Bees beaten by Swindon last night
A series of mishaps in the latter stages saw Bees lose at Swindon by 47 points to 43. In the end, however, they did well to take one Elite League point from the match.
Swindon 47, Bees 43.
Bees were back to full strength with Chris Harris returning after a successful GP qualifying meeting in Abensberg. Swindon was without number one Peter Kildemand and brought in Dakota North as a guest. Also adding to their woes Troy Batchelor was suffering from food poisoning and although deciding to ride, was not fully fit.
Hans Andersen showed his liking for the Abbey Stadium track by taking the opening heat. Unfortunately Stuart Robson finished at the back so no advantage was gained.
The reserves came good in the next. James Sarjeant shot from the start and with Jason Garrity taking second place on turn three, the resultant 5-1 put Bees into an early lead.
Swindon looked set to draw level in heat three after North and Batchelor made the start. Joonas Kylmakorpi retired early but Harris chased and passed a tiring Batchelor to keep Bees just ahead.
Danny King won a shared heat four before Swindon drew level in a heat five which saw Garrity having to work hard to split the home pair.
Bees’ lead was restored in a hectic heat six through race winner Andersen and hard riding Harris who did well to take third.
King won heat seven but partner Kylmakorpi lost out to Nick Morris for third place.
Heat eight was shared to leave Bees leading by 25-23 at the halfway stage.
Bees gated in heat nine but any chance of adding to their lead was dashed when Kyle Howarth executed a brilliant move to go under both Bees coming out of turn four.
North won what was the fourth shared heat in a row in heat eleven.
From here on it started to go wrong for Bees.
Swindon took the lead for the first time when Morris and Howarth overhauled Harris for a good 5-1 in heat eleven.
Sarjeant was penalised fifteen metres for a tapes offence in the next and eventually fell when trying to make up the yardage. Garrity finished second but two more points were lost.
Heat thirteen turned out a disaster as Andersen took a crashing fall on the first turn after being sandwiched between Morris and Harris. With Andersen unable to continue, Garrity came in as a replacement and did well to combine with Harris to keep out Batchelor.
There were more problems in the next. Garrity came in again, this time for the off-form Kylmakorpi but was controversially excluded after a coming together with Morris on the third turn.
Swindon took a maximum in the rerun, leaving Bees to take a 5-1 in the final race if they were to take at least one point from the contest.
To the delight of Bees’ fans they shot from the gate and held out to make the final score 47-43 to Swindon.
This was not one of Bees’ best nights. Robson took time to get going while Kylmakorpi had easily his worst night in Bees colours. The extent of Andersen’s injuries is not yet known although a broken finger is suspected. They now need to regroup before Monday’s vital match against Poole.
Bees’ scorers: King 11(1), Garrity 8(3), Harris 8(1), Andersen 7(1), Sarjeant 5, Robson 4, Kylmakorpi 0.