Stars turn to Howe for help
KING'S Lynn track former Elite League ace David Howe for injured Aussie racer Darcy Ward in tonight's Premier Trophy semi-final, second leg against Workington at the Norfolk Arena (7.
KING'S Lynn track former Elite League ace David Howe for injured Aussie racer Darcy Ward in tonight's Premier Trophy semi-final, second leg against Workington at the Norfolk Arena (7.45pm).
Lynn must overhaul a 12-point deficit after losing 51-39 to a Kevin Doolan-inspired Comets outfit in the first leg. Stars' co-promoter Jonathan Chapman is under no illusions the hosts face an uphill task minus Ward, who has been ruled out for at least a month after fracturing his ankle at Edinburgh.
“I think for the first time this season we have something to worry about,” said Chapman. “I want to be confident but we have to be realistic and say Workington are capable of protecting that lead without Darcy.
“We need Tomas (Topinka) to be at his best. If he has an off night then we might struggle to go through because their top three maybe only need to score in the region of 35 points between them. We mustn't forget Kozza (Smith) is back in top form and with (Chris) Schrammy and (Emiliano) Sanchez we are capable of beating anyone.”
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Danish reserve Jan Graversen is fit to race after retiring early in the first leg after damaging his jaw the previous night at Edinburgh. Graversen needed minor surgery to remove a two inch splinter after careering into the fence at Armadale.
“He's okay to ride. I think he was just a bit stiff and sore from the crash at Edinburgh,” said Chapman.
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Howe notched paid ten on his last Norfolk Arena visit for Scunthorpe before an impressive paid 13 guest slot for the Stars in their recent Premier League KO Cup romp at Berwick.
“He's a decent replacement as long as we get nine or 10 points,” said Chapman. “We felt it was too big a risk to run with rider replacement in a meeting of this size. He scored near enough a maximum at Berwick and he has ridden here as well this season.”
“We looked at some other options like Ty Proctor and he has had some fantastic meetings this season but also maybe some iffy meetings. David has ridden the track many times and you know what you can expect. Ty could be a revelation but then again he might not.”
Stars' team boss Rob Lyon is equally wary of the Doolan factor.
“He will be pulling them together for this one and trying to do get his new team through to the final,” he said. “I just hope we can attack them hard in the first few races and erase the deficit as early as possible, which will give us all an exciting climax when the big guns meet in the last few races.”
Stars: 1 David Howe, 2 Linus Eklof, 3 Emiliano Sanchez, 4 Chris Schramm, 5 Tomas Topinka, 6 Kozza Smith, 7 Jan Graversen.
Comets: 1 Kevin Doolan, 2 Charles Wright, 3 Adrian Rymel, 4 Richard Lawson, 5 Andre Compton, 6 Craig Cook, 7 John Branney.