Stars close in on title
Premier LeagueKing's Lynn 59 Newport 33KING's Lynn routed Newport at the Norfolk Arena last night to close in on the Premier League crown.Rob Lyon's treble chasers swatted aside the bottom club to move five points clear of closest title rivals Birmingham with a meeting in hand.
King's Lynn 59 Newport 33
KING's Lynn routed Newport at the Norfolk Arena last night to close in on the Premier League crown.
Rob Lyon's treble chasers swatted aside the bottom club to move five points clear of closest title rivals Birmingham with a meeting in hand.
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Lynn will clinch the championship if they win their remaining two home league tests against Workington and the Brummies later this month.
The Stars could even pocket the first part of a second clean sweep in four seasons if they pick up points in their final away clashes at Workington and Newcastle prior to the Brummies' scheduled September 23 visit.
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Lynn looked back to their early season best in the first half before two familiar faces led a belated Wasps fight back.
Ty Proctor and Chris Kerr put their recent Norfolk Arena scouting missions on Stars' guest duty to full use as Newport squared off the final six races.
Proctor lowered Darcy Ward's colours in a opening skirmish between two of the brightest young Australian exports - matching Ward's Saddlebow season's best time into the bargain (58.83 seconds).
Emiliano Sanchez and Chris Schramm powered to the next after Elite League starlet Jordan Frampton was forced off 15m for a rolling start.
Skipper Tomas Topinka effortlessly glided across Jonas Andersson's front wheel into turn one but Linus Eklof pulled up lame in the home straight - the Swede casting a worried glance at the back of his misfiring machine.
Proctor and Sanchez served up one of the Saddlebow duels of the year in the next. Schramm trapped to dictate the contest but Sanchez had it all on to subdue the Aussie - Proctor weaving out to in to eventually wear down Sanchez before the Argentine responded around the final bend.
Ward downed Wasps' skipper Paul Fry's ambitious tactical raid as Jan Graversen continued to cash in from reserve.
Topinka repelled some early heat from Kerr then Sanchez posted back-to-back flags to move Lynn 26 clear at the interval.
Lyon could afford to blood number eight Darren Mallett for a spare ride on the restart to underline the hosts' total control.
Topinka blunted Proctor's heat 11 tactical foray but Kerr anchored a collector's item of an away flag for ex-Lynn team boss Laurence Rogers' men.
The Norfolk Arena held its collective breath when Ward slammed the bottom boards in a high caliber heat 13 featuring Topinka and Proctor.
Ward walked unaided back to the pits after hitting the shale with what was later diagnosed as a front puncture into turn one.
Topinka eclipsed box office entertainer Proctor in the re-run but Frampton claimed the penultimate tour before Proctor obliged in the finale - proving the Wasps did at least carry a sting in the tail.
Stars: Ward 8, Sanchez 12+2, Schramm 10+3, Topinka 14, Eklof 7, Graversen 8+5, Mallett 0.
Wasps: Proctor 13, Holder 1, Kerr 7+1, Frampton 5, Fry 5+1, Newman 0, Andersson 2+1.