Championship joy for Lynn
King's Lynn 55, Birmingham 38LYNN Stars emerged to a crescendo of fireworks - but Birmingham threatened to wreck the Norfolk Arena title party tonight.
King's Lynn 55, Birmingham 38
LYNN Stars emerged to a crescendo of fireworks - but Birmingham threatened to wreck the Norfolk Arena title party tonight.
The Brummies rode like men on a mission in the early stages. Perhaps being forced to enter a packed stadium to the backdrop of the 'Muppets' theme tune worked wonders as a motivational tool.
Jason Lyon's heat six flag cut Lynn's early lead to four. Richard Sweetman stunned Tomas Topinka to move within two at half way.
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Suddenly the party was starting to lose its fizz. The pre-race razzmatazz a distant memory.
Lynn's squad had received their championship medals on a specially constructed stage in front of adoring fans.
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Topinka raised the trophy skywards. The strains of Queen's familiar refrain mingled with a colourful firework display.
Birmingham's outsiders patiently waited in the pits. Ready to gatecrash.
Lynn's injured racer Kozza Smith trundled to the tapes for the opener inside a life-sized foam Stars' mascot suit. Fun and games. But Birmingham were clearly here on business. Points to prove ahead of the club's play-off tussles ahead. An early chance for revenge after coming up just short in the title race.
Lynn needed a championship response. And like so often this season the champions delivered. Topinka and Ward's heat 13 double act pushing the hosts over the horizon.
“I think we deserved to win this title over the course of the season,” said the ageless Topinka. “Birmingham ran us really close for so long but they just fell away. This is what our club is all about.
“We've just been consistent all the way through. All the riders have upped their averages. Darcy started about five and he is up to ten. The same with Schrammy, Emiliano and so on through the team. I'm the only one who hasn't upped his average but I hope I've chipped in here and there. That's the key to success.”
Topinka has seen and done it all during his long Saddlebow tour of duty. The one constant at the sharp end during the club's golden era.
“We've always been a strong side in the Premier League during my time,” he said. “I don't think you can compare one team with another one because it's different riders. Buster (Chapman) sets the example and everybody else at the club tries to work to achieve the same thing.”
And Topinka still retains the hunger for more success.
“This was a night we've all been looking forward to,” he said. “Perhaps it was made a bit easier with Birmingham losing at home to Edinburgh the other night but it's still really exciting to see all these supporters here. These are special occasions - no matter how many times you win trophies - but we still have a couple of trophies to go for. It's not over by a long way. We can't afford to relax.”
Topinka fittingly claimed the finale. Lynn's last man standing after seven months of league combat.
The perfect end to a perfect night.
Stars: Ward 11+2, Sanchez 8+2, Schramm 9+1, Topinka 13+1, Eklof 2+1, Graversen 12, Campos 0.
Brummies: Piscz 4, Harrison 5, Lindgren 12, Sweetman 4+1, Lyons 8, Herne 4+1, Smart 1.
Club officials have announced details of Lynn's remaining re-arranged cup fixtures. Edinburgh will now visit the Norfolk Arena for the second leg of the Premier Trophy final on Wednesday, September 30. Scunthorpe's Premier League KO Cup semi final date has been put back to Tuesday, October 6 at Saddlebow with Lynn heading to their cross-border rivals three days later for the second leg.