SPEEDWAY: Alan Goodman’s column

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Good start to season

Bees 56, Birmingham 38

Meeting for the first time in 28 years, this match was of vital importance for both clubs. For Coventry Buildbase Bees it was their first match in the Elite league after their winter problems and for their opponents they were coming to Brandon on the back of a heavy defeat at Eastbourne and with just one win under their belts out of their first four matches. Both teams were at full strength. Birmingham were without both of their doubling-up reserves but had recruited Aaron Summers who had performed well at Brandon last year. There was an ex-Bees feeling about the visitors with Krzysztof Kasprzak, Ben Barker and Aaron Summers from last year’s title winning squad.

It was a very healthy crowd that had turned out to see Kasprzak show first in the opening heat, rounding Richard Sweetman on turn two to deny Bees an opening 5-1.

Nick Morris and Theo Pijper bumped coming from the tapes in a ragged start to heat two and Summers took the lead in the confusion. Przemyslaw Pawlicki reeled him in and passed on the back straight of lap three.

There were problems for Bees in heat three. At the second attempt to run,Bees were in a 4-2 position coming out of turn two. On the third bend Daniel King swept in the lead at the same time as Ryan Fisher pulled out with machine problems. The reversal of the points kept the visitors just two points adrift.

New skipper Edward Kennett and Pawlicki made no mistake in the next, scoring maximum points in a race where all four were well spread out.

Fisher overtook Ales Dryml on the back straight of lap one to give Bees a share of the heat five points.

Andersen took Daniel Nermark wide at the start of heat six, allowing Sweetman to come through into second place. Nermark took a nasty tumble on the Rugby bend and the race was stopped. Bees were awarded the points but for the unfortunate Nermark it was the end of his night’s racing.

King was given the visitor’s first tactical ride in heat seven. It was Kennett who made the start and King was in trouble on the second turn almost collecting Barker. He recovered to hold second place and with Barker taking third, the resultant 5-3 race win made the score 26-18 to Bees.

Pawlicki gated in heat eight and after Sweetman joined him coming out of turn two the pair rode virtually untroubled for another 5-1.

Kenni Larsen led heat nine from the start and Fisher, again riding the outside line, was in second by the time he reached the back straight.

Bees now led by sixteen but the Brummies were not finished and King and Barker popped out of the gate in heat ten and despite Andersen being all over Barker he could not find a way past.

Kasprzak took the second tactical ride in heat eleven but could not catch the flying Kennett. With Morris taking a good third from Dryml, the heat points were shared 4-4.

Barker was again in the thick of the action in heat twelve. Bees made the start but Barker, riding out of his skin, passed Pawlicki and then went after Fisher. He caught him up and when attempting an inside pass on turn three Fisher fell. As the race was not stopped until the riders had started the final lap, Fisher was excluded and the race awarded 4-2 to Birmingham.

Kasprzak made the start in heat thirteen but there was no holding Kennett who flew by on the back straight. At the back Andersen was having trouble passing Summers who was in for Nermark and eventually managed it on the third lap but only after the two had nearly collided entering the Rugby turn.

Bees scored another maximum in the penultimate race before Kennett completed a faultless maximum in the last. King took second place after some interpassing with third placed Andersen.

This win was just what Bees needed to start their campaign. There is no doubt however that they will encounter tougher opposition in later matches but they do have three points on the board.

Kennett was in superb form and received solid backing with lowest scorer Nick Morris contributing a well earned paid five.

Bee’s scorer’s; Kennett 15, Pawlicki 10(1), Andersen 9, Larsen 8, Sweetman 5(2), Fisher 5(1) Morris 4(1).

Bee’s fixture list is almost complete. It is a strange looking list as well. To accommodate Bees and Peterborough clubs have agreed to drop two matches from their ‘B’ list of fixtures. In a mind-boggling system, Bees only go to Poole and Wolverhampton once and only entertain Eastbourne and Lakeside on one occasion. This gives each team 28 matches, the same figure as before Bees and Peterborough were re-instated.

Bees and Peterborough meet again this weekend in Good Friday home and away fixtures. The Peterborough match starts at 11.00am with Brandon starting at the usual 8.00pm.