News from Coventry Bees and Storm
A good Bank Holiday weekend for Coventry teams which saw Storm come from seven points down with four races to go at Rye House on Saturday to snatch a one point win - and Bees beat a depleted King’s Lynn side on Monday by 57 points to 33.
Rye House 44 Coventry Storm 45
Storm were at full strength while their hosts operated rider replacement for Luke Priest.
Storm were in trouble as early as heat one when Martin Knuckey fell on the first turn, bringing down home number one, Rob Branford, down with him. In the restart Rye opened up a two-point lead.
Heat two was shared before Storm drew level in heat three.
Heat four was shared before the unfortunate Knuckey found himself in trouble again in heat five. After Sam Woods had fallen, Knuckey fell again but not realising Woods had pulled off the track he coasted round and not realising he was in third, pulled into the pits at the start of the final lap. Although he was sent back he was excluded for actually leaving the track. The resultant 3-2 gave the home side a solitary point lead.
They gradually built on this, Storm’s cause not helped by yet another fall for Knuckey and one for Darryl Ritchings until after heat eleven they led by seven points and looked set for a win.
Storm however had other ideas and after successive 4-2’s a 5-1 from Rob Shuttleworth and Conor Dwyer gave them hope.
Now one point ahead it only needed the previously unbeaten Dan Greenwood to complete his maximum which, on his Premier League track, did easily to give Storm another valuable win on their travels.
Storm scorers: Dan Greenwood 15, Darryl Ritchings 8, Luke Crang 7, Rob Shuttleworth 6(1), Conor Dwyer 5(1), Callum Walker 3(1), Martin Knuckey 0.
Bees 57, King’s Lynn 33
Bees were without Chris Harris, in a GP Qualifier in Germany, and had recruited Scott Nicholls as a replacement.
King’s Lynn however, had major problems. Already without Kenneth Bjerre and Lewis Kerr, news came through that Rory Schlein had received major back injuries in a Polish League crash the day before. Michael Palm Toft and Adam Roynon came in as guests and rider replacement was utilised for Bjerre.
Once racing got underway Hans Andersen shook off his recent run of poor form to beat visiting number one, Niels Kristian Iversen in the opening heat. Stuart Robson however struggled at the back so no heat advantage was gained.
Jason Garrity took heat two with James Sarjeant coming from the back to take third and just miss out on second.
Iversen came in for Bjerre and won a shared heat three before Danny King won heat four with Sarjeant getting revenge over Roynon to take third and put Bees four ahead.
Lynn hit back with a 4-2 after a tight first turn which saw Garrity take second place with Robson again at the back.
Bees were still struggling to shake off the visitors and in heat six King had to use the faster outside lane to overtake Iversen and with Joonas Kylmakorpi third Bees were back to just four ahead.
It did get better after both Andersen and Nicholls had to pass Palm Toft for a heat seven maximum.
King and Sarjeant made a good start to repeat the dose in heat eight before a determined Robson used the outside line to pass both opponents to join Garrity for a third max in heat nine.
Iversen took a tactical ride in heat ten but was surprisingly relegated to third as Bees made it four maximums in a row.
Heat eleven was restarted after Nicklas Porsing fell on the second turn and was surprisingly excluded as he appeared to have been helped on his way. In the rerun Andersen’s efforts in team riding only let in Palm Toft for a share of the spoils.
Bees were now home and dry and two more maximums in the next three heats put them 28 points ahead with one race to go.
In the final race although King and Andersen made the start, Iversen and Toft took advantage of Bees slight complacency to come from the back for a consolation 5-1 and make the final score 57-33.
This was a good all round team effort with every Bees recording at least one race win.
Bees’ scorers: King 11(1), Andersen, Garrity 10(1), Nicholls 7(3), Kylmakorpi 7(2), Sarjeant 7(1), Robson 5.
Czech Grand Prix
Chris Harris dropped further down the GP rankings after scoring just five points in the third round at Prague.
After starting with a third in the opening heat, he was slightly fortunate to get a second place in his next after Niels Kristian Iversen pulled up on the last lap.
His next outing in heat ten was probably one of the best races of the night and he just lost out on second place to Andreas Jonsson after working his way from the back.
One point from his last two rides was scant reward as his efforts during the evening deserved more than his final total suggested.
The meeting was the first of the season on a natural track and after a slow start the event turned up some excellent racing.
Tai Woffinden won the meeting and consolidated his place at the top of the rankings. At the moment Harris lies in 12th place, for places off the cut off point for the 2016 season.
Storm ride their first home league fixture of the season tomorrow night when then host Mildenhall. Having already lost at West Row, they will be keen to take revenge on the Suffolk based team.
On Monday there is elite League action when reigning Elite League Champions Poole are the visitors to Brandon. The Pirates again have a formidable side led by Chris Holder and at present lie in third place in the table. Bees have already won at Poole this season so the Pirates will be thirsting for revenge.
Both matches at Brandon start at 7.30pm.