Ward claims first maximum in KO Cup
KING'S LYNN 58 BERWICK 32DARCY Ward's first Lynn maximum lit up the Premier League KO Cup quarter-final, first leg at the Norfolk Arena.Stand-in team boss Buster Chapman guided Lynn to an imposing 26-point lead ahead of next month's second leg - Rob Lyon away on a Team GB scouting mission at the British Final.
KING'S LYNN 58 BERWICK 32
DARCY Ward's first Lynn maximum lit up the Premier League KO Cup quarter-final, first leg at the Norfolk Arena.
Stand-in team boss Buster Chapman guided Lynn to an imposing 26-point lead ahead of next month's second leg - Rob Lyon away on a Team GB scouting mission at the British Final.
Berwick cashed in twice on the novel tactical gate changes allowed in this competition to stem the bleeding - Josef Franc clinching two second half flags after Lynn were forced to change gates.
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The peerless Ward twice produced last lap heroics to cap a throttle perfect week after clinching a World U21 semi berth at Rye House.
Swedish debutant Linus Eklof also impressed on his home debut but Kozza Smith endured a miserable injury return.
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Smith's first competitive Norfolk Arena outing of the year following a horrific pre-season shunt went rapidly downhill after a split fuel hose robbed him of certain victory in the reserves.
Eklof trapped sharply in the opener but skipper Tomas Topinka swung wide to reel in old Sheffield foe Andre Compton.
The fast-improving Jan Graversen fended off the Bandits' reserve duo to minimise the damage as Smith went into reverse.
Paul Clews darted up the inside of Chris Schramm in the next but Lynn's former Elite League racer threw up a formidable roadblock alongside Emiliano Sanchez.
Ward claimed an awarded heat four after Michal Makovsky's late spill. Sanchez dragged his machine through the deep stuff to swerve around Tero Aarnio as Lynn moved 12 clear.
Eklof pocketed the first home flag of his Stars' career with a superb gate four trap - Topinka happy to defer to the blond bomber. Ward piled on the pain in a crackerjack heat seven - sweeping off the last bend to foil Franc.
Sanchez claimed another routine home win following a rapid fire engine change from the South American's pit crew.
Franc opened Berwick's account on the restart after Lynn's home duo was re-housed from their programmed gate positions.
Ward maintained his surge in the next before the battling Clews repelled Sanchez. Topinka and Lynn's teenage terror were classes apart in a heat 13 demonstration - Ward squeezing through a Berwick bottom end pincer exiting turn one.
Smith earned one of the hardest points of his life to break the Aussie's duck in the penultimate heat - Gino Francetti clambering all over the back of Lynn's reserve.
Franc looked to be heading for a hat-trick of race wins in the finale until showman Ward summoned one last superhuman effort.