KING’S Lynn gave their SGB Premiership campaign a massive boost with an impressive 48-45 win at Swindon on Thursday.
The Stars picked up their second away win of the season despite home skipper Jason Doyle going through the card with an 18-point maximum.
But before Doyle had appeared for his third ride in Heat 10, the visitors had raced into a 34-20 lead courtesy of back-to-back 5-1s involving key reserve Kai Huckenbeck.
The German piled up paid-14 for the Stars with former Swindon man Troy Batchelor collecting 12, as they had enough in hand to withstand a late Robins fightback with 5-1s from Doyle and Nick Morris in Heats 13 and 15.
King’s Lynn boss Dale Allitt said: “The boys did well, and it’s a great away win for us, our first win here for a very long time. It would have been nice to get all four points – team managers are greedy and you always want more – but we’d have taken that result all day long.
“I’ve always said the spine of our team is at No.1, No.5 and No.6. Troy is at No.4 for a reason, and he’s gone well apart from a couple of sketchy meetings, but when you’ve got Chris (Holder), Robert (Lambert) and Kai at reserve scoring well it takes the pressure off everyone else.”
Swindon manager Alun Rossiter said: “We’ve ridden our luck all year and got away with it, but our luck ran out tonight. We always leave it late and finish strongly, but this time it was way too late.
“We were out-gated all night. When we gated, we won races, but they were sharper than us and there are no excuses, they were the better side.
“The middle order is a serious worry for our team. I’ve already made one change and I won’t be frightened to make more if I have to.”
WORKINGTON closed in on the SGB Championship play-off places with a 48-42 win at Redcar on Thursday.
The Comets inflicted the Bears’ first home defeat of the league campaign led by a 13-point haul from No.1 Craig Cook with ex-Redcar man Ty Proctor adding 10 and reserve Matt Williamson chipping in with 8+3.
In-form home man Ben Barker scored 14, dropping his only point to Cook in Heat 15, but they drop below Workington in the table on race-points difference.
Comets boss Tony Jackson said: “That was a great performance from everyone and it was fully deserved as we took the lead in the opening heat and then led right through to the end.
“We all battled for every point in every race, which was great to see, and even Thomas Jorgensen, who was quite ill during the meeting, weighed in with a race win while Ty Proctor clearly relished returning to his former home track.
“It was particularly pleasing to take the win considering that Redcar took a draw away from our place three weeks ago, so that result goes some way towards making up for that disappointment and it has given the whole team a lift moving forward into the season.”
SOMERSET’S new-look line-up takes to the track for the first time in the home SGB Premiership clash with Rye House tonight (Friday).
The two sides who moved up to the top flight over the winter meet for the first time with the Rebels handing debuts to Richard Lawson, Lewis Kerr and Cameron Heeps.
The Rockets, meanwhile, bring in Rory Schlein to guest for Ricky Wells (SGBC commitment) but have a major fitness doubt over reserve Ellis Perks.
Somerset boss Garry May said: “Rye House will prove to be a good test for the new-look Somerset team.
“But we are determined to get things back on-track results-wise to kick-start our season, and that the new boys will mark their Somerset debuts with a Rebels league win.”
Rye House manager Peter Schroeck said: “Scotty (Nicholls) and Bomber (Chris Harris) gave a really good display at Somerset in the Pairs at the start of the season, and if the rest of the boys chip in with their bit then we should be fine.
“We know the rider changes that the Rebels have made, but our concern is with ourselves.”
Meanwhile Belle Vue race their first home meeting in nearly three weeks when Swindon provide the opposition at the National Speedway Stadium.
The Aces will be at full strength as they look to bounce back from their shock home defeat to Somerset, whilst the Robins have an injury doubt over Bradley Wilson-Dean (hand) after a crash on Thursday.
The visitors also bring in Matt Williamson at reserve to guest for Dany Gappmaier (SGBC commitment).
Belle Vue star Max Fricke said “I think we can expect a tough match against Swindon. They’ve got some pretty powerful heat leaders in Jason Doyle and Nick Morris so it'll be really interesting to see how we get on.
“I don't think you can expect anyone to be below-par at Belle Vue because the track is such a leveller. You can have people who've been struggling go there and do really well, and vice versa.
“Having Kenneth (Bjerre) back in the team will be a huge help. He proved instrumental when we visited the Abbey Stadium and I think with all our top guns assembled we should present a strong front.”
Swindon boss Alun Rossiter said: “These certainly aren’t the best places to go with Wolverhampton (on Monday) on fire and Belle Vue being a very strong team as well.
“But it’s up to the boys. They know I won’t be frightened to make changes, and I’ll be looking for a response.
“Bradley’s hand is all swollen up after the crash in the first race on Thursday, so he’s going to let me know in the morning, but if he can’t ride it will be r/r.”
SGB Championship leaders Edinburgh will look to extend their lead to four points when they face Newcastle at Aramdale tonight (Friday).
The two sides fought out an exciting draw when they met on Tyneside last weekend and the Diamonds also boast a good record at the Scottish record.
The visitors are, however, without their regular top two as Aaron Summers guests for Robert Lambert (World U21 qualifier) with Thomas Jorgensen in for Steve Worrall (SGBP commitment).
Edinburgh re-shuffle their riding order with Mark Riss moving to No.2 whilst Josh Pickering takes the No.4 position.
Monarchs boss Alex Harkess said: “Expectations are that we always hope to win at home however we accept that Edinburgh vs. Newcastle matches are always tough.
“It’s not unusual to win the away tie and lose the home one when we have raced each other. Nonetheless, we always set out to win at home and this week is no different.”
Meanwhile Peterborough are awaiting news on Danish star Kenneth Hansen ahead of their home clash with Berwick.
Hansen withdrew from a Swedish second division fixture after a crash in his opening ride on Thursday.
He was taken to hospital with rib damage and a fracture to his breastbone after the smash while riding for Vargarna at Vastervik.
But Hansen is due to fly into the UK this morning and Panthers bosses are optimistic he will be fit for a meeting which sees them bring in Lasse Bjerre and Mason Campton to guest for unavailable duo Jack Holder and Bradley Wilson-Dean.
British Champion Danny King steps in to guest for the Bandits, whose No.1 Nick Morris is on SGBP duty with Swindon.
PLYMOUTH throw the doors of the St Boniface Arena open for free with tonight’s (Friday) Celebration of Speedway event.
The Devils are hoping to attract new or lapsed supporters for the meeting featuring Southern Development League, 125cc and ‘Men in Black’ Blast From The Past races on vintage machinery.
Co-promoter Laurence Rogers said: “Our first meeting for the new Plymouth Demons was chosen by us to be a free entry one so we give the locals the chance to see what speedway is all about.
“Hopefully they will like what they see and then come along the following weeks to watch the full side, the Devils.
“We have no idea what sort of crowd we will get - there may be hardly anyone there, although we hope not, or the place will be packed with lots of newcomers, which is what we hope for!
“Every adult will be given a raffle ticket on entry to the Arena and we will draw out one ticket and present a free family ticket for a main Devils meeting.
“We naturally have expenses to cover and will hold a bucket collection towards these which we hope people will contribute to.”
FRIDAY MAY 19:
SGB PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v Swindon 7.30, Somerset v Rye House 7.30
SGB CHAMPIONSHIP: Edinburgh v Newcastle 7.30, Peterborough v Berwick 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Lakeside v Mildenhall OFF
CELEBRATION OF SPEEDWAY: Plymouth 7.15
SATURDAY MAY 20:
SGB PREMIERSHIP: Rye House v Somerset 7pm
SGB CHAMPIONSHIP: Berwick v Peterborough 7pm
SUNDAY MAY 21:
SGB CHAMPIONSHIP: Newcastle v Peterborough 6.30, Scunthorpe v Ipswich 5.30, Workington v Edinburgh 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Buxton v Cradley 3pm
CHALLENGE: Mildenhall v Young Lions U21 4pm
MONDAY MAY 22:
SGB PREMIERSHIP: Wolverhampton v Swindon 7.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Kent v Stoke 6.30
Results Thursday May 18, 2017;
Swindon 45 (Jason Doyle 18)
King’s Lynn 48 (Kai Huckenbeck 12+2)
Premiership points: Swindon 0 King’s Lynn 3
Redcar 42 (Ben Barker 14)
Workington 48 (Craig Cook 13)
Championship points: Redcar 0 Workington 3
Sheffield v Ipswich - OFF
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE
Isle of Wight 12 (James Cockle 4+1)
Cradley 17 (Danny Ayres 6)
Abandoned after 5 heats due to rain – Result does NOT stand
FRIDAY MAY 19:
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE
Lakeside v Mildenhall - OFF