Monday July 16, 2018
LEICESTER suffered a damaging home reverse with a 52-38 defeat at the hands of an impressive King’s Lynn side on Monday.

Niels-Kristian Iversen and Robert Lambert both broke the old track record to head up a Stars performance which proved too strong for the Watling JCB Lions, for whom only skipper Hans Andersen could be truly satisfied with his performance.

The damage was done in the opening four heats when the Lions found themselves ten points down, having conceded three 5-1s.

Ricky Wells blasted through the tapes in Heat 1 whilst Iversen (setting a new benchmark of 60.63) and Michael Palm Toft raced to 5-1 in the re-run, and although James Sarjeant took a good win in the next race, Ty Proctor recovered from an earlier error to take second when Todd Kurtz slowed.

Palm Toft and Thomas Jorgensen both out-did the Lions off turn two in Heat 3, and then further disaster followed as Andersen hit trouble when battling with Lambert in the next, with the visitors taking full advantage once more.

Pieszczek defeated Iversen for a Leicester 4-2 in Heat 5, earning him a tactical substitute outing two races later – but this time he was overhauled by Jorgensen, although Andersen did take the win as the margin was reduced to six points.

But despite Wells also going under the old track record in Heat 8, Lions could get no closer and suffered a further blow when Pieszczek was disqualified from Heat 9 for causing Lambert to fall on turn one.

King’s Lynn took a 4-2 in the re-run and added another in Heat 12 to go ten points up, although Charles Wright deserved credit for a brave pass of Proctor with little space to work with.

But the Stars sealed the points in the next two races with a potential Lions 5-1 in Heat 13 thwarted by Iversen rounding Kenneth Bjerre off the final bend, whilst Proctor and Jorgensen quickly moved to the front in Heat 14 after Sarjeant had held the early lead.

Andersen’s three race winning run was ended by Lambert in Heat 15 but he did split the Stars pairing, with Jorgensen third as the final margin was set at 14 points.

Andersen said: “It’s very difficult for us at the moment, and everyone in the team is very disappointed. I know the fans are disappointed but the riders are doubly as disappointed with it.

“It’s devastating to lose at home because we’ve had a good record here, and the track is very good but it has changed a bit – it’s not an excuse, but some of the riders haven’t really adapted to the changes.

“We do thank the fans for their support, we know it’s hard but we need their backing all the way and we will bounce back stronger.”

A third home loss of the season puts the Lions up against it in the race for the play-offs, and a response in next week’s away trips to Swindon (Monday) and Poole (Wednesday) will be essential.

LEICESTER 38: Hans Andersen 11, Ricky Wells 6+1, Charles Wright 6, Kenneth Bjerre 5+1, Krystian Pieszczek 4, James Sarjeant 4, Todd Kurtz 2.
KING’S LYNN 52: Thomas Jorgensen 12+2, Robert Lambert 12, Ty Proctor 11+2, Niels-Kristian Iversen 8+1, Michael Palm Toft 8+1, Simon Lambert 1, Lewis Kerr r/r.

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