King's Lynn Stars
Team Manager: Dale Allitt
|1. Chris Schramm||X||0||F||1||1||0|
|2. Kozza Smith||2||3||2||2||2*||11||1|
|3. Tomas Topinka||2||2||3||2||3||12||0|
|4. Casper Wortmann||0||1*||0||1||2||1|
|5. Joe Haines||1||2||0||0||3||0|
|6. Adam Lowe||1||0||0||1||0|
|7. Chris Mills||0||R||1*||2||1*||4||2|
Team Manager: John Campbell
|1. Ryan Fisher||3||3||3||2*||E||11||1|
|2. Tobias Busch||1||0||1||2||0|
|3. Kevin Wolbert||1||1||3||3||8||0|
|4. Matthew Wethers||3||3||1||2*||9||1|
|5. Andrew Tully||3||2||1*||3||1||10||1|
|6. Cal McDade||2*||1*||F||0||3||2|
|7. Carl Wilkinson||3||2*||3||2||3||13||1|
Surely no-one in the Monarchs? camp could have predicted the final score of our first leg KO Cup tie at King?s Lynn.
King?s Lynn virtually never lose at home, and our only success in the modern era was a worthy draw in 2008. On this occasion though, we ripped up the predictions and gave the Stars such a hammering that promoter Buster Chapman promised changes to his side.
There was drizzle before the match, and the surface was damp, but it would be pushing it to say that it was a wet track. There was bad news on Darren Mallett who is apparently ill and was replaced by junior Star Adam Lowe.
At the first attempt to run heat 1, Ryan Fisher was maybe slightly lucky that there was an ?all 4 back? decision after he had clipped the home guest Schramm round the first turn.
Next time he was doubly unlucky, first because Schramm was allowed to get away with a flier, and secondly because Schramm suddenly spun round right in front of him on the first bend of lap two. With virtually no time to sum up the situation, Ryan got the bike on the floor with Tobias following suit, though there were still some thuds as machinery, men and fence came together.
The great news was no serious damage to the riders. The machines were not so lucky. Full praise was given to our boys for their actions, first by presenter Mike Bennett and then by Schramm himself. ?Fair play to the boys behind for getting their bikes down,? said a rider who can dish out the tough stuff but never complains when anyone else does it to him.
After a lengthy delay the riders were out again, Busch borrowing a bike from Kevin and Ryan on his second machine. We took a 4-2 with Kozza Smith between our men.
There was more drama before heat 2 with Chris Mills having machine problems. Joe Haines brought a bike out, but instead of jumping on it, Haines had a discussion and was promptly put back 15 metres.
He made up absolutely no ground as our guest Carl Wilkinson and Cal McDade (admirably steady on his NL circuit) took a 5-1.
So far so good, and even better in heat 3 when Matthew made an excellent start and led all the way from Tomas Topinka. Kevin took third without looking comfortable.
It was turning into a fairy tale from our point of view, and Wilkinson and Andrew Tully made it even better with a 5-1 over the floundering Haines and Mills in heat 4. It was 21-9 and surely even at this stage the aggregate victory in the tie was looking very much on?
Tobias was on a Wethers machine for heat 5 but couldn?t pick up a point as Ryan took his second win ahead of Topinka, fairly easily.
There had been no further news on the battered Schramm since heat 1, but there he was ready to race in heat 6. However it was Smith who made the start this time, with Tully piling on the pressure and Schramm in third. Schramm?s problems continued though as he spun off again, on his own this time, and again Cal McDade?s steadiness gained a deserved point even though Schramm remounted.
Matthew wethers again gated in heat 7 for a win, and though Wolbert looked sluggish he eventually got the better of Lowe.
Heat 8 was shared ? Busch was replaced by McDade and Wilkinson took a win over Smith and Mills, keeping up his unbeaten run from reserve. It was now 31-17.
Finally home captain Topinka made the gate in heat 9 to lead Wilkinson and Tully and take the home race winners tally to two.
There were some further drops of rain and we were keen to see the meeting pressing ahead. Referee Phil Griffin duly obliged by keeping the two minutes ratting on.
Kevin Wolbert now changed machines and looked much more impressive as he pressed race leader Schramm in heat 10. Would you believe it, Schramm came off again and we took a 4-2. It was all going our way.
Heat 11 was an excellent race. Mills had been expected to be a tough opponent and he finally made a start in this one, with Fisher closing in for a challenge. He finally squeezed past on the last lap with an amazing move, squeezing between Mills and the fence leaving the second bend.
An equally excellent second bend move, this time on lap one, saw Wolbert take the lead and soar away with heat 12 from Topinka.
We were 18 up, and then banged in a couple more 5-1s! Tully and Fisher team rode perfectly in front of heat 13, and in heat 14 it was a double overtake as Wilkinson (lap two) and Wethers (lap four) passed Wortmann in style.
It was now 55-29, and the Stars did get a consolation in heat 15. It seemed Fisher made the gate but he went too far out and let the home men through. Challenging back, he ground to a halt at the end of lap one.
That was a minor blip in an almost perfect show, and even for the pessimists amongst us it must surely mean we go through to the semi after the second leg a week on Friday.
Both sides will be looking to dig deep when Monarchs visit the Norfolk Arena in another unpredictable ?battle of the giants? on Wednesday night (7.30) for the first leg of their KO Cup quarter-final tie against the King?s Lynn Stars.
For once, weather permitting, King?s Lynn won?t enjoy the luxury of hosting the second leg of a cup tie against Edinburgh in front of their own fans, knowing that the tie will be decided on the night and knowing exactly what they need to score.
Injuries to key riders have given this fixture an unexpected slant. Home fans will be cheering the return of former Star, Chris Schramm, now with Workington, who guests at No1 for Kevin Doolan who broke his wrist in a crash at Sheffield last week.
Edinburgh also had a difficult job to find an adequate guest replacement for their star reserve, Kalle Katajisto, who has a badly bruised foot after a collision in the meaningless Premier Trophy fixture at Ashfield on Sunday and who will also miss Friday?s home fixture.
Ryan Fisher will be looking to continue his rich vein of form in a season when he seems to just get better and better. He would have been everybody?s favourite for the Scottish Open but was desperately unlucky to be sucked in by the fourth bend fence when leading the Semi-Final.
Andrew Tully achieved a podium place in a high class field, which should mean his confidence is high, and skipper Matthew ?Stormy? Wethers certainly had some storming races, particularly against Chris Slabon, showing the value of his Elite League call-ups.
Monarchs will be looking for a big contribution from their Europe-hopping German, Kevin Wolbert if his less experienced countryman Tobias Busch struggles on his first visit to Saddlebow Road. But Tobi has been showing flashes of brilliance, so you never know.
Cal McDade will be hoping to do well on his ?home? National League track, but has a tough task against his Young Stars team mate, Darren Mallett. And the key for Monarchs will be Carl Wilkinson or whoever else stands in for Kalle, their usual ace in the pack.
King?s Lynn have had lots of team problems this season, on top of their promotion being somewhat distracted with the re-launch of the local football club. So the Stars lack that invincible aura of recent seasons and are beginning to threaten further team changes.
Of course they still have the silky talent of Tomas Topinka and the emerging steadier style of the irrepressible Kozza Smith. But Joe Haines, Chris Mills (who replaced Linus Eklof) and Casper Wortmann all appear to rely heavily on confidence.
The Stars claim they will be happy with an eight or ten point lead to defend in view of having come to Armadale in May and won by eight points! But fortunes have shifted since then and Monarchs have an excellent chance of progressing provided they don?t let the score run away from them on a track which is so often a graveyard for the hopes of visiting teams.
King?s Lynn ?Roger Warnes Transport? Stars: Chris Schramm (guest), Kozza Smith, Tomas Topinka, Casper Wortmann, Joe Haines, Darren Mallett, Chris Mills.
Edinburgh Monarchs: Ryan Fisher, Tobias Busch, Kevin Wolbert, Matthew Wethers (c), Andrew Tully, Cal McDade, Carl Wilkinson (guest).
Wednesday 28th July 2010, 8:58am
The Scotwaste Monarchs have pulled off some amazing results this season, and here was another as we pummelled the King's Lynn Stars 56-34 on their own circuit in the Cup quarter final first leg.