Deserved point for Lynn at Rye House

Premier LeagueRye House 46 King's Lynn 43DESPITE being on the wrong end of a 46-43 scoreline, King's Lynn deservedly collected a point from their Premier League match at Rye House on Saturday night.

Premier League

Rye House 46 King's Lynn 43

DESPITE being on the wrong end of a 46-43 scoreline, King's Lynn deservedly collected a point from their Premier League match at Rye House on Saturday night.

But there was a price to pay, with Kozza Smith crashing in his fourth ride and being taken to hospital with a suspected broken ankle.

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“It was a typical Rye v King's Lynn meeting here, both sides had decisions go their way and then against them because of some very inconsistent refereeing decisions,” Rob Lyon reflected.

The Stars team manager added: “We started well but then Rye came into their own as the track became slick, which they always do. But losing Kozza and then having Tomas (Topinka) fall when on course for a 5-1 proved costly, so to all intents and purposes, getting a point was a good result for us.”

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The Stars were sustained by a paid 13 from 17-year-old Darcy Ward that included three heat wins while experienced captain Topinka returned paid 10 from his five rides.

Fittingly, the duo combined to produce a last race maximum that gave the visitors their merited consolation, although Lynn had enjoyed a six-point lead after six heats.

There is rarely a shortage of controversy and drama when these two teams meet at Hoddesdon and this clash provided another fascinating encounter with the first of the talking points coming in the opening heat.

Referee Craig Ackroyd was soon taking centre-stage when he adjudged that Rockets' top gun Robert Mear had touched the tapes and then replacement Andrew Silver repeated the indiscretion, although Joe Haines grabbed hard-fought win over Ward.

Smith shadowed Jan Graverson around after the pair trapped quickly to record the first of their side's two 5-1s on the night in the reserves race. But Graverson was soon to be involved in a spat with Silver following a clash in heat four when the Stars' reserve attempted to swoop past his opponent on the fourth turn and ploughed into the fence. The two exchanged strong views back in the pits and fists were raised before order was restored with the intervention of colleagues and officials.

A brilliant heat five ride from Ward extended the lead to six points when the boy wonder progressed from some way back in third place to a long way in front as he weaved his way to the chequered flag, with Linus Eklot grabbing a third place.

However, the hosts struck successive maximums in heats seven and eight that included the crash involving Smith as he went wide in to the dirt in a bid to overtake Silver but lost control and went crashing through the fence, to leave the visitors trailing 25-23.

A superb effort by Chris Schramm in heat 10 to split the Rockets' pairing came to nothing when he hit the dirt and fence to extend the home side's lead to six points.

The next two races were shared but Lynn appeared to be heading for a 5-1 when Ward and Topinka held the initiative in the early stages of heat 13, only for Topinka to hit the fourth turn black spot - and fence - after losing control.

There was still more drama to come in the penultimate race when Graverson suffered machine problems, forcing him out of the race. But with the Rockets apparently set to record a 5-1, Tommy Allen picked up drive and became another rider to rearrange the fence, earning an exclusion, with the race awarded to Chris Neath ahead of Emiliano Sanchez.

With match point at stake, the Stars pairing gated ahead but then found the race stopped when Luke Bowen crashed out. He was disqualified from the re-run, leaving Ward and Topinka to repeat their quick-gating show to maximum effect over Linus Sundstrom.

Rye House: Mear 7+1, Haines 8+1, Sundstrom 10, Neath 4, Bowen 10, Allen 5+1, Silver 2+1.

King's Lynn: Ward 12+1, Eklot 5+1, Schramm 2, Sanchez 5, Topinka 9+1, Smith 4+2, Graverson 6+2.

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