SPEEDWAY by Alan Goodman

Alan Goodman
Alan Goodman

Bees’ season over after defeat by Poole in play-off semi-final

Coventry Bees Elite League season is now over after Bees were comprehensively beaten by a fired-up Poole side in the second leg of the play-off semi-final.

After leading the League for most of the season, the chance of becoming champions quickly vanished at a packed Wimborne Road.

Poole 58, Bees 31 (agg. 103-76)

Elite League play-off 2nd leg.

Both teams made changes for this important match. Bees opted for rider-replacement for Joonas Kylmakorpi and brought in Adam Ellis as a guest for Jason Garrity, who was injured in the first leg.

Poole replaced Dakota North and recruited Edward Kennett as a guest.

The tension in the match soon surfaced when heat one was started four times before a result was obtained. At the first attempt Chris Holder fell on the first turn in first bend bunching. At the second attempt a starting gate malfunction prevented Holder from moving. Chris Harris then changed bikes before another false start. At the fourth attempt the Poole pair raced away from the gate for an opening 5-1to put further pressure on Bees.

Ellis won a shared heat two before Harris was again in action again in heat three, salvaging second place after another home 5-1 looked on the cards.

James Sarjeant was excluded for a tapes offence in heat four and was replaced by Ellis. Poole took the lead out of a tight turn two but Hans Andersen worked his way into second before Ellis took a nasty tumble on the fourth turn.

Another home 4-2 followed before Harris was given a tactical ride in heat six.

A superb heat saw Harris work his way in second place but fell on the last turn when chasing Kennett and this probably ended the contest when a probable 4-4 was turned into a home 5-1.

The fast gating Pirates kept steadily on and at the halfway stage led by 34-14.

Andersen won a shared heat nine before Harris got revenge over Kennett in another good race.

Unfortunately Bees were getting no heat advantages and after a shared heat eleven which saw leader Holder crash on the fourth turn, another home 5-1 settled it for good.

Poole increased their lead further before the final heat saw Bees on a consolation 5-1 before Andersen pulled out with machine problems.

This match was a massive disappointment to the large Bees’ following. Although it was always going to be a difficult task, more was expected and to end a season that promised so much in this way was very hard to take.

Bees’ scorers: Andersen 9, Harris 8, Howarth, Ellis 5, King 4(1), Sarjeant 0.

Poole now go on to meet Belle Vue, who surprisingly defeated Swindon 97-79 and after just scraping into the top four have now come good and could well give Poole a run for their money in the final.

Although the speedway season does not end until the end of October Bees have no more matches arranged.

Storm still have three home matches to ride but no dates have been released.

Alan Goodman.