Tai in as Stars seek revenge
KING'S Lynn Stars will look to exact revenge on Birmingham in tonight's Premier Trophy South home finale at the Norfolk Arena. (7.45pm)The Brummies' make their first Premier Trophy return to Saddlebow since wrecking Lynn's bid for a historic century of competitive home wins 12 months ago.
KING'S Lynn Stars will look to exact revenge on Birmingham in tonight's Premier Trophy South home finale at the Norfolk Arena. (7.45pm)
The Brummies' make their first Premier Trophy return to Saddlebow since wrecking Lynn's bid for a historic century of competitive home wins 12 months ago.
Rob Lyon's men have already qualified for this season's semi finals and hammered Birmingham 53-39 at Perry Barr on Sunday - but Lyon wants to set the record straight.
“Birmingham was our bogey team last year,” he said. “They came here on the eve of 100 successive home wins and turned us over. They have two very experienced top riders in Tomasz Piszcz and Jason Lyons. Our lower end will have their work cut out as Birmingham have some great second strings who can do the business.
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“One of those is Richard Sweetman and it is no secret that I rate his talents highly. They also have Ludvig Lindgren, the brother of Grand Prix star Freddie Lindgren, who looks like an awesome talent.”
Lynn's own prodigy Darcy Ward will look to sign off from reserve in style ahead of moving into the main body of the Stars' powerful unit.
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Ward could grab the number one race jacket with another heavy points-scoring display after paid 18 at Perry Barr in the final away meeting before the first set of seasonal averages take effect.
Brummies' team chief Graham Drury is the latest recruit to Ward's growing fan club.
“He's the talk of the sport right now,” said Drury. “But from my point of view we have to cast an eye towards the Premier League campaign now and the current team hasn't really worked out. The riders know time is running out to convince me to keep them.
“I know riders who are available and on the market, but we shall see. I'm looking for a good performance against a top team.”
Lynn have been forced into two injury changes with British U21 finalists Joe Haines and Tai Woffinden drafted into the team. Skipper Tomas Topinka is ruled out after damaging shoulder ligaments against Birmingham while Aussie Christian Henry faces a lengthy three month lay off after breaking his arm in three places at Birmingham.
Haines' notched paid ten on his last Norfolk Arena visit for Rye House in this season's competition. The Bolton teenager then turned on the style in front of watching Team GB boss Lyon at Lakeside recently to grab a British U21 podium behind Lewis Bridger and Woffinden.
Lynn have received a timely injury boost with Kozza Smith set to step up his injury comeback with a practice outing this week. Smith has yet to feature for the Stars in 2009 after a horrific pre-season crash on duty for Ipswich.
“I'm a little sore but I'm aiming to practise after the meeting, and if all is well I will have some more practice over the following seven days,” said the EDP columnist. “I might be able to ride a bike now but if it grabs a bit of drive or pulls you need that muscle when you go into first corner bunching and stuff like that. I wouldn't be able to do it. I can ride but I wouldn't be able to race but hopefully I might be ready for the Ashley Jones' memorial meeting.”
Parade 7.30pm, first race 7.45pm.
Stars: 1 Tai Woffinden, 2 r/r, 3 Chris Schramm, 4 Emiliano Sanchez, 5 Joe Haines, 6 Darcy Ward, 7 Jan Graversen, 8 Darren Mallett.
Brummies: 1 Jason Lyons, 2 Tomasz Piszcz, 3 Ludvig Lindgren, 4 Robert Ksiezak, 5 Richard Sweetman, 6 Ben Taylor, 7 Daniel Halsey.