||Last Updated: Apr 14th, 2016 - 09:08:12
COVENTRY picked up their first away point of the season as they were edged out 46-44 at King’s Lynn on Wednesday.
Krzysztof Kasprzak powered to a hugely impressive 15-point maximum at the Adrian Flux Arena as the Buildbase Bees took the meeting to the wire, but in the end they had to be content with one match point.
And they also have an injury concern over Polish youngster Kacper Woryna, who was hurt in a Heat 14 pile-up which involved all four riders.
Woryna was withdrawn from the re-run with a wrist injury, whilst unlucky King’s Lynn captain Rory Schlein was also ruled out with shoulder damage and possible concussion.
Kasprzak set the tone for his meeting with a super ride to defeat Niels-Kristian Iversen in Heat 1, Jason Garrity getting the better of Kai Huckenbeck for third place, but the Stars went ahead with a 5-1 from their reserves in the next.
Danny King took the flag in Heat 3 but skipper Chris Harris was kept at the back by Schlein and Robert Lambert, and a second 5-1 to the home side in Heat 4 put them into an early six point lead.
Garrity got the better of Huckenbeck and Carl Wilkinson to win a shared Heat 5, before Kasprzak and Harris brought Bees right back into contention with maximum points in the next – only for the gap to immediately go back to six points when Iversen combined with Robert Lambert in Heat 7.
The next two races were shared as the Bees reserves began to establish some superiority over their counterparts, and a stroke of fortune for the visitors in Heat 10 saw Garrity inherit third place when Lambert hit trouble, Kasprzak taking his third win.
That narrowed the gap to four points but Lynn replied with a 4-2 of their own in Heat 11 as Iversen got the better of Harris in a fierce tussle at the front which saw the two riders pass and re-pass.
The Bees reserves then reversed the 5-1 they had conceded in Heat 2 as Josh Bates and James Sarjeant stepped up to the mark, Sarjeant passing Wilkinson for second place to ensure a close end to the meeting.
Kasprzak made it four out of four in Heat 13 but Harris was edged out by Lambert in the closing stages, after which came a lengthy delay following the first attempt to run Heat 14.
With Woryna and Schlein unable to continue, Mads Korneliussen took the win ahead of Bates, with Wilkinson in a vital third ahead of King to put the Stars back into a four-point lead.
That meant Bees needed nothing less than a 5-1 in Heat 15 for a draw and two league points, but they had to be content with one as Kasprzak wrapped up his full house in style, and whilst Harris got past Iversen for third place he was unable to get to Lambert.
Bees boss Gary Havelock said: “I’m disappointed because it’s so close but so far. We got a point, which looking at our performances here over the last couple of years is about as good as we’ve done, but I felt they were there for the taking tonight.
“KK was sensational. To come to King’s Lynn with Niels-Kristian Iversen in their team and score a 15-point maximum is pretty good going, and if we can keep him in this mindset there’s no reason why he can’t be the No.1 rider in the league.
“Hopefully the injury for Kacper will look worse than it is. He would be a big miss because he’s a very popular member of the team, and he’s definitely learning on the job, but we’ll have to wait and see what the situation is.”
KING’S LYNN 46: Niels K Iversen 10, Mads Korneliussen 8, Carl Wilkinson 7, Robert Lambert 6+3, Kai Huckenbeck 5+1, Lewis Rose 5+1, Rory Schlein 5.
COVENTRY 44: Krzysztof Kasprzak 15, Jason Garrity 7, Josh Bates 6+1, Chris Harris 5+1, James Sarjeant 4+2, Danny King 4, Kacper Woryna 3.
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