Darcy's not BACK but Lynn don't care
KO Cup Final, second legKing's Lynn 57, Edinburgh 33 (King's Lynn win 98-81 on aggregate)The path to sporting greatness is paved with pitfalls.Sir Alf Ramsay's England were within a minute of claiming mother football's first World Cup at Wembley in 1966 until German defender Wolfgang Weber's equaliser forced the agonies of extra-time.
KO Cup Final, second leg
King's Lynn 57, Edinburgh 33 (King's Lynn win 98-81 on aggregate)
The path to sporting greatness is paved with pitfalls.
Sir Alf Ramsay's England were within a minute of claiming mother football's first World Cup at Wembley in 1966 until German defender Wolfgang Weber's equaliser forced the agonies of extra-time.
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Sir Geoff Hurst. Russian linesman. They think it's all over. All part of English footballing mythology.
Muhammad Ali climbed through the ropes a big outsider for the 'Thrilla in Manilla' against the menacing Joe Frazier in 1975.
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Ali was over the hill. His best days behind him after having his titles ripped from his grasp in the American courts for refusing the Vietnam War draft. Ali's 'rope a dope' tactics taunted Frazier in the early rounds of a bout that was later rightly acclaimed as the fight of the century.
Frazier quit on his stool at the end of the 14th. Ali's legacy as 'The Greatest' rubber stamped.
Three hours before last night's winner-takes-all finale at the Norfolk Arena Lynn's World U21 champion Darcy Ward was in Rob Lyon's line- up.
Two hours before last night's winner-takes-all finale at the Norfolk Arena Lynn's World U21 champion Darcy Ward was out of Rob Lyon's line up.
A niggly back injury had returned with a vengeance. Tomas Topinka already out injured. Kozza Smith back in Australia after his injury wrecked campaign. Lynn's bid for speedway immortality was in the balance. The grand slam chasers put out an SOS to Scunthorpe racer Simon Lambert.
Lambert made an emergency dash to the stadium. A packed stadium. The rest is history. Just like 1966. Just like the 'Thrilla in Manilla'.
Lynn's depleted troops rode with the weight of history on their shoulders. Fittingly newly crowned rider-of-the-year Emiliano Sanchez clinched the win in heat 12.
Andrew Tully's error gifted Lynn the decisive maximum. Not that the grand slam winners needed any presents.
Edinburgh were on a loser from the start. Fantastic Stars' guest booking Ty Proctor set the tone with a wide arcing line around the bottom bend to dictate heat four - but Kalle Katajisto leaned on Jan Graversen to square off the points.
Ryan Fisher did little to embellish his lowly reputation with the home fans after Chris Schramm hit the boards in a rough and tumble heat five. Schramm walked gingerly back to the pits before emerging from the traps like a man possessed in the re-run - elbowing Fisher aside into a frenetic turn one.
Sanchez wisely settled for a watching brief in the rear to move Lynn further ahead - Fisher sportingly patting Schramm on the back after the chequered flag.
Katajisto pick-pocketed Lambert in heat six to split the home duo after Redcar ace Proctor conjured the gate of his life to rocket from the tapes.
Linus Eklof threw up a Norfolk road block to frustrate ex-Star Matty Wethers behind consummate professional Proctor as Lyon's men moved nine clear on the aggregates.
Eklof earned Scandinavian bragging rights in a heart-stopping last lap duel with Katajisto - Edinburgh's Finn inches from overhauling the Swede on the finish line.
Sanchez and Andrew Tully collided in a nasty first bend spill on the cusp of the interval but the fans' favourite dusted himself off to anchor another home maximum.
The finish line was in sight.
Schramm claimed Topinka's captain marvel mantle after Lambert stalled at the start in heat 10 - manfully winning against the odds.
Fisher finally lowered Proctor's colours in the next but Edinburgh's challenge was fading. Fast.
Sanchez and Graversen cashed in on Tully's desperate assault and wide line to confirm speedway greatness. Time for the celebrations to begin. Yet again.
King's Lynn: 1 Darcy Ward r/r; 2 Simon Lambert - 2,1,0,EF = 3; 3 Emiliano Sanchez - 1* 3,1,3,2*,1* = 11+3; 4 Chris Schramm - 2*,3,2*,3,2,2 = 14+2; 5 Ty Proctor - 3,3,3,2,2 = 13; 6 Linus Eklof - 3,2*,3,1*,1* = 10+3; 7 Jan Graversen - 2*,0,3,1* = 6+2.
Edinburgh: 1 Ryan Fisher - 3,2,3,3,3 = 14; 2 Luke Bowen - 0,0,1*,0,0 = 1+1; 3 Andrew Tully - F,0,1,2,1 = 4; 4 Matthew Wethers - 1,2,1,1*,0 = 5+1; 5 Kevin Wolbert r/r; 6 Aaron Summers - 0,0,0 = 0; 7 Kalle Katajisto - 1,1*,2,2,0,3,EF = 9+1.
Heat 1: Fisher, Lambert, Sanchez, Bowen 3-3, 60.47 seconds (3-3).
Heat 2: Eklof, Graversen, Katajisto, Summers 5-1 (8-4), 60.31.
Heat 3: Sanchez, Schramm, Wethers, Tully fell 5-1 (13-5) 60.47.
Heat 4: Proctor, Wethers, Katajisto, Graversen 3-3, 16-8, 59.96.
Heat 5: Schramm, Fisher, Sanchez, Bowen 20-10, 59.78.
Heat 6: Proctor, Katajisto, Lambert, Summers E/F 4-2, 24-12, 59.66.
Heat 7: Proctor, Eklof, Wethers, Tully 5-1, 29-13, 60.07.
Heat 8: Eklof, Katajisto, Bowen, Lambert 3-3, 32-16, 60.31.
Heat 9: Sanchez, Schramm, Tully, Summers 5-1, 37-17, 60.50.
Heat 10: Schramm, Tully, Wethers, Lambert E/F 3-3, 40-20, 61.03.
Heat 11: Fisher, Proctor, Eklof, Bowen 3-3, 43-23, 60.47.
Heat 12: Graversen, Sanchez, Tully, Katajisto 5-1, 48-24, 60.85.
Heat 13: Fisher, Proctor, Eklof, Bowen 3-3, 51-27, 60.19.
Heat 14: Katajisto, Schramm, Graversen, Wethers 3-3, 54-30, 60.59.
Heat 15: Fisher, Schramm, Sanchez, Katajisto E/F 3-3, 57-33, 60.63