GARY Havelock admits there is a hint of disappointment despite watching his side claim their first away point of the Elite League season at King’s Lynn on Wednesday.
The Bees were edged out 46-44 at the Adrian Flux Arena but it could have been a different story after Krzysztof Kasprzak powered to a hugely impressive 15-point maximum which took the meeting to the wire
It meant the visitors had to secure a 5-1 in the final heat for to earn a draw and despite Kasprzak winning again to complete his full house, skipper Chris Harris could only finish third and the Bees had to be content with one match point.
“I’m disappointed because it’s so close but so far,” said Havelock. “We got a point, which looking at our performances here over the last couple of years is about as good as we’ve done, but I felt they were there for the taking tonight.
“KK was sensational. To come to King’s Lynn with Niels-Kristian Iversen in their team and score a 15-point maximum is pretty good going, and if we can keep him in this mindset there’s no reason why he can’t be the No.1 rider in the league.
“Hopefully the injury for Kacper will look worse than it is. He would be a big miss because he’s a very popular member of the team, and he’s definitely learning on the job, but we’ll have to wait and see what the situation is.”
Kasprzak set the tone for his meeting with a super ride to defeat Niels-Kristian Iversen in Heat 1 but the Stars went ahead with a 5-1 from their reserves in the next.
Danny King took the flag in Heat 3 but skipper Harris was kept at the back by Schlein and Robert Lambert, and a second 5-1 to the home side in Heat 4 put them into an early six point lead.
Jason Garrity got the better of Huckenbeck and Carl Wilkinson to win a shared Heat 5, before Kasprzak and Harris brought Bees right back into contention with maximum points in the next, only for the gap to immediately go back to six points when Iversen combined with Robert Lambert in Heat 7.
The next two races were shared and a stroke of fortune for the visitors in Heat 10 saw Garrity inherit third place when Lambert hit trouble, Kasprzak taking his third win.
That narrowed the gap to four points but Lynn replied with a 4-2 of their own in Heat 11 as Iversen got the better of Harris in a fierce tussle at the front which saw the two riders pass and re-pass.
The Bees reserves then reversed the 5-1 they had conceded in Heat 2 as Josh Bates and James Sarjeant stepped up to the mark to ensure a close end to the meeting.
Kasprzak made it four out of four in Heat 13 but Harris was edged out by Lambert in the closing stages before a lengthy delay in Heat 14.
Polish youngster Kacper Woryna was forced to withdraw with a wrist injury following a pile-up involving four riders, whilst King’s Lynn captain Rory Schlein was also ruled out with shoulder damage and possible concussion.
With Woryna and Schlein unable to continue, Mads Korneliussen took the win ahead of Bates, with Wilkinson in a vital third ahead of King to put the Stars back into a four-point lead.
And with Kasprzak winning Heat 15, Harris was unable to get past Lambert as the visitors fell to the narrowest of defeats.