News from Coventry Bees and tribute to Nigel Boocock
The Easter programme gave Coventry Buildbase Bees an opportunity to atone for losing the East Midlands Bowl to Leicester some three weeks ago.
Unfortunately the Good Friday weather washed out that night’s fixture, thus losing any chance of a double, but on Saturday they travelled to the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium and pulled off a superb 51 -42 victory which, with all four points in the bag, made them leaders in the early stages of the Elite League.
Leicester 42, Bees 51
There were anxious moments before the start when problems with the first turn surface were pointed out to the referee. After discussion between all parties remedial work was carried out and the meeting started on time.
Both sides had guests in the number two spot due to injuries. Cameron Heeps came in for Stuart Robson while the home side appeared to have pulled a masterstroke with Rory Schlein deputising for Mikkel Michelsen.
It was, however, Heeps who struck the first blow in winning heat one. With Hans Andersen holding out Schlein, Bees had taken an early 5-1.
The reserves kept up the pressure in heat two with Garrity winning the first of many battles with Josh Auty and James Sarjeant forcing his way by Simon Lambert at the end of lap two to take third and put Bees 9-3 up.
Leicester made the start to heat three but although Grzegorz Walasek was an easy winner, both Danny King and Chris Harris had passed Bjarne Pedersen by the end of the second lap to share the spoils.
Joonas Kylmakorpi and Sarjeant took a heat four maximum to put Bees ten up.
Leicester decided to use up their one available tactical double ride at an early stage and despite his previous outing, Schlein was entrusted with the black and white helmet. He did not disappoint and was an easy winner over Heeps. With Auty getting revenge over Garrity, the resulting 7-2 brought the deficit back to five points.
Andersen and Harris capitalised on a Walasek turn two mistake to take another 5-1 and put Bees back in the driving seat.
Doyle won a shared heat seven before a chance of another Bees 5-1 was lost in heat eight when Garrity baulked partner Heeps in a tight first turn and put him out of the running. Garrity held off Auty for a share of the spoils.
Schlein had to overtake Kylmakorpi to win heat nine and with Auty third, Leicester had registered their second heat win of the night.
A third followed when Pedersen scored his only points of the night with a win over Andersen. Walasek was third to bring them back to within five points.
Doyle won a shared heat eleven which saw Schlein pushed out of contention on a tight first turn.
Auty beat the Bees pair in heat twelve before Doyle took a tumble at the start of heat thirteen. The home skipper picked himself up to win the rerun but his efforts came to nothing as both Andersen and Harris had passed Pedersen by the end of the first lap.
Heat fourteen was shared. Walasek was the winner with Bees taking the minor places.
The match was now won but Bees needed four points from the final heat to take the extra League point. Kylmakorpi and Andersen made no mistake, leading Doyle from the tapes for a final 5-1.
This was a good team performance with all of Bees seven registering at least one paid win. Outstanding was new signing Kylmakorpi, who is proving what a good move the promotion made by obtaining his signature.
Bees’ scorers: Kylmakorpi 12, Andersen 10(3), Garrity 8, Harris 6(3), King 6(2), Heeps 5, Sarjeant 4(2).
Bees have another tough match tomorrow (Friday) when they take on Elite League Champions Poole. Poole beat Bees in last year’s final so Bees will be looking for revenge. Once again the Poole side has an Australian flavour with Chris Holder, Dakota North and the returning Josh Grajzconek leading the side. With Marcie Janowski also in the seven, Bees will have to be on top form if they are to sustain their unbeaten record.
Friday’s match starts at 7.30pm.
The teams meet again at Poole on Wednesday
On Tuesday Coventry stages the British Under-21 Championship meeting where Josh Bates will be defending his title.
It was learned that former Bees skipper Nigel Boocock died in Australia on Good Friday morning at the age of 77 following a short illness.
Boocock was a Brandon favourite for 18 years and was probably the best known rider to have donned Bees colours.
Known as ‘Little Boy Blue’ because of the colour of his leathers, he joined Bees in 1979 after spells with Bradford, Birmingham and Ipswich.
During his time at Brandon he made 748 appearances and scored 7375 points at an average of 9.37. He scored 98 full and 50 paid maximums.
Along with brother Eric he was a regular English International and also appeared in eight World Finals where his best position was fourth in 1969.
After leaving Bees he had short spells with Bristol, Exeter and Canterbury before retiring and emigrating to Australia.
He was married to Cynthia and had three children, Victoria, Darren and Mandy.
Unfortunately Darren and wife Sharon were killed in an English road accident in 2008.
During his time with Bees, the Boocock family lived in Addison Road Rugby.