Thursday August 12, 2021
KING’S Lynn fell agonisingly short of a dramatic local derby triumph – as rivals Peterborough triumphed 46-44 in a last-heat decider at the Adrian Flux Arena.

The Minors & Brady Stars looked set to complete a stunning late comeback from six points down as Erik Riss and the outstanding Richard Lawson led into the first bend of Heat 15.

Lawson had reeled off five straight wins, but Panthers man Chris Harris produced a remarkable ride to squeeze through the narrowest of back-straight gaps, and as Lawson was recovering from that, former Stars rider Michael Palm Toft shot through for the 3-3 the visitors needed.

Riss went on and won the race, but Harris and Palm Toft were content to sit in second and third places, which was cruel for Lawson and the Stars after their battling display.

Riss raced on after a heavy first bend fall in Heat 5, although he was edged out by Scott Nicholls in the re-run, but the Stars still built a four-point margin in a terrific derby clash with Lawson defeating Harris in Heat 6 and the all-action Ben Barker supplied third place.

But Peterborough have proved a tough side to shake off in all of their meetings this season, and they drew level in the next as Nicholls and Palm Toft took advantage of Thomas Jorgensen anticipating the start and leaving himself trailing.

Stars got back in front in Heat 9, which looked like it could result in a 5-1 until the ever-present threat of Harris saw him squeeze around Lewis Kerr off the last bend as Riss recorded a second win.

A two-point Lynn lead heading into the last six races was turned in the visitors’ favour with Palm Toft again a thorn in their side as he and Bjarne Pedersen fended off Jorgensen for a 5-1 to the Panthers.

And the visitors wasted no time in doubling-up with another maximum in the next, as Riss was beaten-up from all angles by Palm Toft and Hans Andersen on the first lap.

Lawson kept home hopes alive with a brilliant ride to pass Pedersen at the end of Heat 13, but Jorgensen fell heavily on the last bend whilst battling with Harris.

Manager Alex Brady responded by bringing Lawson into Heat 14 for a tactical substitute ride, and the move came up trumps as a big 5-1 with Kerr took the match into a last-heat decider – but Harris and Palm Toft had the final say as the visitors moved ever closer to the play-offs.

Brady said: “It was within touching distance for us, and it was a fantastic effort from the full one-to-seven which is truly the first time I’ve said that this season.

“I’m proud of the team but just gutted not to get over the line, and the general reaction from the fans even though we’ve lost has been quite good, which you don’t always expect.

“But it was a good speedway meeting with some good racing, and we’re just gutted to be on the wrong side at the end of it.”

The Stars have two home matches remaining this season, with play-off chasing Sheffield their next opponents at the Adrian Flux Arena on August 19.

KING’S LYNN 44: Richard Lawson 15, Erik Riss 11+1, Lewis Kerr 5+1, Kasper Andersen 4+1, Thomas Jorgensen 4, Ben Barker 3, Connor Mountain 2+1
PETERBOROUGH 46: Chris Harris 12+1, Michael Palm Toft 11+4, Scott Nicholls 10+1, Bjarne Pedersen 9+1, Hans Andersen 4+1, Jordan Palin 0, Ulrich Ostergaard r/r
Premiership points: King’s Lynn 0 Peterborough 3

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