News from Coventry Buildbase Bees and Coventry Storm
It has not been a good weekend for Coventry Buildbase Bees as the defeat against Birmingham on Friday ended the recent run of seven successive home victories while Monday’s loss at Wolverhampton virtually ended any slim hopes of reaching an Elite League play-off place.
Bees 40, Birmingham 49
With four ex-Bees in opposition this was never going to be an easy match. Bees were without Krzysztof Kasprzak and had Bjarne Pedersen guesting. Otherwise both teams were at full strength.
The in form Martin Smolinski won heat one from Pedersen with Michal Szczepaniak finally losing out to Jason Doyle after having passed him at one stage.
The visitors reserve Nico Covatti was late in arriving and was unable to make the start to heat two. Bees took the chance to take a 5-1. Aaron Summers rode a good race to shield Adam Roynon from the chasing Josh Auty.
Birmingham made the start to heat three but both Grzegorz Zengota and Stuart Robson overhauled Ben Barker to give Bees a share of the points.
Chris Harris was an easy winner of heat four after Scott Nicholls had pulled up with machine failure. Roynon rode well to hold off Auty.
The scores were now level but a strange heat five put Bees back ahead. Zengota led from the visiting pair. On the Coventry bend however Doyle fell and Smolinski went down after shedding a chain. Both riders were disqualified leaving Bees to take an untroubled 5-0, or so it seemed. With it seemingly stitched up Zengota’s bike packed up at the end of lap three and he had to push home for a whole lap.
Covatti just made it to the start of heat six and promptly raced home ahead of Pedersen and Harris.
King and Barker just held off Nicholls for a heat seven 5-1 to go ahead by one point.
After a shared heat eight another eventful heat nine saw them go further ahead. At the first attempt Zengota was disqualified for bringing down Auty at the start of lap two. In the rerun the visitors led from the gate.
A good two in race came in heat ten. Pedersen just held off King whilst at the back not everybody saw Barker pip Szczepaniak at the post.
Heat eleven was rerun after Nicholls fell after avoiding Doyle who had pulled a locker. He made no mistake in the rerun but partner Summers never left the start due to machine problems.
Zengota received rough treatment entering turn one in heat twelve which put him at the back. Roynon did a great move to split the visiting pair on the back straight. Unfortunately he could not hold out and eventually finished third.
Bees really had to pull something out of the bag now and Nicholls and Pedersen gave hope with a heat thirteen maximum.
Birmingham made sure in heat fourteen with a maximum over Summers, struggling on a strange bike and Robson who failed to finish.
Nicholls won heat fifteen but it was to no avail as Bees run of home wins had come to an end.
All of Bees riders contributed but not enough. Zengota especially was below his best while Nicholls recovered after just one point in his opening ride. It was pleasing to see Roynon return to something near his best and was good value for his six points.
Bees’ scorers: Nicholls 10, Pedersen 9(1), Robson, Roynon 6, Zengota 3(2), Summers 3(1), Szczepaniak 3.
Wolverhampton 55, Bees 37
Bees welcomed back Kasprzak, thus going into the match with a full strength team. The home side used rider-replacement for the injured Ty Proctor. Despite the weather during the day the match was on, albeit with somewhat tricky track conditions.
Sczepaniak led the opening race but was eventually passed by Ricky Wells. With Kasprzak failing to finish, Wolves took an early lead.
Hopes rose again when Summers led heat two with Roynon third. Unfortunately Roynon was caught out in the conditions and dropped to the back.
Adam Skornicki beat Robson in heat three with Zengota retiring with machine problems on lap three after a good battle with Wells.
Nicholls was on the wrong end of a 5-1 in heat four before the meeting was halted due to a problem with the sun on the third turn.
When racing resumed Bees looked set for maximum points before Wells went by Szczepaniak on the third lap.
Nicholls was again on the end of a 5-1 reverse in heat six before a bruising heat seven saw Ludvig Lindgren beat Robson in a close battle.
Twelve points behind at the halfway stage, Bees gave Szczepaniak a tactical ride in heat eight. Unfortunately it all went wrong as he missed the start and was left trailing while partner Summers was a good winner.
Nicholls was immediately given the second available tactical ride but despite trying everything he knew was beaten by Skornicki. With Summers coming third they at least had a 5-3 race advantage.
Robson was Bees top rider at this point and he rode another stormer with Zengota to out ride the Lindgren brothers for maximum points and give Bees a slight hope.
Kasprzak managed to stave off another home max after taking second at the start of the final lap of heat eleven.
Wolves then took nine points from the next two races to put the result beyond doubt.
Robson won a shared heat twelve to earn himself a place in the final race.
Summers was nominated to partner Robson but the strength of Tai Woffinden and Skornicki proved too much, leaving the final score at 55-37.
Bees have to thank the lesser lights for saving them from a complete rout. Robson and Summers scored a paid twenty points between them while the top three could only manage a combined fifteen.
Bees scorer’s, Robson 11, Summers 9(1), Nicholls 7, Kasprzak 5, Szczepaniak 3, Zengota 2(1), Roynon 0.
Bees may now be out of the reckoning for a play-off place but Coventry Storm still has hope. On Friday they face Buxton at Brandon and on Monday they visit new track Kent, which is based in Sittingbourne. This is their last away fixture and they really need to take something out of it.
Friday’s meeting starts at 7.30pm.