End of season news from Coventry Bees and Storm
It was not the best of finishes for Coventry Bees in what for various reasons has been a troubled season.
Following hot on the news that Chris Harris has submitted a transfer request, Bees finished as they started with a home defeat.
It was a weakened team that took on King’s Lynn and held their own until the final three races when they slightly ran out of steam and finally went down by 41 points to 48. It must be said however, that despite the circumstances this was an entertaining match and kept the Brandon crowd on their toes.
Storm was once again busy in their efforts to complete their programme.
On Friday after the main match they defeated Belle Vue Colts before travelling to Eastbourne on Sunday and despite a good effort in tricky conditions losing by 54-36.
Bees 41, King’s Lynn 48
Once again Bees were hit by the absence of Krzysztof Kasprzak who was taking part in the European Championship, which is one of the very few occasions when no replacement facility is permitted. Tom Perry, who was guesting for Storm in the second meeting stood in at number one. Also missing was the injured Jason Garrity and Josh Bates. Squad riders Ben Barker and Adam Roynon deputised. The visitors also utilised rider replacement for Robert Lambert.
The Stars made the best start with Niels Kristian Iversen and Michael Palm Toft taking an untroubled 5-1.
Bees’ reserves looked like drawing level in the next but Nikolaj Jacobsen passed Roynon for second on the first lap.
Iversen recorded his second win in heat three from Harris with Danny King working hard to come from the back for a share of the points.
Heat four was rerun after Carl Wilkinson fell and James Sarjeant was unable to avoid him. Both riders walked off after lengthy treatment. Sarjeant came out to follow Kacper Woryna home in the rerun and put Bees ahead for the first time.
Heat five was widely predicted to go the visitor’s way but Roynon came out to produce a storming ride and lead all the way. With Barker third, Bees were now four up.
King won a shared heat six before Harris went from fourth to second in the next to split the visiting pair and keep Bees just ahead.
Heat eight was shared and then another home 4-2 re-established the four-point lead.
After a shared heat ten the visitors began to get their act together.
Troy Batchelor won heat eleven with Barker just holding third in a tight three-man race at the back.
Due to the withdrawal of Wilkinson, Lynn could only field one man in heat twelve. Jacobsen won but with Sarjeant falling at the end of lap two it was another point lost and Bees led by just a single point.
Lynn then took successive maximums to seal the match.
Harris finished off his Bees leadership by just snatching third from Batchelor on the line in the final heat. This made the final score 41-48 to King’s Lynn.
Bees were not disgraced and were always going to miss the absent Kasprzak. One of Bees best performances came from Roynon whose nine points included two race wins.
Bees’ scorers: King 9(1), Roynon 9, Harris 7(2), Woryna 6, Sarjeant 5(1), Barker 5, Perry 0.
Storm 51, Belle Vue Colts 39
Ridden after the King’s Lynn match there was always going to be a race against time but fortunately racing, albeit rather processional, passed without incident and the match was completed.
After his guest rides in the first match Tom Perry stepped down a couple of levels and came in at number one for Storm to replace Mitchell Davey. Rider replacement was operated on both sides for Dan Greenwood and Rob Shuttleworth.
Storm opened with two maximum heat wins to lead by 10-2.
Heat three saw an unusual exclusion. After the Colts had taken a maximum, race winner Danny Ayres was excluded for having the wrong helmet colour. This left the heat points shared.
They did get their 5-1 in the next before sharing heat six.
At this point all races were either shared or 5-1’s and it continued in this vein with alternate maximums to leave the halfway score at 26-22 to Storm.
This was increased by two points over the next three heats before Storm took two more maxs to seal the win, the final score being 51-39 to Storm.
It was a good all-round performance from Storm with all six riders recording at least a paid win apiece.
Storm scorers; Liam Carr 13(1), Tom Perry 11(1), Conor Dwyer 10(3), Ryan Terry-Daley 7(1), Callum Walker 6(1), Jamie Halder 4(3).
Eastbourne 54, Storm 36
A dry and dusty afternoon saw Storm pay their second visit to the south coast for this match which was postponed a couple of weeks ago when conditions were completely different.
Storm operated rider replacement for Mitchell Davey and had Tom Woolley guesting for Dan Greenwood.
Storm made the early running on the tricky Arlington circuit and led by 8-4 after two heats.
A home max brought things level in the next but there was still hope after a 4-2 regained the lead.
Home advantage soon prevailed as the Eagles reversed the issue and built up a six point advantage after two successive maximums.
Unfortunately Storm could not gain another heat advantage and the match was virtually over as a contest after heat ten when they trailed by 41-25.
The last three heats were shared to give the score respectability but the final score was a resounding 54-36.
Carr topped for Storm and but for a heat six fall would have had more.
Storm scorers: Carr 11(1), Woolley 7(1), Terry-Daley, Walker 6, Halder, Dwyer 3(1).
Storm do end their season on Friday with another double header in which they first entertain Stoke and follow up with a match against Rye House.
It has been widely reported that the future of the Storm team is very much in doubt so a good attendance for this the last Friday of the season could well help their cause. The meeting starts at the earlier time of 7pm.
Provided the weather does not intervene there is just one meeting left at Brandon this season and that is the Elite League Rider’s Championship on Saturday, October 8.