Back down to earth

Joonas Kylmakorpi first heat crash
Joonas Kylmakorpi first heat crash

A night of misfortune and disappointment brought the Eagles sharply down to earth after a stinging 59-31 defeat at the Norfolk Arena on Wednesday evening.

Buoyed by a heartening 15-point home victory against Belle Vue at Arlington just four days earlier, Trevor Geer’s side travelled to Saddlebow in confident mood that the momentum could continue.

But disaster struck before even half a lap had been completed as number one Joonas Kylmakorpi came off worst in a collision with Daniel Nermark on the run in to the first turn. The collision left both riders stricken on the shale and the meet was delayed for 30 minutes as Kylmakorpi was ferried by ambulance to hospital.

The rider underwent an MRI scan to ascertain damage to his neck, shoulder and pelvis.

King’s Lynn rider Nermark was able to continue but withdrew from proceedings following his second ride, suffering from double vision.

On track the Eagles battled, but with only one heat winner, Lewis Bridger in the sixth, throughout the 15, they seldom looked likely to garner any reward from their trip to Norfolk.

No fewer than seven shared races in the opening nine heats saw only six-points (30-24) separate the sides.

King’s Lynn hit the winning groove over the remainder of the contest, a 10th race 4-2 preceded a devastating sequence of five successive 5-1’s to close. On that saw the Stars, most notably Mads Korneliussen, Niels-Kristian Iversen and evergreen reserve David Howe run out comfortable, and emphatic 59-31 winners.

Eagles’ team manager Geer did not blame the injury to Kylmakorpi for the defeat. He said, “Even if Joonas had been fit for the whole match, I do not think it would have made any difference to the end result.

“I do not think we made one gate all night and we were chasing in every race.”

Stars : David Howe 16(6), Niels-Kristian Iversen 13+1(5), Mads Korneliussen 12+3(5), Kevin Wolbert 8+1(4), Maciej Janowski 7+2(4), Daniel Nermark 3(2), Michael Palm Toft 0(4). - 59

Eagles : Simon Gustafsson 8(5), Lewis Bridger 7+1(5), Denis Gizatullin 5+1(7), Lukas Dryml 5(4), Cameron Woodward 3+2(4), Timo Lahti 3+2(5), Joonas Kylmakorpi D.N.R. (Withdrawn following first heat fall). – 31