Coventry Buildbase Bees finished the season on a high after beating local rivals Wolverhampton home and away to take the Midland Bowl.
With the early season troubles leading to an abridged fixture list, the two teams have only previously met twice instead of the usual half a dozen times so both camps were anxious to make a good impression. With all their injuries Bees were forced to call in guests to make up their team although with a couple of exceptions they were all Bees assets.
Bees 57, Wolverhampton 38
Midland Bowl 1st Leg
With Josh Auty a late withdrawal through illness, this left Bees with just one of the seven that started the season. His place was taken by former Bee Stuart Robson. Robson had a long career with Bees so despite all the absentees the team, with the exception of Nicolai Klint, were all connected with Bees in some way. The visitors fielded long time Wolves favourite Adam Skornicki who missed out on a team place this year.
Bees made a good start with Rory Schlein and Ryan Fisher taking maximum points from GP rider Fredrik Lindgren.
They repeated the dose in the next with Robson and Aaron Summers easily outpacing Ludvig Lindgren to open up an eight point lead.
Bees again made the start to heat three but Fisher lost ground after a mistake on the first turn. Skornicki fell on the third turn but the race continued with Ty Proctor taking the lead at the end of the first lap.
Veteran Peter Karlsson soon worked his way into the lead to win a shared heat four before Bees increased their lead in heat five. Klindt was left out of Wolverhampton’s team this season and obviously had a point to prove which he did by beating Fredrik Lindgren in an excellent race. Fisher took third to put Bees ten up.
Despite almost coming to grief on turn two Schlein went on to win heat six with Robson getting the better of Karlsson in another good race.
With Bees now fourteen points ahead Lindgren was brought in heat seven as a rider replacement and was also given a tactical ride. The expected six points did not come as Chris Harris made the start in a race which saw the field well spread out at the end.
Bees took a 4-2 in heat eight before Karlsson was given the second available tactical ride in heat nine. After clashing with Klindt coming from the start he led into turn one. The race however was stopped after Fisher fell on turn three. Karlsson made no mistake in the rerun with the resultant 7-2 heat win putting Wolves back in contention.
Karlsson was out again in the next and once again made the start. Harris had other ideas and in typical Bomber fashion chased his made and made an outside pass on the third lap.
Harris took his second ride in succession and once again used the outside line to good effect and with Summers recovering from a first bend blip to take third, Bees were well in control.
Skornicki made the start to twelve but Robson took the lead coming out of turn two. Fisher also tried the same move but had to be content with third.
Although no league points were at stake there was still a lot of pride and in the tension Harris was handicapped in heat thirteen after a tapes offence. Schlein won the race with Harris taking third after Karlsson had retired.
Bees took another 4-2 in the penultimate race before a good heat fifteen proved a fitting finale to the season at Brandon. Wolves pair of Lindgren and Karlsson made the start. Schlein almost came off on the first turn and was out of it. Another Harris ride saw him reel in both opponents and take the lead at the end of the third lap to make the final score 57 -38 to Bees.
This was a very enjoyable local derby attended by another good Brandon crowd.
Bee’s scorers; Harris 14(1), Robson 13(1), Schlein 10, Klindt 8(1), Fisher, Summers 6(1).
Fans received some good news at the interval when Chris Harris revealed that he will be returning to Brandon next season.
There is no concrete news on who will be running Brandon next season but the appearance of certain people previously involved in speedway promotion heightened speculation amongst the fans and an announcement must surely be expected in the near future.
Wolverhampton 38, Bees 52.
Midland Bowl 2nd leg
Bees win 109-76 on aggregate.
Both teams went into the match with roughly the same sides as Friday. Wolves brought back Ricky Wells in the reserve spot while Nick Morris returned for Bees with Stuart Robson moving to the number two position.
Wolves made a good start with Fredrik Lindgren winning the opening race from Schlein who had to work his way past Proctor to take second. Robson pulled out earlier in the race.
Bees reserves shot from the gate to take an untroubled maximum in heat two before Klindt and Fisher increased the lead with a heat three 4-2.
Wolves led from the start in heat four and looked set for maximum points. Harris had to work hard to pass Ludvig Lindgren and then apparently caught Karlsson napping and took the lead entering the last lap.
Robson and Schlein combined to keep Lindgren at bay in the next and with Harris beating the Wolves number one in heat six a Bees win looked on the cards.
Wolves took a 4-2 in heat seven after Klindt almost came a cropper on the third turn and their reserves combined for maximum points in heat eight to bring them to within two points of Bees.
A good start in heat nine put them in with a chance of going ahead but Skornicki made a big mistake on the first turn to let Harris and Summers through for the minor places.
Lindgren won heat ten but once again he lacked support and the heat was shared.
Karlsson made the start to heat eleven but Schlein went underneath at the start of the third lap and with Robson taking third Bees were now in command.
After this Wolves did not know what hit them. Fisher and Summers took an easy maximum in heat twelve and Schlein and Harris followed this up by both getting the better of the fast starting Karlsson to take heat thirteen.
Klindt and Morris made it three in a row after Morris came out of a shaky second turn ahead of the Wolves pair. This despite Wells being given a tactical ride. Despite finishing third his score was not doubled as he failed to beat an opponent.
As with the match at Brandon heat fifteen was a worthy finish to the season. Lindgren and Karlsson led the race with Harris snapping at their heels and was rewarded for his persistence by taking second place on the line.
There was no end of season flavour with these two meetings. Both sides fought every inch of the way in what an excellent contest.
Bees’ scorers; Harris 12(1), Schlein 11, Klindt 7(1), Morris 7, Summers, Fisher 6(2), Robson 3(1).
With Harris already signed and a change of ownership imminent Bees fans can hopefully look forward to a much better season in 2012.