Stars plumb new depths

KING’S Lynn’s dismal season hit a new low as they crashed to a heavy Premier League KO Cup quarter-final, first leg defeat at the Norfolk Arena on Wednesday night.

KING’S Lynn’s dismal season hit a new low as they crashed to a heavy Premier League KO Cup quarter-final, first leg defeat at the Norfolk Arena on Wednesday night.

Edinburgh look set to inherit Lynn’s Premier League title and barring a second leg speedway miracle appear odds on favourites to capture the club’s KO Cup crown this year.

Team changes are now inevitable for the Stars, with Lynn’s hierarchy dropping enough public hints in recent weeks to suggest the strategic planning for 2011 is well under way.

Lynn’s injury and illness curse struck again last night, with Darren Mallett replaced by National League colleague Adam Lowe.

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The hosts were already without number one Kevin Doolan, who picked up a season-threatening broken wrist injury at Sheffield earlier this month, and the reassuring presence of team boss Rob Lyon, who was absent on World Cup duty.

A tale of two guests defined this first leg - Chris Schramm bravely emerging from a nasty looking spill in the opener that seriously hindered his points-scoring ability while Monarchs’ reserve Carl Wilkinson scorched to a paid 14.

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Wilkinson would have taken extra pleasure from his heat eight success over Kozza Smith after being replaced by the Aussie in Ipswich’s Elite League squad.

Lynn were an improbable 12 points adrift before Smith finally raced to the first home flag of the tie in heat six, with Edinburgh adapting far quicker to the greasy surface following steady drizzle.

Schramm’s 360 set the tone for the depleted Stars in a re-run heat one which forced Edinburgh duo Ryan Fisher and Tobias Busch to lay down their bikes in an ugly three-way collision entering turn one.

Lynn’s former grand slam winner was flat out on his back for five minutes before walking unaided back to the pits - conducting an impromptu trackside interview en route thanking his rivals for taking emergency action.

Fisher and Busch squeezed the outnumbered Smith in the re-staging in a pedestrian 65 seconds. Wilkinson then cashed in when Chris Mills was put back 15 metres after bike troubles saw him excluded under two minutes.

Matthew Wethers earned a measure of revenge in the next for his countrymen’s World Team Cup defeat at the Norfolk Arena two days earlier before Wilkinson and Andrew Tully coasted to a visiting maximum.

Mills earned his first point at the third attempt in heat eight when Young Star Cal McDade overcooked the final bend.

Topinka and Casper Wortmann squared off another shared race, with Lynn now competitive after the early carnage.

Schramm’s heat ten spin when leading on the last lap summed up the Stars’ miserable evening as Kevin Wolbert and Wethers powered past to prolong Lynn’s wait for a first heat advantage.

Tully moved Edinburgh through the 50 point barrier in heat 13 before another visiting maximum in the penultimate tour but Smith and Topinka prevented further embarrassment with a maiden triumph in the finale.

Stars: Schramm 1, Smith 11+1, Topinka 12, Wortmann 2+1, Haines 3, Lowe 1, Mills 4+2.

Monarchs: Fisher 11+1, Busch 2, Wolbert 8, Wethers 9+1, Tully 10+1, McDade 3+2, Wilkinson 13+1.

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