News from Coventry Bees and Storm
Coventry Buildbase Bees carried on their good run of away form on Saturday with a 48-42 win at Leicester. All away wins are creditable but in truth Bees should have taken the maximum four Elite League points instead of the three they gained against a weakened Leicester. A series of machine failures and tape exclusions prevented them from doing this.
There were no home points taken as the previous night’s match against Swindon was postponed early in the day. At the time the decision appeared premature but as the day wore on the decision was justified.
Coventry City Gearboxes Storm were also on the road, suffering a first leg Knock Out Cup defeat to Kent King’s by 52-38
Leicester 42, Bees 48
It was a strange Leicester side that eventually took to the track. Already without Mikkel Michelsen, Grzegorz Walasek and Josh Auty it was learned the day before that Bjarne Pedersen had quit the club. They fielded three guests, Aaron Summers, Brady Kurtz and Steve Worrall. Rider-replacement was utilised for Pedersen. Bees were without Hans Andersen, riding in the same Danish qualifier as Michelsen and brought in Nick Morris as a replacement.
Bees hit problems as early as heat one when Morris had problems starting his machine and it finally gave up the ghost just before the tapes went up. Jason Garrity came in as a late replacement but could only watch as the home pair rode to an opening 5-1. Stuart Robson failed to finish after his machine also gave problems.
Garrity atoned with a good win in the next and with James Sarjeant taking third, the deficit was now just two.
Leicester skipper Jason Doyle was handicapped fifteen metres for a tapes offence in heat three and Joonas Kylmakorpi and Chris Harris grasped the chance to put Bees ahead.
Danny King and Sarjeant took a 4-2 in the next before Garrity won a shared heat five.
A two-in- one heat six saw Harris and Morris pass their respective opponents at the end of lap three for another 4-2.
The sun was causing problems on the fourth turn and racing was delayed until it had set further.
When racing resumed Doyle won a shared heat seven before Leicester pulled two back after Robson became another rider to be handicapped for a tapes offence. Garrity managed to split the home pair but despite a good effort Robson could not overcome his handicap. This left the halfway score at 26-22 to Bees.
King and Sarjeant took a 4-2 in heat nine before Morris used turn two to good effect and win heat ten.
Leicester made the start to heat eleven but Kylmakorpi went by both riders coming out of the second turn. Harris went by Summers to give Bees a 4-2 and put them the eight points ahead they needed for maximum effect.
There was double trouble for Sarjeant in heat twelve. Firstly he was handicapped for a tapes offence. He made up a lot of ground only to shed a chain in a shower of sparks on the final lap.
The heat points were shared as were the next two leaving Harris and Kylmakorpi to do the same in the final race.
It was not to be as Kylmakorpi stopped, leaving Harris to fight a lone battle which saw him finish second behind Doyle. This made the final score 48-42 to Bees.
With the exception of Robson, who had a night to forget, all of the Bees contributed with valuable points with everyone recording at least one race win.
Bees’ scorers: Garrity 12, Kylmakorpi 11, Harris 9(2), Morris 6, King 5(1), Sarjeant 5, Robson 0.
Kent 52, Storm 38.
NL K.O.Cup 1st Leg.
Storm went into this match with number eight Callum Walker replacing the out of form Stefan Farnaby.
Kent led from the start in heat one but Luke Crang and Martin Knuckey worked hard for a share of the spoils.
Kent did take the points in heat two to open up a four-point lead.
4-2’s were then traded in the next two races before another home 5-1 increased the lead to eight.
Heat six saw the home lead increased to ten and Storm knew they had a fight on their hands.
Heats seven, eight and nine were shared before Darryl Ritchings and Rob Shuttleworth had to pass their respective opponents for a storm 4-2.
Heat eleven was shared before three successive home 4-2’s made things uneasy for Storm.
Greenwood had to pass Ben Morley to give Storm a share of the final heat points, leaving the final score at 52-38 to Kent and leaving Storm a mountain to climb if they are to progress to the next stage.
Dan Greenwood defeated Ben Morley to regain the Bronze Helmet he lost at Mildenhall a week ago.
Storm scorers: Dan Greenwood 13, Darryl Ritchings 7, Martin Knuckey 6(1), Luke Crang, Rob Shuttleworth 4(1), Connor Dwyer 4, Callum Walker 0.
There is no Bees match this weekend due to the second round of the 2015 Grand Prix series taking place in Finland. Chris Harris made a good start in the competition and after the first leg in Poland lies in second place in the rankings. He will be hoping to improve on this on another temporary track on which he appears to thrive on.
Storm will be in action on Friday when they race their first competitive home match of the season. They entertain Kent King’s in the second leg of their National League Knock-out Cup tie hoping to pull back the fourteen-point deficit from the first leg. The meeting starts at 7.30pm.