News from Coventry Bees and Storm
Coventry Speedway’s season fizzled quietly out last weekend due to unusual circumstances.
Storm’s slender hopes of taking the National League title virtually came to an end before a wheel had been turned. Wednesday’s original staging was called off due to the bad weather. The match was immediately rearranged for Friday.
However, on Thursday the Coventry management were informed that Brandon would not be available due to preparations for Saturday’s final Stock Car meeting of the season. The match was then switched to Leicester’s track, meaning the Storm had virtually ridden both legs on away tracks. They put on a good fight but went down by two points and twelve on aggregate.
Promoter Mick Horton was feeling despondent after it all as he felt he had let the team down by not riding at Brandon and could only apologise. He also felt that had they have ridden at Brandon there could have been a different outcome to it all. He did however thank the fans who made the journey to Leicester on Friday.
These problems also meant that Storm’s final away match at Plymouth was never ridden.
Storm 44, Cradley 46
National League Play-Off Final 2nd Leg
Holding a ten point advantage from the first leg, this was just a holding job for Cradley.
Storm had Simon Lambert as a guest for Oliver Greenwood while Cradley had Ben Morley in place of Steve Worrall.
Lambert and Martin Knuckey won the first two shared races before problems surfaced on turn three of the Leicester track. Nielsen and Dan Greenwood made the start but a mistake by Nielsen let but visitors for the third 3-3 in succession.
Cradley went ahead in heat four after Knuckey became the next rider to find trouble on the same spot, losing third place to Danny Phillips.
It was back to the shared heats with Nathan Greaves beating Nielsen and Greenwood in a good race.
Paul Starke and James Sarjeant were the winners of the next two before Cradley increased their lead to four on the night with a heat eight 4-2.
Storm pulled two back in heat nine thanks to Greenwood who took his chance through the inside of the first bend after Starke had taken Nielsen wide.
Storm made the start to heat ten but firstly Max Clegg went by Lambert and then Priest fell two laps later, both incidents coming on the troublesome turn three.
Sarjeant won heat eleven before Cradley clinched the title in heat twelve with a 5-1 after race leader Nielsen suffered machine failure on the first lap.
Storm came back in the final races but it was all far too late. Sarjeant took a shared heat thirteen, Greenwood and Terry-Daley rode to a good 4-2 in the penultimate race before Sarjeant and Greenwood took maximum points in the last to bring the final score 46-44 to Cradley.
Storm performed well but the initial deficit was just too much.
Storm scorers; Greenwood, Sarjeant 13(1), Lambert 7, Priest 3(1), Nielsen, Knuckey 3, Terry-Daley 2.
The season is now over and looking back it was not a bad year for either team.
Bees confounded most of their critics by taking runners-up spot in the Elite League, going down in a thrilling final to Poole.
Storm also had runners-up honours in the National League, losing out to the mighty Cradley team. Storm was also runners-up in the National League fours and beaten semi-finalists in the K.O.Cup, losing out both times to Cradley.
It was a pity that weather prevented a grand final night meeting as fans lost out on the chance to congratulate both teams on a good season.
At the recent End of Season Dinner and Dance Jason Garrity won both Club Rider of the year and Riders Rider of The Year awards with Chris Harris winning the award for the most bonus points.
For Storm James Sarjeant scooped both Club and Riders Rider of the Year awards with Dan Greenwood receiving the Bonus Point trophy.
Storm sponsers, City Gearboxes made a couple of awards, Martin Knuckey for the most improved rider and one also went to Stefan Nielsen.
There is now an anxious wait by fans for the outcome of the annual promoter’s conference which takes place later in the month. This meeting will plan out the format of the leagues for next season and will also make necessary rule changes, the most important being the make-up of next season’s teams.