Aussies deny gallant Brits
Heartbreak for home fans at King's Lynn
Last Updated: July 9, 2012 10:38pm
World Cup favourites Australia were pushed all the way by Great Britain before finally booking their place in the final.
The Brits began brilliantly to the delight of over 8,000 fans at King's Lynn's Norfolk Arena, and by Heat 7 the Aussies had to play their joker - but Jason Crump took the ride with brilliant effect as he claimed a six-point haul.
RESULT AND SCORERS:
Jason Crump 15, Chris Holder 12, Davey Watt 11, Troy Batchelor 7
GREAT BRITAIN 41
Chris Harris 17, Scott Nicholls 11, Tai Woffinden 8, Daniel King 5
CZECH REPUBLIC 30
Ales Dryml 15, Lukas Dryml 6, Matej Kus 6, Josef Franc 3
Kevin Wolbert 7, Martin Smolinski 6 Max Dilger 1, Tobias Kroner 1
From then Team GB could not get away from the Aussies again and with Crump and Holder in great form they edged ahead.
GB battled throughout with captain Chris Harris in brilliant form, including a Joker win of his own in Heat 17.
Coming into the penultimate Heat, just two points separated Australia and Britain as Holder met Harris. Earlier in the night Holder had been excluded for clashing with Harris, but this time the two produced a monumental race - one that went the way of the Aussie.
Britain will look back at crucial engine failures for Tai Woffinden and Harris, with Crump sealing second place ahead of Scott Nicholls in the final race to book Australia a spot in the final.
Australia now join Russia and Sweden in the final in Malilla on Saturday, whilst Great Britain go into the race-off with Poland and Denmark to decide the final spot.
The final place in the race-off went to Czech Republic who finished clear in third with their skipper Ales Dryml showing some excellent form with 15 points.
After the meeting, Great Britain boss Neil Middleditch could not hide his disappointment.
"I am bitterly disappointed, we had a couple of engine failures - and exclusions - and who knows what might have been. But that is speedway," he told Sky Sports.
"But fair play to the Aussies they came here as favourites and they won.
"If it wasnt for those engine failures we could be celebrating but we will just go to Malilla and start again. We have run the favoutites for the compeition really close so we dont have any fears."
Australian boss Mark Lemon admits it was tough going for them.
"They threw everything at us, fair play - it was a great meeting and we are through to the final, so the first step is done," he said.
"The race-off is going to be tough and with only one place availabe it is too risky, we got pushed mighty hard but now we can concentrate our efforts on the final.
Winning captain Crump added: "It was tough, the first four heats we found it tough and they put us under pressure and we used the joker early on, but we got it together.
"But there was some unbelievable speedway races - we are really happy to be through to final and miss that dreaded meeting on Thursday."