Poole Pirates 53 King's Lynn Stars 37: Stars facing a huge challenge in second leg
PUBLISHED: 22:31 08 October 2018 | UPDATED: 22:31 08 October 2018
King's Lynn team boss Dale Allitt vowed "we can do it" despite a shock 16-point defeat at Poole in the first leg of the Premiership Final play-off.
The Tru Plant Stars were left reeling as the Pirates ripped them apart in the opening stages with four opening 5-1s.
But they fought back hard only for Poole to once again take control in the latter stages after some controversial refereeing decisions.
Allitt said: “It was a very tough night but we can still do it. Some of the decisions were hard on us I felt but the referee is always going to upset one side and not the other.
“The biggest worry is the injury to Michael Palm Toft who has a wrist knock and will need an X-ray.
“But we can hit Poole hard and early at the Adrian Flux Arena on Wednesday night like they did to us. We can still do it.”
It was a horror start for the Stars as Poole romped to four successive 5-1s in the opening four races after Chris Harris had swapped positions with Robert Lambert in the opener.
Allitt could hardly believe his eyes as the home side went 18 in front with Nicolai Klindt sweeping round Lambert on the first bend of heat six.
The Stars needed to stop the rot and stop it quickly. They did just that with guest Adam Ellis teaming up with Palm Toft to grab a much-needed 5-1.
The fightback was well and truly on when Erik Riss and trump card Palm Toft produced another maximum win in heat eight to narrow the gap to just 10 points - and the big travelling Stars support on the second bend went wild.
Ellis delivered his second heat win, having blown his engine in his opening heat, and the gap reduced further to eight.
Riss then crashed spectacularly on the first bend of heat 11 but walked away as Robert Lambert finally got in the groove with a fine win.
Poole once again forced the lead to 12 points with a 5-1 in heat 12, with a controversial exclusion for Palm Toft after he fell on the third bend.
But super-fast Lambert once again steadied the ship, winning the big heat 13 and resisting the hard-charging Harris for four laps.
Poole 53: Nicolai Klindt 11+2, Richie Worrall 10+2, Chris Harris 8+2, Frederik Jakobsen 6+3, Kacper Woryna 7, Josh Grajczonek 6, Nick Morris 5+2.
King’s Lynn 37: Robert Lambert 12, Michael Palm Toft 6+2, Thomas Jorgensen 6+1, Adam Ellis 6, Erik Riss 3, Ty Proctor 2, Simon Lambert 2.