Thursday April 25, 2024
KING’S Lynn were edged out 47-43 after a much improved performance at Oxford in an eventful ROWE Motor Oil Premiership clash on Thursday.

The PSH Environmental Stars put their problems of the last week behind them to take the Spires all the way to a last heat decider, with captain Tobiasz Musielak giving an outstanding display.

In that race, Rohan Tungate and Scott Nicholls secured a 3-3 to give their side the victory but the Stars could have been in a stronger position but for the disqualification of Niels-Kristian Iversen when he clashed with Charles Wright in Heat 12.

Musielak scored paid-16 for the Stars, dropping just two points from six outings, whilst Iversen and Michael Palm Toft both put race wins on the board and Ben Cook did a sterling job as guest replacement for the injured Benjamin Basso.

Cook and Musielak got them off to a dream start with a 5-1 over Maciej Janowski and Nicholls in Heat 1, and the visitors led for long spells of the meeting.

Erik Riss and Tungate took early wins for the Spires, who levelled up at 9-9 before Cook won Heat 4 with Anders Rowe third having briefly held second place ahead of Chris Harris.

A tight contest continued with Musielak finding the speed to go up to second in Heat 5 ahead of a battle between Iversen and Wright, with that race shared before Spires again went level in the next.

But the Stars were quickly back ahead, this time from an excellent 5-1 from Iversen and Palm Toft in Heat 7 as they got the better of Harris on the first lap to make it 23-19.

Home riders won the next three races despite Wright crashing out of Heat 9, and they did take the lead for the first time in Heat 10 through Nicholls and Janowski.

Again, though, Lynn showed great character to fight back as Palm Toft and Musielak gated to maximum points over Riss and Harris in Heat 11, and that took them into the final four races with a 34-32 lead.

However there was drama in Heat 12 when Iversen and Wright tangled, with Patryk Wojdylo and Ashton Boughen forced to take avoiding action, and it was the Lynn rider who was disqualified with Wright winning the re-run in a 4-2 to make it 36-36.

Musielak won Heat 13 as the scores remained level with Cook missing out, but there was major damage done with a Spires 5-1 in Heat 14 as Riss made the start and Tungate came from the back against Wojdylo and Palm Toft.

That left the Stars needing a 5-1 of their own in the final race to take the meeting to a Super Heat, but although Musielak hit the front again with a strong move into the third bend, Cook had missed out to Tungate and Nicholls as Lynn fell just short.

Manager Rob Lyon said: “It was a better performance from us after the last outing at Sheffield last week – we were depleted then and we were depleted tonight, but Ben Cook did an admirable job for us and it was a better performance.

“It’s a little bit frustrating that we lost out. I didn’t feel we deserved to lose tonight, I thought we should probably have edged it, and what the referee was looking at in Heat 12 I have no idea.

“He has his right to his opinion on what he saw, I asked him to look at the monitor and whether he looked at it I don’t know, but he put the white light on so quickly that he clearly hadn’t looked at that point.

“We often say refereeing decisions can turn a match, and it clearly did that tonight.

“Apart from that I was really pleased with the team as a whole, and we move on from here. It was a battling team performance and I can’t fault the boys in that respect.

“Tobi has settled in now, he’s getting dialled in and his last two performances have been more like what we would expect and he would expect of himself as a No.1, so no issues there at all.”

With a more encouraging display behind them, the Stars will be looking for a much-needed victory when they host Birmingham at the Adrian Flux Arena next Thursday (May 2).

OXFORD 47: Rohan Tungate 13+1, Scott Nicholls 10+1, Erik Riss 7, Maciej Janowski 5+2, Chris Harris 5, Charles Wright 4, Ashton Boughen 3.
KING’S LYNN 43: Tobiasz Musielak 15+1, Ben Cook 9+1, Niels-Kristian Iversen 7+1, Patryk Wojdylo 6+1, Michael Palm Toft 5+1, Anders Rowe 1, Vadim Tarasenko r/r.

Photo credit: LES AUBREY

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