Rain halts prospect of thrilling finish

LYNN were frustrated by the wet weather in last night’s abandoned Premier League meeting against Newport at the Norfolk Arena.

King’s Lynn 34, Newport 32 (meeting abandoned after 11 heats - result does not stand)

LYNN were frustrated by the wet weather in last night’s abandoned Premier League meeting against Newport at the Norfolk Arena.

Heavy downpours an hour before the contest forced a 45-minute delay while Buster Chapman and his track staff battled to produce a fresh racing surface. Lynn needed eight heats to finally get their noses in front on the scoresheets when the action got underway with any home track advantage wiped out by the emergency grading repairs.

Tomas Topinka’s heat 11 flag maintained the champions’ slender lead but another torrential shower forced riders and fans to head for cover.

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Both sets of racers and team officials held an impromptu conference just outside the pit entrance before the referee finally abandoned the meeting.

Chapman admitted the man in charge was left with little other option as track conditions deteriorated: “It was the referee’s decision,” he said.

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“I stayed away from it and I didn’t wish to get involved or be seen as bias or anything but I’m glad he made that decision because after that last downpour the track had become very slippery.

“The moisture was coming up quite quickly through the top surface and just as I said that funnily enough the rain came down again and that was it - but we gave it a go and I hope people are not too disappointed. It’s frustrating because if we had got another heat in the result would have stood and now we have to fit an extra date in which is going to be very hard.

“The forecast earlier on was rain for 4pm and we never got it so we thought we had missed it. The track was in very good condition but it wasn’t just rain, it was a monsoon, so all the work we did was for nothing. When it turns out like this you would rather call it off but we didn’t think there would be more rain.”

Wasps’ captain Leigh Lanham had trapped to the opener in a pedestrian 66 second tour to underline the testing conditions. Lynn reserve Chris Mills was the pick of the riders in the difficult conditions - dropping only one point in his four outings. British U21 champion Joe Haines had also chipped in with an encouraging return after deciding earlier this week not to take a break from the sport after a recent dip in form.

Haines’ heat six flag was greeted with rapturous applause before diving into Mills’ slipstream two races later to land the only maximum of the evening.

Darren Mallett suffered most in the testing conditions after his recent red hot form at the Norfolk Arena with a series of spills while front end spearhead Topinka and Kevin Doolan both had to wait until the second half to record heat wins.

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