News from Coventry Bees and Storm
Coventry Buildbase Bees chances of reaching the play-offs are getting better by the week. Unfortunately at the same time the backlog of fixtures is also growing and there is now a struggle to meet the mid-September cut-off date.
After taking maximum points from Lakeside on Friday and Saturday, Monday’s home and away fixtures against Leicester went the way of the bulk of the Bank Holiday programme due to the bad weather.
Coventry 55, Lakeside 35.
Both teams made changes for what was another contest vital to the play-off changes. Bees were without Kyle Howarth and Michael Jepsen Jensen. Rider replacement was utilised for Howarth while Stefan Nielsen from Storm stepped up into the number four position. Lakeside had Danny King and Dakota North as guests.
It was soon obvious that the track was going to give a few early problems when Lakeside took an opening 5-1 after Hans Andersen and Jason Garrity had both hit problems.
Garrity soon got it together to combine with James Sarjeant to bring the scores level in heat two.
All four riders struggled in heat three with the eventual outcome a 4-2 to the visitors.
At this stage grading was taking place after every race.
Heat four was shared before Andersen and Chris Harris combined to take a 5-1 in a heat 5 that was rerun after Davey Watt fell.
North won heat six from Kenneth Hansen. Nielsen held out King for two laps but eventually had to give way.
Bees went ahead in heat seven after a 4-2 from Garrity and Sarjeant, the latter just failing to get second in a tight finish.
Heat eight was rerun after Nielsen fell on turn three. Hansen split the visiting pair in the rerun to bring the halfway score at 24 each.
Both Bees and conditions were improving and Garrity and Sarjeant took maximum points in a three times run heat nine.
Two successive 4-2’s put Bees in the driving seat before Lakeside took a share of the points in heat twelve.
With the match now won, Bees finished with a flourish, three 5-1’s making the final score 55-35 and three more match points in the bag.
Bees were consistent in their scoring with all but the unfortunate Nielsen being paid for double figures. Especially pleasing was the form of Sarjeant, whose thirteen point return was easily his best in Bees colours.
Bees’ scorers: Sarjeant 13, Harris 11, Garrity 10(4), Andersen 10(2), Hansen 9(1), Nielsen 2.
Lakeside 39, Bees 56.
Bees were back to full strength for this while Lakeside welcomed back Lewis Bridger and had Rory Schlein as a guest.
Rain before the meeting left both teams once again finding tricky conditions but it was Bees who adapted the quickest.
Bees were gating better and Andersen and Howarth took a maximum in the opening heat.
Garrity and Sarjeant continued where they had left off the night before with another maximum and to prove it was not all about the gate, Harris and Jepsen Jensen had to come from the back to make it three maximums in a row.
Kim Nilsson brought some stability to proceedings by winning a shared heat four before the early introduction of a tactical double gave the Hammers an 8-1 heat win thanks to Schlein and Watt and leaving them just five points in arrears.
Andersen and Harris soon hit back with what appears to be the norm for them and then Garrity and Hansen combined to beat Richard Lawson and take the score back to 29-16 to Bees.
Lakeside’s second tactical double came as early as heat eight but Jepsen Jensen kept out incumbent Nilsson to share the race points 4-4 and leave the halfway score at 33-20.
Two more Bees 5-1’s secured the meeting as early as heat ten.
Race wins for Andersen and Howarth had all four match points in the bag and after two more shared heats Lakeside finished up with a consolation 5-1.
Once again a good team effort by Bees, all seven riders contributing to the score.
Bees’ scorers: Garrity 11, Harris 10(2), Andersen 9(2), Jensen 9(1), Howarth 9, Sarjeant 5(3), Hansen 3(2).
It is another busy weekend for fans as the season draws on to its conclusion with both Bees and Storm in reach of their respective play-offs.
On Friday it is the turn of Storm to be at Brandon when they ride Buxton and then Devon in a double header with a 7.00 start.
Monday’s washed out fixtures against Leicester have both been rearranged for this Sunday (31st), Coventry’s match starting at 2.30 p.m. and then moving on to Leicester for a 7.30 beginning.
On Monday Bees are away at Belle Vue for the first time this season.
Another fixture change sees the home match against King’s Lynn set for next Friday brought forward 24 hours to Thursday(Sept 4th) to avoid a clash with Coventry City’s homecoming to the RICOH. This match also starts at 7.30 p.m.