SPEEDWAY: By Alan Goodman

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Bees’ season back on track

After the postponements of the previous two weeks Coventry Buildbase Bees managed to get some action over the weekend.

A resounding win on Friday against Belle Vue was followed by a narrow defeat at Eastbourne on Saturday. These two matches brought four Elite League points and helped Bees get their season back on track.

Unfortunately, Monday’s match at Wolverhampton, a match which appeared to give Bees their best chance of an away win, fell victim to the returning bad weather.

Bees 59, Belle Vue 31.

Bees desperately needed a match under their belts but drizzle before the start put the match in doubt. However, with liberal amounts of sawdust, the match went ahead. The conditions were still tricky but at least there was some speedway. Under the new averages Edward Kennett becomes Bees number one with Chris Harris moving down to partner Kenni Larsen.

Heat one started off explosively with Kennett and Ales Dryml colliding and coming to grief just yards from the start. Fortunately both were able to take part in the rerun and in a processional race Rory Schlein beat Kennett with Dryml taking third to give the visitors an early lead.

This was soon reversed with Bees reserves taking a comfortable maximum in the next.

It was soon obvious that racing was not going to be of the highest quality as riders struggled to get to grips with the tricky surface and Bees took another maximum in heat three which saw visiting rider Adam Shields pull up after half a lap and not appear again.

Scott Nicholls used the inside line to good advantage to take second spot and follow Henning Bager home for Bees third successive maximum in heat four.

Schlein was given a tactical double ride at the earliest possible moment but was beaten out of the gate by Nicholls and with Larsen overcoming Dryml for third the heat points were shared.

Charlie Gjedde gave the visitors hope when he made the start in heat six and held off an early Kennett challenge. Kennett appears to struggle in the latter stages but holds second in another strung out finish.

Patrick Hougaard rode a good first turn to overtake Nicholls coming out of turn two in the next. With Josh Grajczonek taking third after Adam Roynon had pulled out, the visitors were still eight points behind.

Summers won a restarted heat eight but Bager struggled to hold on to third after Dryml had taken second coming out of turn two.

Larsen led heat nine with Harris joining him on the back straight. Despite a couple of hairy moments Larsen hung on and Bees were now in control.

Hougaard took the other available tactical ride but was easily beaten by Bees pair. As he did not beat an opponent no extra point was gained.

Bees took another maximum in heat eleven, made easier after Schlein fell when challenging Roynon.

Bager fell at the start of heat twelve. With Shields a non starter, Harris was an easy winner over Grajczonek.

Bees took another maximum in heat thirteen before the visitors belatedly hit back with their first 5-1 in the next.

Aces were hoping to repeat this in the final heat and looked set to do so after leading from the start. It was not to be however, as first Hougaard fell while under pressure from Nicholls and in the rerun Schlein fell, leaving the two Bees to race unchallenged in the second restart to make the final score 59-31 to Bees.

This was not pretty but it meant three points on the board for Bees.

Belle Vue had their moments but Bees were prepared to attack the tricky conditions and deserved their victory.

The following day it was reported that Adam Shields had retired from Speedway altogether.

Bee’s scorers; Nicholls 13(1), Harris 12(3), Kennett 9(1), Larsen 8, Bager 7, Summers 6(2), Roynon 4(2).

Eastbourne 48, Bees 45.

Elite League.

Due to calls on the doubling up riders it was a different Bees team from the previous night. Leigh Lanham replaced Summers while guest Alex Davies came in at reserve. A further change was needed when Bager pulled out with injuries received in the Belle Vue meeting. Rohan Tungate was hurredly recruited as a second guest.

Lanham lived up to his reputation as a small track rider when he easily won the opening heat. Despite an early mistake, Kennett recovered to take second place to give Bees an opening 5-1.

After Timo Lahti retired early in heat two, the reserves followed Denis Gizatullin home for a share of the points.

Larsen and Harris were swiftly away in heat three for another maximum and keep Bees four ahead.

Lahti recovered from his early mishap to win heat four. Nicholls got the better of Lewis Bridger but could not catch the Eagles reserve.

Gating was becoming all important and Eastbourne took an unchallenged maximum in the next.

Nicholls won heat six before the home side slammed in two successive maximums to take the lead in heat eight.

It was Nicholls again who steadied the ship with a heat nine win before the home side took another maximum after Larsen had been excluded for a first bend fall.

This gave Bees just two races to use a tactical ride and immediately Kennett was given the chance in heat eleven. He rose to the occasion, moving the home riders out on the first turn to let Lanham come through on the inside. The pair held out to take an 8-1 race win and put Bees back in the hunt.

Harris worked his way through the field in heat twelve to become only the second winner from gate three.

Nicholls rode a good first turn to take heat thirteen before Larsen won a shared heat fourteen.

Bees now needed a maximum to win the meeting. Eastbourne however had choice of gates and Simon Gustafsson, off gate one which had produced nine out of the previous twelve winners led from the start. Bridger pulled out of the race early leaving the points to be shared and the final score 48-45 to Eastbourne. Bees did however take one league point by virtue of losing by less than six points.

Although gating was paramount, racing was always close and was quite entertaining. Bees suffered in the reserve position with paid four coming from that spot against paid seventeen from the opposition. All of the Bees top five scored well with Nicholls being the outstanding rider for Bees on the night.

Bee’s scorers; Nicholls 12(1), Kennett 11(1), Harris 7(1), Lanham 6(1),

Larsen 6, Tungate 2, Davies 1(1).

Preview.

Weather permitting, Bees should have ridden at King’s Lynn in an Elite League match last night.

There is no meeting at Brandon tomorrow night due to the Czech Republic GP in Prague on Saturday but on Monday Bees entertain Lakeside in a televised Elite League match on Monday. The Hammers are led by former Bee Lee Richardson and have also made a shrewd signing in veteran Swede Peter Karlsson. Stuart Robson is another rider with long associations with Bees and these three will ensure that Bees will need to at their best if they are to take the three Elite League points on offer.

There are a number of special offers for this meeting;

Every child under 16 will be admitted free as long as they are accompanied by a paying adult.

Also ALL adults will receive a FREE programme.

There will also be free T-Shirts, posters and other goodies for the kids throughout the night.

The meeting starts at the earlier time of 7.30pm.

Alan Goodman.