SPEEDWAY: By Alan Goodman

Alan Goodman
Alan Goodman
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Three defeats for Bees

After an encouraging start to the season, Buildbase Bees have slipped slightly after three defeats over the past weeks. All three matches, two away and one at home have followed a similar course with Bees in the mix until the last few races and then falling away, a slightly worrying trend for both fans and management. It is also becoming clear that more consistency from the top end of the team is needed if they are to reach one of the coveted play-off places.

Birmingham 46

Bees 44

With one away win to their credit, Bees travelled to Birmingham on Tuesday hoping to make it two on the trot against a side who had suffered three defeats in their opening matches. Unfortunately they were to feel the backlash of those early reverses and it was the ‘Brummies’ who were triumphant.

The home side made changes to their riding order, moving ex-Bee Ben Barker to number one to partner the in-form veteran Adam Skornicki.

The move was not entirely successful as he could only watch Skornicki hold out Bees pair for a share of the points.

Heat two was shared before Birmingham went ahead in heat three with another ex-Bee, Edward Kennett first past the tapes with Chris Harris second and Danny King third.

Bees went ahead in heat four taking advantage of a Daniel Nermark engine failure to take maximum points.

Two shared heats followed before a heat seven, rerun because of a Jason Garrity fall, saw Skornicki out gate the impressive Kyle Howarth.

This was where it went wrong for Bees; two successive home maximums put the home side 34-26 up and seemingly on the way to collecting all four match points.

Skornicki won his third race on the trot before problems in heat eleven caused an early interval.

The break revived and heat eleven saw Howarth and Hans Andersen take a 4-2.

Wins for Fisher and Andersen in the next two with their respective partners taking third brought Bees back to within two points.

Howarth won a shared heat fourteen which earned him a spot in the nominated final race.

Although Andersen won the experience of Skornicki and King proved too much for Howarth and he was blocked out on the first turn.

Bees did however take a point from the match, giving them as many away points as they totalled all last season.

Howarth had a good night but the unfortunate Jason Garrity had a night to forget, failing to finish in all three rides.

Bees’ scorers: Andersen 11, Howarth 9(1), Fisher 8(1), Sarjeant 7(1), Harris 6(1), Hansen 3(1), Garrity 0.

Bees 42

King’s Lynn 48

This belated home opener was always going to be tough as the visitors are many people’s favourites to be among the honours this season.

King’s Lynn were at full strength with the best top three in the league while Bees had slight in jury niggles with Andersen and Garrity and were also without Kyle Howarth and had Claus Vissing guesting.

At the start things went well with Andersen and Fisher recording an opening 5-1 over Niels-Kristian Iversen and then Garrity and Sarjeant taking a 4-2 in heat two although it was slightly disconcerting to see visiting reserve Lewis Kerr take second place after starting 15metres back after a tapes offence.

Rory Schlein rode a good race to beat fast starting Hansen in a shared heat three before the visitor’s Nicklas Porsing shook off an opening zero to win a shared heat four.

Schlein won his second in heat five with Bees taking the minor places.

Bees now led by 18-12 and were looking comfortable. But at this stage things started to go wrong.

Vissing made the start to heat six but could not hold out Iversen who went by on the third lap. With Kenneth Bjerre in third the Stars had recorded their first heat advantage.

Worse was to come when the Bees pair made a hash of the start in heat eight. Fisher salvaged a point after passing Kerr at the end of the second lap.

Hansen won a shared heat eight before Bees reserves took a 4-2 in heat nine.

Two shared heats followed to give Bees a 35-31 lead with four heats to go.

Porsing and Kerr were now flying and they made the start to heat twelve. Fisher tried hard to catch Kerr and they almost collided on the back straight but Kerr just held out.

Andersen was now struggling and in heat thirteen Iversen passed Harris at the end of the first lap and with Bjerre third the visitors were now ahead.

Heat fourteen settled it. Vissing gated but Lambert and Kerr were ahead at the end of the lap.

There was no way back now and after Iversen muscled his way by Fisher on turn one Bee’s were content to hold out Bjerre for a share of the points, leaving the final score at 48-42 to King’s Lynn.

While the visitors top three are their strong point it was the performances of Porsing and reserve Kerr who won what was an exciting contest.

Bees should not be too disappointed as this was one of the hardest tests they could have faced on what was a strange track as much to them as to the visitors.

Bees’ scorers: Fisher 10(1),Harris 7(3), Garrity 7(1), Hansen 7, Vissing 5, Andersen 4(10, Sarjeant 2.

Poole 49

Bees 41

The home side were without the injured Darcy Ward but had recruited his Australian team mate, 2012 World Champion Chris holder for a 28-day period. Bees were at full strength.

It was Fisher who shot from the gate ahead of Holder in heat one. Poole looked to be in for a share of the points but Andersen moved into third at the end of the first lap.

Heat two was shared before the Poole pair of Przemyslaw Pawlicki and Maciej Janowski made the start to heat three. Hansen rode a good race to take second but the 4-2 brought the scores level.

Another shared race followed before Poole went ahead with a Holder- Janowski maximum.

Andersen and Harris used their experience to bring Bees back level in heat six.

Poole went ahead in the next after a great race between the two Kyle’s, Newman for Poole and Howarth for Bees.

An incident-packed heat eight put Bees back ahead after the Poole pair had made the start. A mistake by Vaclav Milik let both Bees past and then a fall by Pawlicki on the last lap gifted Bees the five points.

The reserves heat nine was shared before another good ride from Hansen saw him split the Holder – Josh Grajczonek pairing.

This brought Poole level and they then scored two 4-2’s to open up a four-point lead.

Bees now had little left and after sharing the points in heat thirteen Poole settled it with a 5-1 after another good race between the two Kyle’s.

Bees needed a heat advantage from heat fifteen to take a bonus match point but Janowski completed a good maximum with Andersen and Harris in pursuit.

This match, which was originally scheduled for Brandon was televised and was a good advert for the sport.

Bees’ scorers: Fisher, Hansen 9(1), Andersen 8, Howarth 5, Garrity 4, Sarjeant 3(3), Harris 3(2)

Preview

Bees definitely need a boost and the ideal time and place comes this weekend when the renew battle with the ‘old enemy’, Leicester. Battles between the two cubs were always fiercely fought out until the Blackbird Road stadium went for development in the 1980’s. Leicester has returned with a new stadium and this season was promoted to the Elite League in place of Peterborough. Last year they rode the first leg of the East Midlands Bowl but this is the first time they have met in earnest for some twenty years. They first meet at Brandon on Friday with the return at the ‘Lions’ Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium on Saturday.

The Lions are led by Jason Doyle and include seasoned campaigners such as Mads Korneliussen, Simon Stead, Peter Ljung and Patrick Hougaard.

On Monday ‘Storm’ are at home to Cradley in a National League fixture.