SPEEDWAY: Alan Goodman’s column

Coventry Bees’ match with Peterborough

Peterborough 47, Bees 45.

KO Cup second leg.

Already eight points behind on the first leg and on the back of the weekend’s problems this was always going to be a difficult task and despite a good effort, Bees could not pull back the deficit and finally went down by 47 points to 45 in a quite entertaining meeting to leave the final aggregate score 97-87 to the Panthers. Ryan Fisher captained the Bees who used rider-replacement for Kennett.

Peterborough made the best of a hesitant start by Bees with Nicki Pedersen and Krzysztof Buckowski relegating Emil Sayfutdinov to third place for a home 5-1.

Bee’s reserves took a share of the points in an eventful heat two. Nick Morris lost the lead on the back straight and then Josh Auty swooped by Simon Lambert on turn four and almost collected Morris in the process to take third place.

The hosts then took a 4-2 and 5-1 from the next two heats to open up a ten point lead and give themselves an eighteen point aggregate lead.

Heat five saw Sayfutdinov getting to grips with the circuit and giving Troy Batchelor a good run for his money in heat five. Unfortunately Kenny Larsen lost third place on the line to Norbert Kosciuth to put the home side even further ahead and put the tie virtually out of Bees reach.

Fisher rode a good turn two to beat Pedersen and become Bees first race winner in heat six.

He was out again in the next, this time on a tactical double ride. Unfortunately, despite making the start he was unable to repeat his efforts and was overtaken by Linus Sundstrom on the second turn. With Przemyslaw Pawlicki taking third Bees did at least have a 5-3 heat advantage.

Bees made the start to heat eight and in the early stages looked to be on a 5-1 but Buczkowski gradually worked his way past both Bees to take the lead on the third lap.

Sayfutdinov had now got to grips with the fast Alwalton circuit and despite being taken wide on the first turn took the lead coming out of turn two and was an easy winner of heat nine.

Pawlicki held off a strong challenge from Pedersen to win heat ten before Sayfutdinov won heat eleven at the second attempt. At the start of lap two Larsen suffered a machine failure and in slowing down entering the first turn impeded Lambert who crashed into the fence. Larsen was excluded. In the restart it was Sayfutdinov all the way.

Auty went round the outside of turn two to become a surprise winner of heat twelve and with Fisher in third Bees were at least making a contest of it.

Bees led from the start in heat thirteen and although Sayfutdinov went on for his third win in succession Pawlicki was passed by both home riders entering the third bend. He did not give up and re- passed Sundstrom on the run-in to the line.

Pawlicki led heat fourteen but Batchelor forced his way by at the end of the third lap.

Heat fifteen was a fitting finale to an entertaining meeting Sayfutdinov and Pawlicki rode well to keep out Batchelor and Buczkowski the finish on a high with their only 5-1 of the night. This made the final score 47-45 to the Panthers.

Bees were always up against it and the home side may have had a little more in reserve if needed but considering the circumstances it was not a bad display. Bees star was Sayfutdinov, who after his opening two rides looked invincible, winning his last four rides comfortably. One disappointment was Larsen who could not continue his recent good form and only managed two points. Auty was good value for his paid ten from the number seven spot.

Bee’s scorers; Sayfutdinov 15, Fisher 10, Pawlicki 8(3), Auty 8(2), Larsen, Morris 2.

Bees should have raced an Elite League match at King’s Lynn last night and away points are now a priority if they are to claw their way back into play-off contention.

Once again there is no meeting at Brandon tomorrow night.

Three of Bees reserves were in action for their Premier League clubs in the PL Fours at Leicester. Both Nick Morris (Glasgow) and Josh Auty(Sheffield) were on their way home after the semi-final stage.

Travis McGowan’s Somerset side reached the final which never got underway due to heavy rain causing a postponement.

Alan Goodman.