Coventry Buildbase Bees completed a good weekend’s work by taking all six Elite League points in their wins over Swindon and Poole.
The Swindon meeting was a pretty routine affair on a rain-affected track but on Monday a series of falls saw Poole finish up with four riders and could only field one rider in three races. Despite this they ran Bees close and it took a last heat decider to decide the destination of the third point.
Bees 56, Swindon 37.
Once again threatened a match at Brandon and early comers were kept waiting for an extra fifteen minutes before the gates opened. The track had a liberal amount of sawdust spread on the inside of both turns and with drizzle in the air conditions were never going to be perfect. Both teams were virtually at full strength, the only exception was Tyson Burmeister filling the vacant number seven spot for Bees.
Coventry made a good start with Kenny Larsen and Emil Sayfutdinov making the start ahead of visiting dangerman, Scott Nicholls. Unfortunately Sayfutdinov hit a thick patch of sawdust entering turn three which allowed Nicholls by into second. He was too far behind to catch Larsen who held out for a good win.
Heat two showed up the trickiness of the surface. Nick Morris led from the start and was untroubled but behind him Burmeister went from second to last after a turn four mistake but despite his opponents also experiencing problems was unable to get back in contention.
Heat three was restarted after Ryan Fisher appeared to be the main culprit. Bees once again led from the tapes and looked set for maximum points before Przemyslaw Pawlicki overcooked it on the Coventry bend on lap three when in a comfortable second place and was relegated to third. A further mistake on the next turn lost him third and more importantly two valuable points were lost.
Edward Kennett won a spread out heat four with Burmeister getting third place from Kenny Ingalls.
Fisher won his second race of the night in heat five but Pawlicki, after narrowly missing Jesper B. Monberg’s back wheel coming out of turn two was never in contention.
Larsen and Sayfutdinov took maximum points in heat six to open up a 22-14 lead.
Swindon made the start to heat seven but Kennett and Burmeister went either side of Maciej Janowski coming out of turn two. By this time Nicolai Klindt was well on his way to registering his team’s first race win.
Larsen won heat eight by the proverbial country mile while Morris, who was last away, had picked off both opponents by the end of lap two. This gave Bees a 30-18 lead at the halfway stage.
Pawlicki appeared to have got it together and rode with Fisher to an easy heat nine maximum.
The rain was getting heavier and the track more difficult. Swindon were now eighteen behind and Klindt was given a tactical ride. Unfortunately he was excluded after falling on the first turn. In the restart Bees looked set for another maximum but Larsen fell at the end of lap three but remounted to take third, but the chance of a first maximum in Bees colours had gone.
Nicholls was given the second available tactical ride in heat eleven and fared much better, taking the six points after a good battle with Kennett. Morris took a steady third to reduce the race point deficit to three.
A thrice run heat twelve saw Bees eventually take maximum points. At the first attempt Fisher gated and Burmeister shook off a hard challenge from Janowski and hold on to second. Entering the third turn Janowski got into trouble, brought both himself and partner Taylor Poole down and was excluded for his efforts. In the rerun Burmeister appeared to ride straight into the luckless Poole and bring him down. Surprisingly the benevolence of referee Tony Steele allowed him back for the third attempt. It was Bees again and despite a late effort by Poole the maximum points ensured Bees of the win.
Nicholls made the start to heat thirteen but Kennett used the outside line to good effect and take the lead coming out of turn two. With Sayfutdinov struggling at the back the points were shared 3-3.
Morris gated in heat fourteen but Klindt took the lead on the back straight. Pawlicki finished a miserable night by falling on the Coventry turn. Although three laps had not been completed the referee awarded the race.
Larsen and Nicholls made the start to heat fifteen but Sayfutdinov came from nowhere to lead out of turn two. The positions stayed that way with the resulting score line of 56-37 giving Bees all three match points and moving them two places up the table.
This was a good all round performance. Fisher recorded his first maximum since returning to the club and Larsen impressed with an eleven-point return. One disappointment was Pawlicki who is a talented rider but needs to curd his enthusiasm at times. A steadier head would have given him more than his eventual three points. A good effort also came from the reserve pair. Morris scored an excellent paid ten from four rides and guest Burmeister impressed with a paid six return.
Bee’s scorers; Fisher 11(1), Larsen 11, Kennett 10, Sayfutdinov 9(1), Morris 8(2), Burmeister 4(2), Pawlicki 3.
Bees 49, Poole 42
This was the match everybody had been waiting for. Postponed on Bank Holiday Monday, the teams finally got to meet at Brandon some five weeks later. A close contest was expected but nobody expected it to turn out quite the way it did with Poole down to four riders after a series of unconnected incidents.
Bees had Travis McGowan in the second reserve spot, but apart from that both teams were at full strength. A duel between Sayfutdinov and Chris Holder was expected in the opening heat but it was Larsen who took the honours, winning from the start. Sayfutdinov took second coming out of turn two but Holder forced his way by at the end of the first lap and then held off a fierce challenge to take second place.
Bee’s reserves were dominant the previous Friday, but were out gated by their opponents this time who rode to an easy 5-1 and give Poole the lead. Pawlicki made the start to heat three but was baulked after Fisher rode the inside line and shot across him coming out of turn two. Second placed Jason Doyle clipped Fisher’s back wheel on turn three and took a nasty tumble into the air fence. He was excluded for his troubles but in the rerun it was his partner Davey Watt who took up the running with his win keeping the Pirates ahead.
Darcy won heat four but behind him Kennett lost second place to Kyle Newman after a mistake on turn four of the third lap. Kennett then recovered and went under Newman entering the Coventry turn for the last time. The pressure upset Newman who took an alarming tumble and McGowan also had to lay his bike down. Newman was excluded and McGowan awarded third place.
Bees went ahead in heat five after holding out Holder, who was held up by partner Dennis Andersen in the early stages of the race.
Bees took a 4-2 in the next to increase their lead and it was then learned that both Doyle and Newman had been withdrawn from the meeting, leaving the pirates with just five riders and reserve Renat Gafurov looking forward to a busy night.
Poole hit back with a 4-2 in heat seven courtesy of the impressive Watt and Gafurov before Larsen won heat eight with McGowan taking third despite some forceful tactics by Gafurov on the final turn.
More problems came for Poole in heat nine when Darcy Ward lifted on the first turn and brought down Fisher. Ward was excluded and already tracking only one rider Poole could only watch as Pawlicki and Fisher rode the four laps alone for a 5-0 race win.
There was another worrying incident in heat ten when Gafurov attempted to take the Bees pair wide and the three hooked up and went flying into the fence. Fortunately all four were able to take part in the rerun which saw Watt pass Larsen on lap three to prevent another Bees maximum.
Holder was given a tactical double ride in heat eleven and took the six points on offer. Kennett looked set for second place, but a moment’s hesitation coming out of turn two let in Andersson. The resulting 8-1 brought the visitors right back in the match.
Gafurov was excluded for a tapes offence at the start of heat twelve and opted to go off 15 metres. In the restart Watt used the faster outside line to take the lead and go on to a comfortable win.
Ward became the third rider to be withdrawn and once again Poole had to go with one rider. The sole representative, Holder, was good enough to hold off Sayfutdinov in a good race.
Despite their problems, Poole still only trailed by four points and was still in with a chance of the bonus point. Any chance of a win had gone through only tracking one man in heat fourteen. The overworked Gafurov was the lone Pirate and after being taken wide on the first turn fell on turn three and was slow getting off the track causing the race to be stopped. Once again Pawlicki was gifted three points as he teamed up with Morris for the second 5-0 of the night.
This left Bees needing two points from the last race to take all three points. There was some surprise when Kennett was nominated for the final race as he had not recorded a win in his earlier races. Whether it was an inspired move was never decided as Kennett’s bike gave up on the first turn. Fortunately Sayfutdinov hung on to second place and take Bee’s weekend haul of Elite League points to six.
Bees were not quite as dominant as on the Friday with the reserve spots, especially being a little bit disappointing. To be fair to Poole they put on an excellent effort despite their problems and could well have taken the points. As they admitted, the falls were of their own doing and not the fault of the track. However, despite everything Bees had three points in the bag, much needed if they are to reach the play-offs.
Bee’s scorer’s; Sayfutdinov 11, Pawlicki 9(2), Fisher 9(1), Larsen 8, Kennett 6(1), McGowan 4(2), Morris 2(1).
Bees ride their third home match on the trot when they entertain Birmingham on Friday. Having already beaten the Brummies earlier in the season they will be hoping for a repeat performance. There are a couple of familiar faces in the visitor’s side; Ben Barker and Krzysztof were both members of Bee’s title winning side last year. Barker has been turning in some good performances while the latter appears to have got it together after his team place was in doubt earlier in the season. Unfortunately Bees will be without Sayfutdinov, who takes part in the Italian GP and a guest has yet to be announced.
The meeting starts at the usual time of 8.00 p.m.
On Monday it is again re-union time when Bees visit Belle Vue who have a twin spearhead of Bees assets Chris Harris and Rory Schlein. Bees have performed well on the tricky Manchester circuit in recent matches and it would be a good place to record the first victory on their travels this campaign.
There will be a coach running to the Elite League match at Lakeside on Saturday August 6th. The coach leaves the stadium at 3.30 p.m and the cost is £19 and £17 concessions. Bookings can be made at the kiosk in Speed Square or by telephoning Rugby 562132.