The Lakeside Hammers had a disappointing defeat to King’s Lyn Stars 45-48 in front of the Sky cameras at Arena Essex Monday.
Neil Vatcher put their loss down to “too many riders didn’t win enough heats” as they lost an eleven point lead and top spot of the Elite League, which could be a vital meeting come end of the season.
King’s Lyn Stars used rider replacement for the evening sharing rides in place of Kenneth Bjerre who was out injured, which made the difference as Neils Kristian Iverson rode the last four of the six races.
The Hammers bumped in to an in-form Neils Kristian Iverson who took heat one off Richard Lawson going into the last lap and snatched a 3-3 as Peter Karlsson slipped in third.
Heat two was much of the same as Lewis Kerr won with ease with Adam Ellis and Ben Morely unable to chase him down for another split race.
The following heat had The Hammers first win as Captain Davey Watt came through but Mikkel Bech was unable to assist him, as both sides were level.
King’s Lyn gained the first advantage in heat four as Nicklas Porsing gated quickest and won as Lewis Bridger got second but Lewis Kerr grabbed third to give the visitors the edge at 11-13.
Races five and six were level but the visitors won both heats as Rory Schlein and Iversen again won from the first bend with The Hammers unable to find a way past the King’s Lyn front runners.
Heat seven was the revival for the home side as Richard Lawson revved to victory followed by Adam Ellis. Lewis Rose fell early in the race and 15 year old Robert Lambert had a mechanical problem but decided not to pass the finish line, until influenced by his team to get the point which was stripped from them giving The Hammers a 5-1.
Race eight swept up another 5-1 for the home side as Davey Watt won and Lewis Bridger’s overtake early on over Rory Schlein gave The Hammers a 27-20 lead.
Heat nine was a third conceutive 5-1 for the home side as Ben Morely won with ease and assisted by Adam Ellis.
However the tide turned in the tactical ride as Iverson was slipped in to blow the home side out the water and bring the visitors within six as they got a 2-7 win.
Iverson rode again in heat 11 and won his fourth of the night backed up in second by Robert Lambert to bring them within two points at 35-33.
The Hammers restored some calm as Richard Lawson won race 12 and was aided by a great race from Ben Morely to open their lead back up to six.
The former Moto GP rider Iverson won his fifth race in the meetings final stages and nicked a 4-2 heat victory to close the gap again.
Race 14 summed up the night for The Hammers as Adam Ellis fell on the last bend of lap two but the referee awarded the 5-1 heat to the visitors for Robert Lambert with Lewis Rose in second.
The final heat was all level at 43-43 giving King’s Lyn the fortune of a guaranteed point before the race. The away side took inspiration from their secured point and snatched all three match points as Iversen made it a maximum 21 points and got a 4-2 last race win with Schlein in third, to conclude the match at 45-48.
Heat 01: Iversen, Lawson, Karlsson, Porsing 3-3 Time: 59.40
Heat 02: Kerr, Ellis, Morley, Mallett 3-3 6-6 Time: 60.20
Heat 03: Watt, Lambert, Schlein, Bech 3-3 9-9 Time: 59.70
Heat 04: Porsing, Bridger, Kerr, Morley 2-4 11-13 Time: 59.90
Heat 05: Schlein, Bech, Karlsson, Lambert 3-3 14-16 Time: 59.20
Heat 06: Iversen, Watt, Bridger, Porsing 3-3 17-19 Time: 59.00
Heat 07: Lawson, Ellis, Lambert – Retired 5-0 22-19 Time: 60.90 (Mallett – Fell / Excluded)
Heat 08: Watt, Bridger, Schlein, Porsing – Retired 5-1 27-20 Time: 59.60
Heat 09: Morley, Ellis, Kerr, Mallett 5-1 32-21 Time: 60.50
Heat 10: Iversen – Tactical Ride, Karlsson, Schlein, Lawson 2-7 34-28 Time: 59.80
Heat 11: Iversen, Lambert, Watt, Bech 1-5 35-33 Time: 60.40
Heat 12: Lawson, Morley, Kerr, Porsing 5-1 40-34 Time: 60.40
Heat 13: Iversen, Karlsson, Schlein, Bech 2-4 42-38 Time: 59.70
Heat 14: Race Awarded: Lambert, Kerr, Bridger, Ellis – Fell / Excluded 1-5 43-43 NO TIME
Heat 15: Iversen, Watt, Schlein, Karlsson 2-4 45-47 Time: 59.80