 Jake Mulford got an outing because Thomas withdrew from the meeting injured and was last as ex-world champion Doyle ruled the roost by posting one of the fastest recent times at the Adrian Flux Arena.
Heat 6 saw a third successive Ipswich 2-4 with Batchelor's second success as Kerr retired on lap three, while the next race was shared with away skipper Danny King heading opposite number Pickering and Worrall.
After some track grading, the luckless Kerr stalled on the line but Worrall's victory limited the damage in a 3-3 result to leave the scores 22-26 at the midway point.
Immediately, r/r Pickering and Harris levelled matters with a 5-1 by both overtaking Batchelor.
Reversing his fortunes, Kerr's Heat 10 victory and Lawson's third spot meant Lynn led for the first time since the third race, 31-29.
King's reign over Harris and a third for Barker meant Ipswich levelled while the busy Worrall, a sixth outing in 12 heats, retired.
Doyle took the battle of the heat leaders from Pickering in a 2-4 to go two ahead, which was preserved when Barker was a surprise Heat 14 winner over Worrall/Kerr.
So the Stars' picks Harris and Pickering had it all to do in the final heat decider but had no answer to Doyle.
King's Lynn Stars: Richard Lawson 3, Lewis Kerr 5+1, Chris Harris (guest) 9+1, Thomas Jorgensen R/R, Josh Pickering (capt) 12+1, Richie Worrall 13+2, Jack Thomas 1 (w/d). No.8 Jake Mulford 0.
Ipswich Witches: Jason Doyle 15, Paul Starke R/R, Danny King (capt) 8, Erik Riss 4+1, Troy Batchelor 9+1, Ben Barker 8, Danyon Hume 3.
Fastest time: Doyle, Heat 5, 58.4 seconds; Lynn: Harris, Heat 3, 58.9 seconds.
Referee: Simon Humphrey-Kennett.