Stars struggle on their travels

Race-rusty Lynn suffered a 56-34 defeat in their Premiership opener at Wolverhampton last night.

The MacInnes Stars were clearly lacking track time after the postponements of practice day and last week’s home opener against Sheffield, and they got off to a nightmare start in the West Midlands.

Manager Alex Brady said: “Obviously it’s disappointing to come away with such a heavy defeat, although Wolves is a place where traditionally we struggle, and tonight was no exception.

Frederik Jakobsen (63248515)
Frederik Jakobsen (63248515)

“Fred (Jakobsen) was fantastic and Tofty came to the party a bit later on, but we didn’t have enough points from our top order, and there were a few mechanical gremlins for KK.

“We were beaten by the better team on the night, and hopefully we can put it right when we entertain Wolves next week because the aggregate bonus point is still to play for.”

Always comfortable on their own circuit, Wolves dominated with three 5-1s in the first six races and even the absence of American Luke Becker, who broke his fibula on Sunday, failed to affect their charge.

The hosts brought in the experience of Scott Nicholls as a guest, and he won his first three rides including a smart move to go inside the excellent Frederik Jakobsen in Heat 4.

Jakobsen was the Stars’ only winner in the first half of the meeting with an emphatic victory in the reserves’ race, but the visitors conceded 5-1s in both Heats 1 and 3 as Nicolai Klindt was bundled out of contention in the opener.

Klindt responded with a battling effort to split Ryan Douglas and Rory Schlein in Heat 5, but a second maximum from the Sam Masters/Steve Worrall combination in the next extended the gap to 14 points.

A series of shared races followed and the Stars looked to have a chance in Heat 9 as Kasprzak made the start – but just as Jakobsen was making it through the traffic, the Pole suffered a spark plug failure and dropped out of contention.

And when Masters and Worrall out-trapped Michael Palm Toft and Josh Pickering in Heat 10, the points were as good as in the bag for the home side.

Jakobsen rode a strong first bend in Heat 12 which also brought Pickering into contention but former Stars man Schlein produced the ride of the night to go from third to first, charging inside the Dane at the start of lap two.

Palm Toft gave the Stars a third race win in Heat 14 and again they held a 5-1 position for a time until Douglas passed Jakobsen.

With Nicholls unbeaten by an opponent from four rides, Masters duly completed his own five-ride maximum in the last race whilst Jakobsen and Palm Toft, who were the Stars’ top men by far, prevented Worrall from also going through the card.

The Stars are back in action on Thursday when they head to Sheffield for the first leg of their KO Cup tie.

Wolverhampton 56: Sam Masters 14+1, Scott Nicholls 11+1, Steve Worrall 10+2, Rory Schlein 9, Ryan Douglas 8+2, Zach Cook 3, Leon Flint 1+1.

King’s Lynn 34: Frederik Jakobsen 13+2, Michael Palm Toft 9, Josh Pickering 3+2, Thomas Jorgensen 3, Jason Edwards 2+1, Nicolai Klindt 2, Krzystzof Kasprzak 2.