Thursday April 21, 2022
KING’S Lynn completed an A47 derby double over rivals Peterborough with a hard-earned 47-43 victory in a thriller at the Adrian Flux Arena.

New skipper Josh Pickering and old favourite Niels-Kristian Iversen were the last-heat heroes in a sensational finish as the Minors & Brady Stars saw off stubborn resistance from the Panthers, who were intent on avenging their home defeat on Easter Monday.

The visitors provided plenty of race winners but ultimately failed to show the all-round consistency which led to much of their 2021 success.

But for the Stars, it completed a hugely encouraging opening week’s work and takes them into their upcoming matches against Ipswich with a great chance of reaching the League Cup Final.

The visitors won three of the first four races, but the first big breakthrough came in Heat 5 when Pickering combined with Lewis Kerr for maximum points over Scott Nicholls and Hans Andersen.

However, the Panthers hit straight back with flying reserve Benjamin Basso showing his talent, and the visitors opened up a four-point lead – which could have been more but for Thomas Jorgensen passing Jordan Palin in Heat 8.

Pickering and Kerr then repeated their 5-1 performance to get the better of the previously unbeaten Chris Harris in Heat 9, and the scores remained level with four races to go.

Then Pickering re-passed Ulrich Ostergaard for second place in Heat 12 with Richie Worrall out-front to put the Stars 38-34 up, but there was drama in the next when Richard Lawson was disqualified when an apparent mechanical problem caused Scott Nicholls to take avoiding action.

But Iversen prevented any damage by surging around Harris in a fine move at the end of the second lap – before the nerves increased again when Kerr touched the tapes in Heat 14.

Basso and a previously out of touch Andersen both worked their way past Worrall in the re-run to bring the match back all-square and even set up the possibility of the first-ever Super Heat in the event of a drawn meeting.

But the decider went the Stars’ way in dramatic fashion with Pickering and Iversen taking a 5-1 against Ostergaard and Harris in a race which had everything with the two Stars riders using the outside to spectacular effect – and it also saw the home side claim the inaugural Colin Pratt Memorial Trophy in honour of the much-respected former promoter.

Boss Alex Brady said: “It was a fantastic night, fantastic racing in the end and in that Heat 15 I had to shut my eyes a few times, it was brilliant.

“We nipped in front, they nipped back in front, there were a few 3-3s, and it was here, there and everywhere – but we stood firm and did it when it really mattered, so I’m really pleased.

“Josh was fantastic, and Niels rode through the pain barrier in Heat 15 for us as well, and this is what this team’s all about.

“When we built the team, we said we wanted to build a team of riders that would be able to pick up the slack if there were people not doing so well – and that’s two meetings now where a couple of riders haven’t performed like they wanted to, but again we got the win both times, so it justifies those decisions.

“It also feels good to have the Colin Pratt Trophy, and hopefully it won’t be the only one we have his season. I think he would have enjoyed the racing for sure – a fantastic meeting, and what a way to seal it in Heat 15.”

Lynn can book their place in the League Cup Final by beating Ipswich at home on Monday – but the Witches will also be fired up for their first win of the season.

KING’S LYNN 47: Josh Pickering 12+2, Richie Worrall 10+1, Niels-Kristian Iversen 8+2, Lewis Kerr 5+1, Thomas Jorgensen 5, Richard Lawson 4+2, Jack Thomas 3.
PETERBOROUGH 43: Benjamin Basso 14+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 11, Chris Harris 11, Scott Nicholls 3+1, Hans Andersen 3+1, Jordan Palin 1, Michael Palm Toft r/r.

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