After a week’s break due to the World Team Cup taking place Coventry Buildbase bees were hoping to get their slightly flagging campaign back on track with a good performance at Eastbourne on Monday.
Unfortunately heavy rain before the meeting left the track in poor condition. Excellent work by the local track staff enabled the match to start, albeit on a track with liberal amounts of sawdust. A number of incidents in the early races made a conclusion to the meeting very unlikely and further rain caused an abandonment after heat six. Bee’s next match at Eastbourne is also under threat due to a number of absentees so the two tracks may be struggling to come up with two suitable dates.
Eastbourne 22, Bees 14.
(Abandoned after heat six)
This was Emil Sayfutdinov’s first experience of such a tight technical track as Arlington and in heat one he lasted just under a lap after being filled in with shale. Lukas Dryml made the start with Bjarne Pedersen going from fourth to second on turn and the two combining for an easy maximum race win.
There were problems for Bees in the next. Travis McGowan made the start but lifted coming out of turn two and took a nasty tumble into the fence. He appeared O.K but was excluded from the rerun which saw the home pair take an easy 5-1.
Ryan Fisher fell on turn one of heat three but the race had already been stopped for an unsatisfactory start. In the rerun Fisher and Przemyslaw Pawlicki were left trailing in the wake of the home pair as they made it three maximums on the trot.
Bees made the start to heat four but again McGowan found trouble on turn two and retired. Edward Kennett negotiated his way safely round to give Bees their first race win.
Simon Gustafsson was excluded at the start of heat five and was replaced by Woodward. Sayfutdinov showed why he is one of the hottest prospects in the world by putting his opening heat problems behind him and superbly mastering the conditions for his first win in Sussex. Kenni Larsen looked set for second until Lewis Bridger forced his way by at the end of the third lap.
The rain was now coming down heavily and Kennett again struggled to win a processional heat six.
First the news came that McGowan had been withdrawn from the meeting with a knee injury and then came the almost inevitable news of the cancellation.
It was a good effort by both teams but the conditions were too bad and one doubts if the match would have started if Sky Television had not been in attendance. Although they had made a bad start Bees looked as if they were slowly getting back into contention. Kennett recorded two wins while Sayfutdinov looked set for more wins after weighing up the conditions so quickly.
Bee’s scorer’s; Kennett 6, Sayfutdinov 3, Larsen 2, Auty 2, Fisher 1, Pawlicki 0, McGowan 0.
Sayfutdinov made a surprise return to the Russian team after settling his differences with his federation. His nineteen point haul was not however enough to take them through to the final. Their third place in the play-off was better than team GB who finished last in the meeting with Kennett contributing just two points.
In the final Poland retained the Ove Fundin Trophy with Australia runners up and Sweden third.
Bees face two tough home matches this weekend. On Friday they f ace Swindon. Although in the bottom reaches of the League table, the Robins are the only team to win at Brandon in the league. With a twin spearhead of Scott Nicholls and Simon Stead, they will be keen to do the double.
On Monday it is the one all Bees fans have been waiting for – The visit of Poole. This match was originally scheduled for June 30th but fell victim to the weather. The Pirates head the table and have a solid line-up headed by Chris Holder and Darcy Ward, they also track Jason Doyle, Renat Gafurov and Dennis Andersson in what promises to be a thrilling match.
The Swindon match starts at 8pm while tapes up on Monday is 7.30pm.