SPEEDWAY by Alan Goodman

Alan Goodman
Alan Goodman
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News from Coventry Buildbase Bees and Coventry Storm

It was definitely not a good holiday weekend for Coventry Buildbase Bees.

Firstly came the news that Blayne Scroggins, joint team manager for both Bees and Storm had left the club with immediate effect due to reasons outside of speedway that meant he could not work with promoter Mick Horton.

After this Bees went to Peterborough and suffered a 70-20 thrashing which will go down as one of the worst defeats in club history.

Finally Peterborough came to Brandon and completed the ‘double’ which gave them all of the match points available. This left them with an outside chance of reaching the play-offs and at the same time sent Bees to the bottom of the table.

Before the problems unfolded, Bees had given a good account of themselves in an Elite League match at King’s Lynn.

King’s Lynn 48, Bees 43.

Elite League

King’s Lynn was without their number one Niels Kristian Iversen, who had elected to take part in a meeting in Denmark. Surprisingly they were allowed to use Cameron Woodward as a guest. Woodward made the best of it combining with Lasse Bjerre for an opening 5-1.

Stuart Robson was a good winner of heat two and with reserve guest Josh Grajczonek coming in third, Bees were back in the hunt.

King’s Lynn were soon back in the driving seat with an untroubled maximum in a rerun heat three. Bees challenge ended when Grzegorz Zengota fell on the last lap.

Two more home 4-2’s followed, allowing Bees to introduce Scott Nicholls for a tactical ride as early as heat six. Nicholls seemed the obvious choice, but as Robson had won his first race it was no real surprise to see him win this. Nicholls came in third but the 5-2 heat advantage was not what Bees had anticipated.

Zengota recovered from his earlier fall to easily win heat seven. Aaron Summers came in third to bring Bees back to within five points.

Heat eight was rerun after first bend bunching and it was the home side who took a 4-2 in a processional race.

Nicholls had to work hard and pass Richie Worrall in heat nine for his first race win of the night. Unfortunately after his earlier good work, Robson lost third on the run-in to the tapes.

Woodward fell on the last lap of heat ten, giving Bees a share of the points.

Kasprzak had had two pointless rides in the first ten races but in heat eleven he teamed up with Michal Szczepaniak for a good 5-1.

This was soon reversed in the next before Kasprzak took his second win in heat thirteen and a third from Nicholls gave Bees a faint hope of an upset.

Heat fourteen sealed the win for the home side with a 4-2.

There was still a match point to race for and the revitalised Kasprzak made it three wins in a row and with Nicholls taking third, the final score was 48-43, which left Bees taking one point for losing by less than eight points.

Bees’ scorers; Kasprzak, Nicholls 9, Summers, Robson 6, Szczepaniak, Zengota 5(1), Grajczonek 3.

Peterborough 70, Bees 20.

Elite League.

The final score tells nearly all there is to know about this match. Bees made a reasonable start with Szczepaniak holding off Chris Harris and restricting the home side to a 4-2.

Shell shocked visiting supporters then saw the hosts rattle off five successive maximum heat wins to lead by 29-7.

The only hope then was that a promised shower of rain would put a halt to proceedings. It came but soon cleared up to allow racing to continue.

Summers beat Dakota North for a second in heat seven but then the maximums continued until heat twelve when Bees had their ‘best’ result of the night, North being excluded for bringing down Robson which left Zengota and guest reserve Kozza Smith to take three unopposed points. More problems came when a later x-ray showed that Robson had a broken leg and his season was over.

Summers took a second in heat fourteen, but Peterborough still managed to reach seventy.

During the meeting both Kasprzak and Nicholls took tactical rides but no extra points were gained.

Bees’ scorers: Smith 5, Summers 4, Zengota 3(1), Kasprzak 3, Szczepaniak, Nicholls 2, Robson 1.

Bees 40, Peterborough 50.

Elite League.

Following on so quickly from Black Friday, Bees followers were apprehensive about the outcome of this and when the visitors opened with a 5-1 from Kenneth Bjerre and Ryan Fisher, they were even more disgruntled.

Heat two was run twice. Patrick Hougaard led from the start but Smith, again guesting for Bees, made a mistake coming out of turn two and was lucky to stay on. North was not so lucky and fell on the fourth turn causing the race to be rerun. Once again Hougaard was the winner.

Zengota won heat three and Summers was briefly second before losing out to Krzysztof Buczkowski.

Smith rode a good first turn to take Joonas Kylmakorpi wide and with Nicholls passing Hougaard to follow him home, Bees were ahead.

It did not last for despite Zengota making the gate, Bjerre was soon by and a mistake later in the race let in Fisher, the resulting maximum putting the Panthers back ahead.

Kylmakorpi recovered from a poor first ride to overtake Szczepzniak and win heat six.

Peterborough then pulled away to lead by 28 points to 20 at the halfway stage.

Kylmakorpi won a shared heat nine before Kasprzak finally got his act together to win heat ten. Unfortunately Buczkowski was too fast for Szczepaniak and took second place on lap two.

Peterborough looked set for another maximum in heat eleven but a good ride by Nicholls in the latter stages of the race saw him overtake both visitors in one of the best races of the night.

Hougaard won heat twelve but more points were lost for Bees when Smith fell at the end of the first lap.

Kasprzak made the start to heat thirteen but Kylmakorpi was now really flying and shot into the lead on the back straight. This ensured Peterborough the match points. And there was now the extra point to race for. Peterborough made sure of banking all four points with a maximum heat fourteen win.

Bees finished with a 5-1 after Kylmakorpi had pulled out on the first turn.

This was a better display by Bees as Peterborough are on a charge at the moment with a top four place in their sights.

Bees scorers: Kasprzak 10(1), Nicholls 9(2), Zengota 7(1), Smith 6, Summers 4, Szczepaniak 3, Hugh Skidmore 1(1).

Grand Prix Challenge

Krzysztof Kasprzak made sure of his 2014 Grand Prix place by finishing second at Poole on Saturday night. Niels Kristian Iversen won the meeting with Kenneth Bjerre in third. There were no real surprises in these three but the real interest came in the next two places which saw a tie between Coventry assets Martin Smolinski and Chris Harris. The pair finished on ten points with the former going through on the count back system. With Iversen almost certain to qualify via the top eight in this year’s series, Smolinski looks a good bet to make his debut.

Harris, who received a late call to the meeting, must consider himself unlucky. Twice, in successive races he rode brilliantly to take the lead coming out of a crowded turn two only for a rider to fall on the next turn and cause a rerun. In both cases, with less traffic on the turn he could only finish second. He is however, first reserve for the competition, so his chances look considerably brighter than they did a week ago.

Preview

Bees will have finished their away programme at Birmingham on Wednesday.

The meeting at Brandon on Friday will see storm take on National League leaders Dudley Heathens. The meeting starts at 7.30 p.m.