News from Coventry Bees and Storm
Coventry Buildbase Bees made one of their rare July track appearances and gained three points with a good win over Belle Vue which keeps up their challenge for an Elite League play-off place. Eastbourne now look to be their nearest rivals for fourth place and the teams have yet to meet three times.
Bees 52, Belle Vue 39
Bees were without Kyle Howarth and Jason Garrity who were required by other clubs. Howarth was replaced by his seemingly regular guest Aaron Summers and Tom Perry replaced Garrity.
Belle Vue operated rider replacement for Craig Cook.
A nervous opening saw heat one rerun after an unsatisfactory start. Summers made the start, but was passed by Matej Zagar out of turn two. Hans Andersen soon got into third to share the heat points.
Heat two was also restarted. At the first attempt despite the red light being on Stefan Nielsen overcooked it on the first turn and crashed into the barrier. Perry laid down to avoid. The visitors made the start and looked set for a 5-1 only for Lee Payne to fall at the end of the first lap. Another 3-3 kept the scores level.
Bees went ahead in heat three. Michael Jepsen Jensen was first away with Chris Harris using the inside line to take second spot. Any challenge ended on the Coventry turn when both visitors got into trouble, leaving Bees clear.
Kenneth Hansen won a well spread out heat four form the two visitors before Bees increased their lead in the next. Andersen gated with Harris once again using the inside line to good effect to take second.
Hansen was excluded from heat six after a first bend fall. Jepsen Jensen saved the day with an easy win in the rerun.
Summers and James Sarjeant took a 4-2 in heat seven to put Bees ten ahead.
It then came as no surprise to see Scott Nicholls taking a tactical ride in heat eight. Fortunately Bees had the answer with Hansen winning the race and Jepsen Jensen doing good work to hold off Nicholls and restrict him to just one point.
The second reserve race in heat nine took a similar pattern to heat two but this time not in Bees favour. Bees were on a 5-1 until Sarjeant fell when untroubled at the end of the third lap. With Perry well ahead the race was awarded three points each.
Belle Vue now introduced their second tactical ride, Zagar being the recipient of the black and white helmet. Partner Nicholls was first away followed by Andersen and Summers with Zagar at the back. Summers did a good job in holding off Zagar, but was beaten on the last lap. A 5-2 race win was less than was hoped for but it put Bees in a good position for the match.
Zagar came out again to win a shared heat eleven before Ritchie Worrall, who had been less than impressive earlier beat Summers in the next and with Nielsen taking third there was just nine points in it.
Belle Vue had the luxury of tracking top two Zagar and Nicholls in two of the remaining three races.
The problem did not last long as Zagar blew his engine at the start of heat thirteen and although an unsatisfactory start was declared he was unable to take part in the rerun as he was deemed not to be under power at the time of the stoppage. Andersen and Harris easily held back Nicholls to put Bees 46-33 up and sure of at least two league points.
Hansen and the impressive Michael Palm Toft battled it out in heat fourteen with a late cut back out of turn four getting Palm Toft the narrowest of verdicts.
This earned Palm Toft a ride in the nominated race but he could only watch as Nicholls and Jepsen Jensen traded places behind winner Andersen. This brought the final score to 52-39 to Bees and all three league points on offer.
All of the Bees team rode well while the visitors were let down to a certain extent by their top two of Zagar and Nicholls who only managed one of the six tactical points on offer.
Bees’ scorers: Andersen 12(1), Jepsen Jensen 11(1), Hansen 8, Harris 7(4), Summers 7, Perry 4(1), Sarjeant 3.
With the World Team Cup taking place over the next week there will be no Bees match. Chris Harris will be representing Team GB in the first round against Australia, USA and Italy at King’s Lynn on Saturday.
Instead fans are in for a double treat as Coventry Storm ride two matches on Friday. Firstly they take on Buxton in the second leg of the Knock Out cup in which Storm hold a fifteen point advantage from the first leg and then they take on King’s Lynn Young Stars in a National League match.
The meeting starts at the earlier time of 7pm.