Darcy out and Lynn in trouble
Edinburgh 56, King's Lynn 36LYNN suffered a heavy Premier League play-off final, first leg defeat last night after World Under-21 champion Darcy Ward missed the tie through injury.
Edinburgh 56, King's Lynn 36
LYNN suffered a heavy Premier League play-off final, first leg defeat last night after World Under-21 champion Darcy Ward missed the tie through injury.
The double winners tracked Berwick racer William Lawson for the young Aussie who aggravated an old back injury 24 hours earlier in an Ashes (U25) Test match at Ipswich.
Ward scored paid five for the victorious Aussies just a day after notching his worst return in Stars' colours this season as Rob Lyon's men knocked Birmingham out of the play-offs.
Lynn officials will bank on the teenager's return for next week's second leg if they have any chance of overhauling a 20 point deficit.
The Stars beat Edinburgh 58-38 at Saddlebow in September to clinch the Premier Trophy but face an uphill battle to avoid a second consecutive play-off final exit to the Monarchs.
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Lawson (paid 12) top scored for the unfamiliar Stars who also tracked Josh Auty with the visitors missing long term injury absentees Tomas Topinka and Kozza Smith.
Lynn managed to square off the opening heats after American number one Ryan Fisher and Aaron Summers trapped for the hosts.
Chris Schramm was excluded from the next for tangling with team mate Emiliano Sanchez - Andrew Tully and Matthew Wethers squeezing out the Argentine in the re-run.
Highly-rated German Kevin Wolbert fired after new Monarch Kalle Katajisto hit the deck exiting turn four.
Lawson was warned for a flying trap in heat five but Wethers kept his cool to prevail. Michal Rajkowski anchored a home maximum with Fisher content to nullify Auty in the rear.
Wolbert missed the break but weaved past Schramm and Summers to move Edinburgh eight clear. Lawson was inches from pipping Rajkowski on the line in heat eight after diving back inside Katajisto.
Tully and Wethers powered away from Auty and the struggling Jan Graversen but Schramm's gutsy heat ten flag checked the home onslaught.
Lawson's tactical failed to replicate the success of Ward's Premier Trophy-defining raid on Lynn's last trip north of the border.
Summers dived around the Bandit after Lawson and Wolbert had battled for turn one supremacy.
Lyon deployed Schramm on another swift tactical counter but Tully pounced when Linus Eklof left a gap before hunting down the fast-gating Schramm.
Lawson was awarded heat 13 after Auty tumbled and Katajisto opened his Armadale account to lead home Wethers for a decisive penultimate tour.
Wolbert sealed top billing in the finale following Schramm's second exclusion of the first leg when Fisher hit the fence in the early sparring.
Monarchs: Fisher 9+2, Rajkowski 6, Tully 9, Wethers 9+3, Wolbert 14, Summers 5+1, Katajisto 4.
Stars: Lawson 11+1, Schramm 11, Sanchez 5+2, Auty 4, Eklof 3+1, Graversen 2+2.