News from Coventry Bees and Storm
A frustrating week for Coventry Bees finally ended on a high with a win at Wolverhampton on Monday in a thrilling local derby.
Last Wednesday they were forced to go to league leaders King’s Lynn with a much weakened side and were predictably turned over despite making themselves popular with their efforts.
Friday’s match against Swindon fell victim to the weather but Monday atoned for it all.
Storm did get some action on Friday and followed their senior counterparts out east and delivered some revenge with a win over the local ‘Young Stars’.
Highlight of both Bees matches was the form of reserve Jason Garrity who is looking a good prospect for the future.
King’s Lynn 61, Bees 31.
Once it was learned that Hans Andersen and Michael Jepsen Jensen were required to ride in Danish meetings and with no agreement between the two federations, Bees were always going to struggle as the only replacements allowed had to come from the Premier League. Simon Lambert and Cameron Heeps were recruited to replace the two Danes and with Kyle Howarth still on the injured list Lasse Bjerre, brother of Lynn’s Kenneth, was Bees third guest of the night. King’s Lynn had no such problems and were at full strength.
King’s Lynn opened with maximum points in a race won by Niels Kristian Iversen in a time just outside the twelve-year old track record before Bees reserves shared the points in heat two after home rider Lewis Rose was excluded after clashing with Jason Garrity.
Chris Harris managed to split Kenneth Bjerre and Rory Schlein for second place in heat three, before Lasse Bjerre provided one of Bees few race winners in heat four.
Another home 5-1 in heat five put Bees ten behind and Harris was given a tactical ride as early as heat six. He could only manage second place behind his ex-team mate Rory Schlein for a share of the race points.
Rose again came of second best after a clash with Garrity in heat seven and was unable to take his place in the rerun. Nicklas Porsing won the race from Garrity with replacement Kerr taking third.
Lasse Bjerre took the second available tactical ride in heat eight and just missed out on double points after a good race with Robert Lambert. The resulting 5-1 gave King’s Lynn a 33-17 lead at the halfway stage.
Bees took their first and only heat advantage of the night in a three rider heat nine, Rose having withdrawn and the other reserve already in the race. Garrity finally got his revenge over Kerr and with Sarjeant third Bees had a 4-2.
Lynn then went into overdrive with four successive 5-1’s, the highlight of these coming from Porsing who twice took his points from the back.
Hansen and Garrity followed Robert Lambert home for a share of the heat fourteen points before Harris ruined the maximum’s of both Iversen and Kenneth Bjerre by winning heat fifteen to make the final score 61-31.
Although well beaten Bees were praised for their efforts and the fact that they never gave up. It was also noted that they only failed marginally worse than a full Eastbourne did the previous week.
Bees’ scorers: Harris 11, Garrity 8(1), L.Bjerre 6, Hansen 4, Sarjeant 2(1), Heeps 0, Lambert 0.
King’s Lynn 38, Storm 52
Storm followed their Elite League counterparts to East Anglia, hoping to take revenge on the Young Stars team. With Stefan Nielsen returning from injury they were almost at full strength, the only change being Daniel Halsey guesting for the unavailable James Sarjeant.
The decision to use a guest instead of rider replacement proved wise as Luke Crang was unable to complete the meeting after a fourth bend fall in heat one.
Storm was on an opening 5-1 before Crang’s crash. Fortunately Oliver Greenwood won the rerun for a share of the points.
5-1’s were traded in the next two heats before Storm went ahead by two in heat four.
Heat five was to be Crang’s last ride before pulling out of the meeting on lap two.
Storm just kept their noses in front thanks to some good riding by Nielsen and the two Greenwoods.
After heat twelve Storm led by 35-37 but then finished off with three maximums to make a final score of 58-32.
It was a good return for Nielsen who went through the card unbeaten but all of the team contributed to a result that helped them retain second place in the League table.
Storm scorers: Stefan Nielsen 15, Oliver Greenwood 13(1), Daniel Halsey 8(1), Dan Greenwood 7(1), Martin Knuckey 6(1), Ryan Terry Daley 3, Luke Crang 0.
Wolverhampton 44 Bees 46
Bees were at full strength for this local derby, while their hosts were without the injured Piotr Pawlicki and had Rory Schlein as a guest.
Hans Andersen made a good start to heat one but reigning World Champion Tai Woffinden took just two laps to overhaul him. With Kyle Howarth losing third early on Wolves had taken an early lead.
Jason Garrity again showed his liking for the Monmore Green circuit with a tapes to flag win in heat two. With James Sarjeant taking third, Bees were level.
Chris Harris won a heat three rerun after Schlein fell on a tight first corner. Harris had to work hard for his win with the lead changing several times.
Heat four was another race settled at the second attempt after Howarth brought down Wells at the end of the first lap. Although Garrity again made the start he could not hold Wells who went by on the back straight of lap two.
Schlein won heat five but Woffinden had to take both Bees before joining his partner for the first maximum heat win of the night.
The old firm of Andersen and Harris returned the compliment in heat six despite pressure from Wells.
Ty Proctor made the start to heat seven but both Bees went by out of turn two. Garrity carried on to win, but Hansen fell at the start of the final lap when under pressure from Proctor.
Bees plan was to give Garrity his full quota of rides and he came in as a replacement for Howarth in heat eight and once again made the start. Michael Jepsen Jensen also made the start but was soon overhauled by Thorssell. The bees 4-2 brought the scores level 24-24 at the halfway stage.
Bees went ahead for the first time in heat nine. Garrity, taking his fifth outing in nine races again made the start along with Sarjeant. Sarjeant could not hold out and Tom Perry was soon by.
Woffinden won a shared heat ten before Wolves drew back level in a heat eleven which saw Andersen lose third place on the last lap.
Wolves took a 5-1 in heat twelve before Andersen and Harris again came to Bees rescue in the next. This brought the scores back level with just two heats to go.
Garrity completed a great night’s work with a heat fourteen win and with Hansen taking third, this just left Andersen and Harris the task of taking three points from the final race. This did not come without its problems. Woffinden made the start and was away. Bees set out to hold Schlein. They outgated him but a second turn blip let him by. Fortunately both Bees eventually repassed him to earn some well deserved Elite League points
Star of the night was undoubtedly Garrity and with solid support from Harris and Andersen, Bees were able to pull off a great win.
Bees’ scorers: Garrity 17, Harris 10(3), Andersen 10, Jensen 3(1), Hansen, Sarjeant 3, Howarth 0.
With the British Grand prix taking place at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday, there is no fixture at Brandon on Friday. In fact neither Coventry side have a fixture over the next week, Bees first outing coming against Belle Vue a week on Friday.
Chris Harris will be hoping for a good performance at Cardiff while Bees man-of-the-moment, Garrity will be one of the non riding reserves, a place earned after his performance in the British Final.