Thursday June 09, 2022
KING’S Lynn suffered their first home defeat of the season with a 43-47 reverse to local rivals Ipswich after a 24-hour period where fortune deserted them.

The Minors & Brady Stars were without Thomas Jorgensen who was unable to race after a crash in Denmark on Wednesday, whilst fellow Dane Niels-Kristian Iversen reported sick with food poisoning.

Chris Harris stepped in to guest, and notched double figures, but the home side were further reduced in numbers when Rising Star Jack Thomas took an alarming fall in Heat 4 when he clipped Ben Barker on the exit of turn two.

Fellow reserve Richie Worrall, skipper Josh Pickering and Harris kept the Stars in the hunt, but they were not as solid as in previous weeks with Lewis Kerr hit by mechanical trouble and Richard Lawson suffering a rare low score.

The Witches had the outstanding rider of the night in former World Champion Jason Doyle, who struck a 15-point maximum, but whilst the Stars contained the threat of Erik Riss – after conceding a 5-1 in Heat 1 – two other ex-Lynn men in the shape of Barker and Troy Batchelor did plenty of damage of their own.

The two sides were evenly matched once more, and the Stars took the lead for the first time through Harris and Worrall in Heat 3 as they got the better of Riss and Danny King.

But the Witches struck back with a trio of 4-2s to open up a four-point lead, Lynn not helped by Kerr stopping in Heat 6 as Barker came through for third place.

A mid-meeting comeback appeared to do the job with Pickering winning Heat 9 and Harris producing a great effort to go inside Batchelor, whilst Kerr rode well to defeat Riss in Heat 10 with Lawson third to put the Stars back ahead.

But King defeated Harris in Heat 12 with Barker third as the Witches levelled the scores, and another 4-2 in Heat 13 with Doyle blocking Pickering’s run and Batchelor supplying third place gave the visitors a 40-38 lead.

Barker proved key in a shared Heat 14 as he got the better of Worrall and Kerr, which did make the Witches favourites for the decider – and Doyle duly controlled that race with King supplying third place as they won by four points.

Stars boss Alex Brady said: “Anything that could go wrong did tonight, and it was just one of those tough, tough nights which hopefully we won’t have too many more of this year!

“Jason Doyle was nigh-on untouchable, Josh Pickering was the only rider to get close to him, and the one time he did Doyley just stuck the back wheel out and Josh had to shut off. Doyley was excellent, and Ben at reserve is a bit of a trump card for them.

“Thomas was hurt yesterday in Denmark but hopefully he will be okay. He’s our choice for the Pairs next Thursday (at Ipswich) so all being well he’ll be okay for that, but I’ll be speaking to him to check.

“Niels had a bout of food poisoning, hopefully by tomorrow he’ll be fine, and Jack winded himself. He hit himself in an area where no man ever should, but the bigger concern is both his wrists swelled up quite a lot, so he’s on his way to hospital for an x-ray on those.

“There’s a very long way to go, and we have a big few weeks ahead with matches such as Sheffield at home and Peterborough away, which is somewhere we need to try and get a result from.

“I think probably by this time next month we’ll know where we’re going to be, and obviously the aim is still to make the play-offs.

“I’m still confident, I never get too high after a win and I don’t get too low after a defeat, and there will be no panic changes or anything like that. It’s just a case of re-grouping and going again next time.”

KING’S LYNN 43: Richie Worrall 13+2, Josh Pickering 12+1, Chris Harris 9+1, Lewis Kerr 5+1, Richard Lawson 3, Jack Thomas 1, Jake Mulford (no.8) 0, Thomas Jorgensen r/r.
IPSWICH 47: Jason Doyle 15, Troy Batchelor 9+1, Danny King 8, Ben Barker 8, Erik Riss 4+1, Danyon Hume 3, Paul Starke r/r.

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