Monday September 10, 2018
SWINDON will take a six-point lead to Norfolk next week after a 48-42 win over King’s Lynn in the first leg of their KO Cup semi-final.

The CFS Filtration Robins worked hard to twice build an advantage throughout a highly entertaining tie at the Abbey which ended with a tremendous Heat 15.

Robins initially moved into a 21-15 lead courtesy of 5-1s in Heats 5 and 6, both coming against the visitors’ big guns.

Tobiasz Musielak and David Bellego took the maximum over Robert Lambert in the first, Bellego working overtime to keep the British Champion at bay, and then Adam Ellis and Troy Batchelor relegated Niels-Kristian Iversen to third place.

But the Stars had remained in contention thanks to two early wins for Michael Palm Toft, and he was instrumental in their mid-meeting comeback.

Heats 7-9 went in the Stars’ favour 14-4 as they turned a six-point deficit into a four-point lead, and Palm Toft was involved in successive 5-1s in the eighth and ninth.

Iversen held off the considerable efforts of Ellis to maintain that margin in Heat 10, but the Robins produced a big finish and turned the match back in their favour in the closing five races.

First, in Heat 11, skipper Nick Morris rode a stormer to make his way inside Lambert midway through the race to take an excellent win with Zach Wajtknecht third in a Swindon 4-2.

With Bellego taking Heat 12, the first clash of the big guns saw Robins level the scores with another 4-2 as Troy Batchelor got the better of Iversen in the early stages, with Morris holding off Lambert for third.

Musielak and Wajtknecht then made perfect starts in Heat 14 to squeeze out Thomas Jorgensen for a 5-1 which put Swindon back ahead.

And in the dramatic finale, Iversen initially led only for Musielak to find terrific speed on the outside to pass the Dane at the end of the second lap – and a big scrap for third place followed as Batchelor and Lambert passed and re-passed, eventually in favour of the Swindon man for a 4-2.

Swindon boss Alun Rossiter said: “We knew it was going to be a tough meeting, they aren’t top of the league for no reason, and they are pretty solid all the way through.

“Rider-replacement for Ty Proctor got them eleven points tonight so that shows how strong they are.

“But in fairness there were a lot of questions asked about us after last week, and we had a chat beforehand and I couldn’t have asked for any more effort from the team. They gave it 120 per cent.

“I changed things around a bit with David and Adam, and there was plenty of fight from all of them.

“King’s Lynn is a track which all of the boys can ride quite well, so whilst it’s not a massive lead I think it’s enough to give us a chance.”

The second leg takes place at the Adrian Flux Arena next Monday (September 17) and Robins wrap up their Premiership campaign with the re-arranged home match against Belle Vue on Thursday September 20.

SWINDON 48: Tobiasz Musielak 12, Troy Batchelor 10+2, Nick Morris 8, Adam Ellis 7, David Bellego 6+2, Zach Wajtknecht 5+1, Jack Smith 0.
KING’S LYNN 42: Niels-Kristian Iversen 14, Michael Palm Toft 12+2, Erik Riss 5+1, Robert Lambert 5, Thomas Jorgensen 4, Simon Lambert 2, Ty Proctor r/r.

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