SPEEDWAY: By Alan Goodman

Alan Goodman
Alan Goodman
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News from Coventry Bees and Storm

It was Coventry Storm who took centre stage at Brandon on Friday when they defeated Stoke in a match that went a long way to ensuring that they finish in the top four of the league. With the play-offs now well within their reach and a cup semi-final against Cradley to be arranged they are going to be as busy as their senior counterparts will be this coming autumn.

Storm 55, Stoke 37

National League

There were early doubts as to whether this match would go ahead. Slight drizzle was falling but the track was in good condition and this did not appear to a problem at the time. The main cause of the worry was that at the time riders should have been booked in at the stadium, Stoke had only one rider present, this mainly due to problems on the M6. The rest of the team gradually arrived and gates were opened one hour late.

The visitors made a good start with guest Simon Lambert winning a shared heat one in the fastest National League time recorded at Brandon.

In an eventful heat two, Stoke made the start but a series of mishaps saw Storm end up with a 5-1 after the race was stopped after Rob Shuttleworth had fallen for a second time.

Stoke then recorded three successive 4-2’s to go into a two point lead after heat five.

Storm regained the lead in the next with maximum points from Oliver Greenwood and Luke Priest.

James Sarjeant was handicapped fifteen metres in the next for a tapes offence but managed second place after visitors Lee Payne got into trouble and coasted home.

Storm took another 5-1 in a heat eight awarded after Conor Dwyer had fallen.

Stefan Nielsen bettered Lambert’s time in heat ten, setting up a new track record and with Dan Greenwood third, Storm were eight up.

Another 4-2 increased the lead to ten and at this point Lambert was given a tactical ride for double points. Sarjeant made the start and Lambert’s challenge fizzled out after a lap two mistake. The resultant 4-4 heat result kept Storm ten ahead.

Heat twelve was drawn before it was announced that Lambert had withdrawn with a hand injury. This left Oliver Greenwood and Sarjeant to take an easy 5-1 in heat thirteen.

Another Storm 5-1 in the penultimate race put them well in command and despite veteran Jon Armstrong winning a shared heat fifteen the 55-37 result was a excellent result for a good team effort.

All of Storm’s riders scored at least six points but no one managed a maximum.

Storm scorers: O.Greenwood 12(1), Nielsen, Sarjeant 8, Knuckey 7(1) Priest, Terry-Daley 6(3),

World Team Cup Final:

Team GB could not keep up the good work after reaching the final of this competition. In a fiercely contested meeting they came fourth with a total of sixteen points.

Hosts Poland took the early running with four wins in the opening four heats.

Once Demark got into their stride they gradually eased themselves back in contention as did Australia who recovered to a disastrous start which yielded just two points from the opening heats.

It all boiled down to a last heat decider between the three teams with the final score being Denmark 38, Poland 37 and Australia 36.

Although they finished well behind the GB riders were always in the mix with Tai Woffinden good value for his twelve points. GB’s other four points came from Bees skipper Chris Harris.

Preview:

The Elite League match against Wolverhampton scheduled for tomorrow night has now been postponed due to unavailability of riders. With riders in the Danish Championship and other absences, Bees had only two riders available.

There is however action on Sunday when Coventry stages The National League Fours.

There are two groups of four teams taking part; Group A includes Buxton, Cradley, Coventry and Kent.

Group B consists of Mildenhall, Devon, King’s Lynn and Stoke.

Each group rides over eight heats with the top four going into an eight heat final to decide the winners.

The meeting starts at 2.30 p.m.

Bees get back into action on Monday when they visit Belle Vue. Storm visit Devon on Saturday for a National League match.

There is a coach running to Eastbourne on Saturday August 16th for The Elite League match. The trip will take in the Eastbourne Air Show and will leave the stadium at 8.00 p.m. there are a few seats still available and bookings can be made by ringing 01788 562132.

Alan Goodman.