SPEEDWAY: By Alan Goodman

Alan Goodman
Alan Goodman

News from Coventry Bees and Storm

After a superb away win at Poole on Wednesday, the Bank Holiday programme gave Bees the ideal chance to kick start their poor home form and make headway in their chase towards an Elite League play-off place. No match is easy but home matches against Eastbourne and Birmingham presented a good chance for four, possibly six, league points. Unfortunately rain intervened on both occasions and not a wheel was turned at Brandon. With three home matches now to be rearranged the Coventry management will soon be facing a headache to get them finished in time.

Bees did not have their full squad available for either match. Kyle Howarth was required by his parent club on Friday while Ryan Fisher withdrew through injury on Monday. At the time of writing the nature of these injuries were not known. Aaron Summers, who appears to benefit from still owning a Bees race suit, was due to guest in both matches.

Coventry Storm did however get their match in at Scunthorpe on Monday and romped to a 64-26 victory.

Poole 47, Bees 48

Poole has probably the best home record in the Elite League and with one win over Bees earlier in the season they were favourites to make it two. Bees however, for once fielding a full strength seven, had other ideas and an amazing second half comeback saw them come away from Wimborne Road as the only team to beat the ‘Pirates’ this season.

Bees started off on level terms with Hans Andersen and Kyle Howarth both passing Josh Grajczonek for a share of the opening heat points and then Jason Garrity won heat two to keep things on even terms.

It was another ex-Bee who was to cause problems, this time Przemyslaw Pawlicki who combined with Maciej Janowski in heat three to open up a four-point lead.

Howarth won a shared heat four before Janowski and Darcy Ward took another maximum to increase the lead to eight.

At this point the home heat leaders were dominating and wins for Pawlicki and Grajczonek kept them ahead before a third win for Pawlicki with Vaclav Milik in second made the score 30-18 at the halfway stage and another home win in the offing.

Garrity was having a good night and won heat nine but once again the heat points were shared.

Chris Harris was given a tactical ride in heat ten but despite splitting the Ward-Grajczonek pairing his four points was matched by his opponents.

Heat eleven was the turning point and the start of Bees fightback. Kenneth Hansen was given Bees second tactical double and he combined with Andersen to keep out Pawlicki for an 8-1 heat win and bring Bees to within five.

Grajczonek won a shared heat twelve but he was the last Poole rider to receive the winner’s flag.

Andersen ruined Ward’s chance of a maximum in heat thirteen and with Harris third, Bees were looking towards an upset.

Hansen, having one of his best nights this season, beat Milik in heat fourteen and with Garrity taking third, Bees were now just one behind with the final heat to come.

Andersen and Hansen got the nod against Ward and Pawlicki. The race was rerun after Ward came to grief on turn two and was excluded. This left Bees needing to beat Pawlicki in the restart to gain the win.

Pawkicki again made the start but Andersen used all of his experience to move him out on the second bend and get Hansen into second. Pawlicki did regain second but it was too late to catch Andersen.

Bees already have a good away record and now need to reproduce this form on their own track.

Apart from Fisher and Sarjeant having off nights, the rest of the team scored well and can be proud of this evening’s work.

Bees’ scorers: Hansen 13, Andersen 11(2), Garrity 9(2), Harris 8, Howarth 7 (1),

Fisher, Sarjeant 0.

Scunthorpe 26,

Coventry Storm 64

Storm romped to a landslide victory against the Scunthorpe second string on Monday afternoon. Scunthorpe has a different agenda to most of the National League, their main aim is bringing on riders from their training schools, so heavy defeats are a norm at the moment.

Storm was without Stefan Nielsen and James Sarjeant and brought in Jon Armstrong and Marc Owen as guests. Also rider replacement was utilised for Mark Crang.

Storm opened up with maximum points and after a shared heat two took two more maximums to lead by 16-8 after four races.

Two more shared heats followed before Storm slammed in heat advantages in seven of the last nine heats. This keeps Storm at the top of the league table.

All of the main team members scored either full or paid maximums while Martin Knuckey only missed out on a full score after a last place in the final race.

Storm scorers: Oliver Greenwood 15, Dan Greenwood 13(2), Martin Knuckey 12(3), Jon Armstrong, Marc Owen 10(2), Ryan Terry-Daley 4.

Preview

Bees should have ridden at King’s Lynn last night but are not in action again until next Friday.

This week’s speedway at Brandon sees Bees’ Elite League match against Birmingham rearranged for Friday night (30th) and the scheduled Storm v Buxton National KO Cup match has been postponed. The start time is 7.30pm.

Alan Goodman.