SPEEDWAY: By Alan Goodman

Alan Goodman
Alan Goodman

News from Coventry Bees and Storm

There was no league action for either Bees or Storm but Coventry riders were in action in other competitions.

Coventry again hosted the National League Fours on Sunday and for the second time in a row finished runners up in an incident –packed afternoon.

On Monday it was the British Final at Wolverhampton and Bees riders figured prominently in another drawn out event.

National League Fours.

Birmingham 15, Coventry 15, Kent 12, Rye House 5.

Birmingham beat Coventry in race-off.

The two four team semi-finals were run concurrently and from the start when there were three falls in heat one, it became obvious that the tricky track conditions were going to cause problems.

Semi-Final one became a virtual two-team contest with Coventry and Birmingham easily going through to the final. Dan Greenwood and Darryl Richings provided the bulk of the scoring with six and five points respectively.

Final scores, Birmingham 18, Coventry 14, Eastbourne 8, King’s Lynn 7.

The second semi-final took a similar pattern with Kent, despite a slow start, and Rye House dominating. Both teams tied on 16, with holders Cradley being eliminated on just nine and Mildenhall managing seven.

With the delays caused by the many falls and also a spectator needing treatment after falling ill, it meant that two of the thirty-two competing riders had a two-hour delay between races.

The final was a much closer affair with three of the four finalists battling it out for honours.

Coventry started off with a Dan Greenwood win but a heat two which saw three of the competing riders fall off at one time or another, left Coventry, Birmingham and Kent all on four points.

A heat three which saw Rob Shuttleworth excluded for baulking James Shanes probably had a big bearing on the final result as Shanes took a nasty tumble and was unable to continue.

Only one point separated the three teams until the final heat.

With Shanes out of the race it was left to Greenwood to beat Sam Chapman and take the contest into the run-off stage.

Greenwood met Sam Ellis to decide the title and despite making the start was soon overtaken by Ellis.

This meant the trophy went back up the M6 to Perry Barr, a stadium which ironically Birmingham share with last year’s winners, Cradley.

Storm scorers; Greenwood 6, Ritchings 4, Luke Crang 3, Shuttleworth 2.

After all the delays it took almost four hours to complete the twenty-four races, of which only a third were completed without incident.

British Final

After Sunday’s events anyone going to this meeting on Monday and expecting an early night were to be disappointed as this turned out to be another long drawn out affair.

Bees had three representatives chasing the title, Chris Harris, Danny King and Jason Garrity. The latter two were also in line for the wild card spot at the Cardiff GP. Unfortunately it all ended in tears for after a good start only King could manage a podium spot.

There was a big delay to start with when Ben Barker received lengthy treatment on the track after a nasty first heat fall.

When racing resumed it was Garrity in the limelight, winning his first race over Harris and Tai Woffinden. He then went on to win his next two races and two second places assured his automatic progress to the final.

King and Harris made harder work of it. They were not helped by an incident-filled heat six which saw King excluded after falling on turn four and then Harris suffering a similar fate in the rerun. King recovered from a further fall in heat thirteen to eventually reach nine points. Harris also had a similar score but King took the final semi-final place by virtue of the countback system.

King reached the final by following Craig Cook home in a race rerun after Richard Lawson had locked up and brought down Scott Nicholls.

Garrity’s luck ran out in the final with a lap two fall putting him out of the running.

Reigning champion Woffinden won the rerun with Cook second and third placed King missing out on the coveted GP spot.

World Team Cup

Despite a 21-point score from Tai Woffinden, Team GB was unable to reach the WTC final, losing out by five points to Poland in the race off stage.

Chris Harris, riding a new Marcel Gerhard engine and Danny King contributed seven points each.

The final, held on Sunday after heavy rain had caused a postponement the night before after just one race, was a close affair with just eight points separating the four teams.

Final score; Sweden 34, Denmark 32, Poland 27, Australia 26.

Preview.

After the international break Bees now face a busy spell. Weather providing, they should have ridden at Poole last night (Wednesday). Storm are also due to be at Birmingham at the same time.

Tomorrow night Bees are back on home soil when the face Leicester in a local derby. The Lions are led by Jason Doyle but at the moment the rest of the line –up is uncertain due to Bjarne Pedersen and Mikkel Michelsen leaving the club and replacements have yet to be confirmed. The meeting starts at 7.30 pm.

On Monday Bees go to Belle Vue for what will be their last match at Kirkmanshulme Lane as the ‘Aces’ are due to move to a new purpose built stadium next season.

Alan Goodman.