Kings Lynn Stars v Edinburgh Monarchs

REPORT Wednesday 28th October 2009, 10:00pm

by Mike Hunter

Other than fine performances from Fisher and Katajisto, we failed to rise to the occasion in the KO Cup Final second leg at King?s Lynn.

Heads were probably down given the absence of Kevin Wolbert, though as it turned out Ward was absent also. The Stars were much better placed to cover.

Perhaps we have had too many big occasions recently but it was still disappointing to witness such an abject performance from Aaron Summers, and very little either from Andrew Tully and Matthew Wethers. Andrew was on the wrong end of four 5-1s in his five rides, and Matthew could only take a couple of points from the opposition.

That left Fisher almost on his own, supported only by another spirited Kalle-show. Ryan was immense and gave us plenty to be proud of, though he might have earned an exclusion in heat 5. Referee Graham Reeve was lenient throughout, but consistently so, and did not show off with the introduction of any obscure and inappropriate rules.

Let?s concentrate on the highlights for us. Every Ryan race was one of those, and he started as he has so often by sailing home ahead in heat 1. In this we saw Luke Bowen hold second for a couple of laps, then lose second to Lambert, and on the final bend make a mistake and drop to last behind Sanchez.

A shame for Luke though maybe predictable.

Kalle chased all the way in heat 2, but couldn?t pass the home reserves this time (unlike last week?s sensational ride).

Another 5-1 shed in heat 3 with Andrew falling, then Matthew and Kalle kept Graversen at the back in heat 4. Stars? Dane is only effective when he gates.

At the first attempt at heat 5, Schramm ran into Fisher on the first corner, Fisher turned back and went between the home pair, but seemed to tip Schramm off on the way.

It?s hard to avoid Schramm and he bulldozed his way to the front again in the rerun, with Ryan third behind Sanchez. However he dived into second at the next bend, an excellent move.

Kalle got a good second in heat 6 by passing Lambert late in the heat, then sadly our middle pair lost another disappointing 5-1.

Eklof was gating well and led heat 8 all the way, but Kalle put in a superb challenge. Many thought he had taken the win on the line with an outside move, but Eklof was given it.

Luke Bowen got a good point ahead of Lambert.

Andrew Tully at last made a decent start in heat 9 but Schramm barged into him going into the first corner, and Andrew took a heavy fall. That prompted machine repairs and an early interval.

The rerun was another disappointing 5-1 loss and it was well and truly all over.

Lambert didn?t leave the tapes in heat 10 so we got a 3-3, and at last Ryan was out again in heat 11 ? at 9:35 he was taking his third ride! They don?t rush things in Norfolk.

Proctor led but Fisher chased and caught him in superb style.

Tully and Katajisto heald second and third in heat 12 but there was a tangle and Kalle went to the back, losing a steel shoe. Andrew rode a very untidy race and lost second on the last lap.

Fisher beat Proctor again in heat 13 and was really enjoying himself. In spite of some minor booing it seemed the home fans appreciated his efforts.

Full marks to Kalle for heat 14. He didn?t make a great start but surged inside Schramm and Graversen on the first corner, leading all the way for a great win ? Schramm?s first defeat!

Kalle earned a heat 15 ride but didn?t leave the tapes. Ryan though comfortably won again and wheelied a few laps to celebrate his brilliant 14-point score. Otherwise, the celebrations were King?s Lynn?s.