Super Stars look so smooth
King's Lynn 59, Somerset 33KING'S Lynn looked every inch Premier League champions-elect at the Norfolk Arena.Mechanical niggles, a rush of blood or two at the tapes plus a gutsy visiting outfit had all combined to leave Somerset only six points adrift at halfway.
King's Lynn 59, Somerset 33
KING'S Lynn looked every inch Premier League champions-elect at the Norfolk Arena.
Mechanical niggles, a rush of blood or two at the tapes plus a gutsy visiting outfit had all combined to leave Somerset only six points adrift at halfway.
For the first time this season table topping Lynn faced a serious challenge on home shale.
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Corey Gathercole's heat flag eight clinched Somerset's third race advantage in five tours but inspired Stars' guest Simon Lambert helped trigger a second half onslaught.
Rob Lyon deployed the Scunthorpe racer after Emiliano Sanchez had problems at the tapes in heat nine.
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Lambert smoothly slipped into Chris Schramm's slipstream to earn some much needed breathing space.
Darcy Ward cruised to the next, with Lambert grabbing a fortuitous point after Justin Sedgmen trundled to a halt. Then skipper Tomas Topinka catapulted from the gate in heat ten as the re-energised Jan Graversen swung wide to foil Sedgemen's last ditch tactical foray.
Lambert completed his personal hat-trick in the next before Lynn coasted over the finishing line but this was far from the usual Saddlebow mismatch.
The hosts' latest win moved Lyon's men three points clear of nearest title rivals Birmingham after the Brummies scheduled home meeting against Edinburgh was washed out.
Lynn can now travel in buoyant mood to Perry Barr for Sunday's crunch championship showdown prior to the Brummies' Norfolk Arena return next week.
Ward and Aussie compatriot Steve Johnston set the tone in a thrilling opener edged by the young pretender.
Sanchez and Schramm were not about to look a gift horse in the proverbial when Emil Kramer over- cooked it exiting turn four to slip from first to last. Sanchez nullified Johnston's tactical second place after the veteran had cashed in on Schramm's early engine failure for double points.
Ward was the next to bail out, having shadowed compatriot Gathercole for two tight laps - Lynn's teenage heat leader cutting a forlorn figure as he walked back to the pits.
Sedgeman escaped sanction for a rolling start to heat seven but Lambert's brave dive inside Kramer down the back straight pacified the home fans.
Gathercole bagged a second consecutive race win when Linus Eklof was the next Lynn racer struck down by mechanical gremlins.
Lambert's spare ride success for the luckless Sanchez moved the Stars ten clear on the scoresheets before back-to-back maximums allayed fears of a title wobble.
Topinka scored after the interval, with Ward pinching third from the off colour Johnston from a 15 metre deficit.
Graversen completed an excellent scorecard behind the reliable Schramm in the penultimate race but Gathercole deserved his moment in the spotlight in the finale.
Stars: Ward 8+1, Eklof 2, Sanchez 7+2, Schramm 8+1, Topinka 12, Lambert 12+1, Graversen 10+2.
Rebels: Johnston 6, Sedgeman 3, Kramer 4, Gathercole 14, Hughes 1+1, Simmons 5+1.