News from Coventry Bees and Storm
Coventry Buildbase’s magnificent run of wins on the road came to an end at Wolverhampton with a 48-42 defeat. They at least gained one league point from the fixture.
Three days before they had completed a double over Belle Vue in the space of four days and at the moment remain top of the table.
Storm has not been idle, winning their first away league match at Buxton on Sunday.
Bees 48, Belle Vue 42.
Bees were at full strength for this return fixture but the visitors made two changes, bringing two riders, Grzegorz Zengota and Kyle Howarth, with plenty of Brandon experience.
Bees made the best possible start with Hans Andersen and Stuart Robson taking an opening 5-1 over Max Fricke and Matej Zagar.
Steve Worrall won heat two for the visitors with, but James Sarjeant overtook his ex-Storm team mate Stefan Nielsen and the end of the first lap for a share of the points.
Bees led heat three and looked set for another maximum before former Bees captain Scott Nicholls got by Danny King on the final lap.
Belle Vue made the start to heat four but Joonas Kylmakorpi rode a good race to overtake Nielsen on lap two.
It was now becoming obvious that there was a slight inbalance in the starting gate positions and gates two and four were the most favourable. This meant that the result of the match would depend on who could pick up the most points from the other two.
The visitors again gated in heat five but Robson went by Fricke on the second lap.
At this point there were only two points separating the two teams but King and Kylmakorpi eased things for Bees with a maximum in heat six, King riding well to hold out the forceful Zagar.
Harris won heat seven but the points were shared after Andersen missed the start completely.
Again it was Belle Vue from the gate in heat eight but Sarjeant was soon into second and Kylmakorpi used the faster outside line to good effect to take third from Worrall on the Rugby turn of the final lap. This left the score at 27-21 to Bees after eight races.
Howarth led heat nine after a messy first turn but Garrity took the lead at the end of the first lap. Robson then did his bit by taking third on lap three.
Bees now had the worst gate positions for four of the last six races so they could not relax. Harris won heat ten but King could make no impression on Zagar or Fricke so the points were shared.
Nicholls won a shared heat eleven before Garrity and Sarjeant virtually made sure of the match with a maximum heat win in heat twelve.
Andersen made the start to heat thirteen but Zagar passed him on the third lap. Harris, off the graveyard gate one tried hard but could make no impression on Nicholls.
A shared heat fourteen was won by Zengota before Aces needed maximum points from the final race to take a league point.
Bees strangely chose King to partner Kylmakorpi in this race. The move did not work as well as was possibly planned. Zagar led from Kylmakorpi with King last.
Aces then gained the point they needed after a last bend mistake by Kylmakorpi let in Nicholls for the vital second spot to leave the final score at 48-42 for Bees.
This again was a good team effort with only three points separating the top from the bottom of Bees score chart. Oddly, Belle Vue’s followed a similar pattern with only one rider scoring under five points.
Bees’ scorers: Kylmakorpi 8(2), Garrity 8, King 7(1), Andersen, Harris 7, Robson 6(2), Sarjeant 5(2).
Wolverhampton 48, Bees 42
This fixture was rained off earlier in the month and luckily just avoided the same fate when rain started later in the match.
Bees were without James Sarjeant, who was injured at Glasgow the day before and promoted Storm’s Dan Greenwood.
Hopes were high when Bees made the start to heat one but Fredrik Lindgren rode a good first turn to take the lead. With Robson retiring, Wolves were soon two ahead.
Garrity won a shared heat two before heat three was rerun after Harris and Jacob Thorssell had collided on the first bend. The rerun saw Tobiasz Musielak win the heat after a good battle with Harris.
Wolves went two more ahead in heat four before before Garrity rode a good race to pass the home pair and join front runner Robson for maximum points.
Heat six was shared before two 4-2’s put Wolves 26-22 ahead at the halfway stage.
Andersen won heat ten with Robson having to come from the back to record another maximum heat win.
Ricky Wells took advantage of a Harris mistake in heat eleven to take third place and with Lindgren ahead, the lead was increased to six.
Rain was now falling, making conditions tricky.
Greenwood earned a point by taking third place in front of Lewis Blackbird in heat twelve.
Lindgren made it four wins on the trot in heat thirteen with Harris and Andersen having to get by Thorssell for a share of the spoils.
Kylmakorpi won heat fourteen, ending Peter Karlsson’s unbeaten run and with King third it was now all on the last race.
Unfortunately Lindgren and Karlsson made the start and after moving Andersen out on the first turn took an easy 5-1 to give Wolves victory.
Bees’ scorers: Andersen 9(1), Garrity 8(1),Kylmakorpi 8, Robson 7(1), Harris 5(1), King 4(1), Greenwood 1,
Buxton 39, Storm 51.
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Tricky track conditions hit Storm during the early stages with Luke Crang and Darryl Ritchings falling when leading their respective opening heats.
Despite this, a maximum from the reserves race kept them on level terms for the opening heats before going ahead with a 4-2 in heat four.
There were more problems in heat five when Martin Knuckey ran into the back of Adam Extance and was excluded and worse for Storm out of the meeting.
Two shared heats kept Storm ahead until heat eight when the home side took a 4-2 to bring the halfway score to 24-24.
Storm immediately went back ahead in the next after Stefan Farnaby took third place from Tom Woolley.
Buxton then hit back in the next with their own 4-2 in a good race which saw Darryl Ritchings just beat Ryan Blacklock for second place.
Heat eleven was shared before Storm got together and finished with a flourish, two 5-1’s and two 4-2’s giving a final score of 51-39.
Dan Greenwood was in a class of his own, scoring an immaculate fifteen point maximum. He received good support with all of the team pitching in with valuable points.
Storm scorers; Greenwood 15, Ritchings 9(1), Crang 8(1), Shuttleworth 7(1), Dwyer 7, Farnaby 4(1), Knuckey 1.
Bees face a bank holiday weekend double against Lakeside who are presently in third place in the Elite League, albeit through playing more matches. Bees are away on Friday and host the Essex club at Brandon on Monday (7.30pm) there are fitness doubts on both sides. Former Bee Andreas Jonsson has missed recent matches through injury and it is not known at the time of writing whether James Sarjeant will have recovered from Sunday’s injuries.
Storm are also in action this weekend, paying a visit to Mildenhall on Sunday afternoon. There is a coach running to this meeting. There a few seats still available and further details can be obtained by telephoning (01788) 562132.