Swindon moved into the Premiership play-off places with a key 50-40 win over King’s Lynn at the Abbey on last night.
The CFS Filtration Robins held off a determined challenge from the Stars, and skipper Jason Doyle won Heat 15 to prevent the visitors from taking a league point – which could also be vital in the race for the top four.
Doyle hit back from a rare last place in Heat 1, and a crash with team-mate David Bellego in Heat 10, to run unbeaten from his final four outings – and he also smashed the new track record in the process.
The Australian star won Heat 6 in a time of 60.30, more than four-tenths faster than the previous mark set by fellow countryman Max Fricke.
At that stage, the Robins led by six points, thanks in the main to an excellent 5-1 from Troy Batchelor and debutant Claus Vissing in Heat 4 over former British Champion Craig Cook.
Vissing broke the tapes in his first ride and then fell on the last bend having worked his way into third place, but Swindon dominated the early race wins with both Bellego and Rasmus Jensen lowering the colours of Stars skipper Robert Lambert.
Ellis Perks then combined with Batchelor for a super Heat 7 5-1 over Erik Riss, who almost lifted into Perks’s path on turn four, to put the Robins ten points up.
But the Stars’ comeback began in Heat 9 when Lambert won a tactical substitute and Cook got the better of Jensen after a great scrap on the last lap when the two exchanged places.
Then Bellego lost control on the second bend of Heat 10 and brought down Doyle, with Riss also caught up in the carnage – but thankfully all walked away, and Doyle won the re-run after treatment.
But a King’s Lynn 4-2 in Heat 11 narrowed the gap to four points, with Jensen maintaining that margin by winning the next.
The clash of the big guns in Heat 13 went firmly Swindon’s way as Doyle hit the front and Batchelor cleverly switched inside Lambert at the end of lap two to take the home side clear.
Adam Ellis completed an up-and-down night with a win in Heat 14 as Perks just missed out to Lewis Kerr, and that meant a Stars advantage in the last race would have given them a league point.
But Doyle was in no mood to miss out to opposite number Lambert as he roared to Heat 15 victory, with Bellego adding the insurance of third place ahead of Riss.
Boss Alun Rossiter said: “I said last time King’s Lynn were here that the score didn’t do them justice, and we knew they would come back strongly at us.
“I told the boys we need to be winning at home and also stop the other teams from getting points, and they did a fantastic job. It was a good three points for us.”
Robins are back at the Abbey on July 18 when they welcome Wolverhampton, who notched a big 49-41 win at Peterborough on Thursday.
SWINDON 50: Jason Doyle 12, Troy Batchelor 10+1, Rasmus Jensen 8+1, David Bellego 8, Adam Ellis 6, Ellis Perks 4+1, Claus Vissing 2+1.
KING’S LYNN 40: Robert Lambert 13, Lewis Kerr 8+3, Erik Riss 8, Michael Palm Toft 5+2, Craig Cook 5+1, Simon Lambert 1, Thomas Jorgensen r/r.