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Home form is important but points on the road are the key to success in speedway’s Elite League

16:00 22 June 2012

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King's Lynn Stars boss Rob Lyon. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

Turning your home ground into a fortress in any sport is important, but in speedway’s Elite League away form is perhaps even more vital.

Confidence and momentum is gained on your own shale; after all no side likes to lose in front of their own fans. But with a maximum of three points (victory by seven points or more), up for grabs, the rewards offered on the road are more fruitful.

A huge four-point haul can be collected with a similar-sized victory in opposition territory, like King’s Lynn Stars enjoyed at Belle Vue. But it’s the points that can be collected from defeat on the road – that are not offered at home – that can keep a side’s season ticking over.

Rob Lyon’s Stars have now picked up points in each of their last three away meetings at Coventry (48-42 defeat, one point), Poole (48-45 defeat, one point) and Belle Vue (50-42 win, four points).

The Lynn team boss said the improved away form has been a “step in the right direction” and that to “get points from our last three away meetings is definitely positive”.

While Norfolk Arena form is important, Stars fans only need to look at last year’s final table to remember it’s not the be-all and end-all.

Lynn gatecrashed the play-offs having picked up eight ‘maximum’ victories at home, four ‘lesser’ two-point victories and two defeats. Lyon’s troops finished third.

In stark contrast, Peterborough didn’t lose at the East of England Showground and picked up 10 ‘maximum’ wins and four ‘lesser’ triumphs. They finished sixth.

Lynn would take that this summer, which does mean they probably can’t lose at the Norfolk Arena again this season following home defeats to the Panthers and Lakeside Hammers.

The Stars picked up six one-point haul defeats away last year, and finished the same number of points ahead of fifth-placed Coventry.

If points mean prizes, there’s no bigger one than reaching the end-of-season play-offs. Lynn will certainly be in the mix if they just keep totting up them magic points.

After all, recent history suggests that fortune on the road favours the brave – and the Stars have had that in abundance this season.

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