Coventry Buildbase Bees finished their 2011 Elite League campaign with a 45-45 draw against King’s Lynn which after Monday’s defeat at Eastbourne turned out to be a ‘dead rubber’.
The meeting itself will be remembered more for the incidents than the quality of racing.
On a patchy and difficult track early incidents left Bees tracking just four riders from the halfway stage and they did well to hold the title chasers from Norfolk.
Bees 45, King’s Lynn 45
Bees were without Emil Sayfutdinov who had a meeting in Russia and were not allowed a guest so drafted in number eight Todd Kurtz.
Kurtz’s meeting lasted just over a lap for after falling at the start of the second he was forced to withdraw after a combination of hand and machine damage made it impossible for him to continue. At the time of his fall the visitors were on a 5-1 but in the rerun Kenni Larsen made a better start and after initially challenging race winner Kenneth Bjerre, settled for second place.
Heat two turned out to be somewhat of a shambles. After a shaky first turn Sam Masters fell on turn two. Thinking the race would be stopped Piotr Pawlicki slowed down. By the time had realised his mistake Filip Sitera was by and the race finished with three riders well spread out and Nick Morris an easy winner.
Another incident in heat three saw Olly Allen fall on turn two. In the rerun his partner Mads Korneliussen was an easy winner with Bees pairing settling for three points and keeping the scores level.
Bees were left standing at the start of heat four but Nick Morris salvaged a point after chasing Masters and getting his man at the end of lap three.
Ryan Fisher and Przemyslaw Pawlicki were hard on David Howe coming out of turn two in the next, but their efforts were worthwhile as they raced to an easy 5-1 after Bjerre had pulled out at the end of lap three.
Larsen lifted and took a nasty tumble at the start of heat six. After treatment on the track he was taken to hospital with further damage to his already injured wrist. In the rerun Niels Kristian Iversen was excluded for failing to obey the starting marshal’s instructions and elected to go off 15 metres. He made up an enormous amount of ground but not enough to catch race winner Morris.
Bees were still two ahead at this stage but Mads Korneliussen, who appeared to be the only man to really get to grips with the surface won heat seven in the fastest time of the season. With partner Allen coming third the Stars were two ahead.
Morris lost the chance of a third heat win when he lost a chain on the first turn of heat seven after colliding with Masters. Pi. Pawlicki, who had made his first decent start of the night hung on for a win over Howe.
The four Bees were making a fight of it and in heat nine Fisher rode a good turn two to overtake Iversen. Pr. Pawlicki was also in the mix but Iversen hung on to second place.
Morris came out in heat ten on one of the Pawlicki machines and despite making a poor start used the smoother inside line to good advantage to take second place behind the flying Korneliussen.
Pr. Pawlicki went even faster in heat eleven winning in a time faster than that of Korneliussen. His brother was blocked out on the back straight, lost momentum and could not really get back in the race.
Morris took another tumble at the start of heat twelve after clipping a back wheel. This did not deter him as along with Fisher they survived another bustling first turn to take an easy maximum and put Bees four up.
Bees could only track rider in heat thirteen and Pr. Pawlicki was easily outpaced by Bjerre and Iversen to bring the scores back level.
A good heat fourteen saw Morris hold out Korneliussen for three laps before the flying Dane made it four wins out of four.
It now depended on heat fifteen and Bees hopes rose when Iversen pulled out on the first turn. There was no holding Korneliussen who went on to complete a superb fifteen-point maximum and in the process further lower the fastest time of the season record with a time of 59.0 seconds.
This was a good effort from Bees depleted side and once again reserve Nick Morris was the hero with a paid fifteen return.
Bees’ scorers: Morris 14(1), Fisher 13(2), Pr. Pawlicki 11(2), Pi. Pawlicki 5, Larsen 2. Kurtz 0.
Although the League season is over Bees now ride home and away Midland Cup matches against local rivals Birmingham. The first leg takes place at Perry Barr tonight (Thursday) with the return at Brandon tomorrow.
As a thank you to all the supporters who have stayed with the club in great numbers despite the challenging economic crisis, Bees have slashed the admission prices for tomorrow night. Adults will be charged £10 against the usual £16 while OAPs and Concessions will pay £8 and Children under 16 pay £4.
There will be a coach running to the Elite Riders Championship at Swindon on Saturday October 15. The coach will leave the stadium at 1pm. (The meeting starts at 5pm). Further details and bookings can be made at the kiosk in speed square or by telephoning (01788) 562132.