News from Bees and Bomber’s Big Bang
Coventry Buildbase Bees did not make the best of starts to the 2016 season losing both legs of The Elite Shield to Poole.
It was not all gloom as Team Manager Gary Havelock pointed out. A series of mechanical problems that can be sorted out were the main cause of this problem. The three newcomers to the side settled down well, with new number on Krzysztof Kasprzak dropping only two points in the second leg after missing the first through injury.
Poole 56, Bees 34
Elite Shield First Leg
With Krzysztof Kasprzak not quite fit Bees opted for rider replacement to give the rest of the side slightly more track time.
A good first turn to heat one saw Bees take the lead. Although Chris Holder got by Jason Garrity, Bees were two points ahead.
The Poole reserves look set for a maximum in heat two before Adam Ellis retired on the last lap.
King and Harris took a maximum in heat three to open up a six point lead.
It took Poole however just two races to draw level and it was Hans Andersen who was the villain of the piece, combining with Kyle Newman for maximum points in heat four before riding a hard turn one with Davey Watt to hold out Harris and put Poole ahead for the first time.
A heat seven 5-1 left the home side in a much more comfortable position.
Another home maximum left Bees well behind by 29-19 at the halfway stage.
Bees were now in trouble and another 4-2 left them with a mountain to climb.
Watt won a shared heat ten but with just five races to go Bees really had to pull something out of the bag to give themselves a chance in the second leg.
Harris took a tactical ride in heat eleven but surprisingly finished at the back end of another home 5-1.
Another of the same in heat twelve left no way back for Bees.
Harris redeemed himself slightly by winning a good race against Holder. The points were unfortunately only shared.
Bees made a decent start to heat fourteen but both riders were picked off by their respective opponents to leave Bees 22 behind with just the final race to come.
At the first attempt to run Andersen was excluded for bringing down Woryna.
Holder got the better of Harris in the rerun for a share of the points, leaving his team in a good position to lift the shield on Friday.
Bees were admittedly missing Kaszprzak and were short of track time but they need to get going quickly if they are to challenge for honours.
Bees’ scorers: Harris 13, Woryna 7(1), King 6(1), Garrity, Sargeant 3, Bates 2(1).
Bees 43, Poole 47
Elite Shield 2nd Leg
Poole were in a similar position to Bees in the first, having to use rider-replacement in the number one position after Chris Holder pulled out shortly before the start.
Bees made a good start with new number one Kasprzak winning the opening race. His partner Garrity had to regain second from Brady Kurtz to give Bees an opening 5-1.
Josh Bates was another to win his initial home race in heat two. Unfortunately the points were shared. Despite the efforts of Harris, Poole took a 4-2 in heat three.
Andersen was again the centre of attraction in the next when he brought off Woryna on turn four. It took another two attempts to get this race under way, Woryna again falling on a tight first turn. After a false start Bees took maximum points to lead by six.
Garrity was the next to find trouble, being excluded for a fall coming out of turn two with the visiting pair in close attendance.
Poole took a maximum and then followed up with a 4-2 to bring the scores on the night level.
Kasprzak won heat seven with Harris riding well to take second.
Poole drew back level in the next despite the efforts of Woryna. This left the aggregate score at 58-80 and Bees needing a near miracle to take the trophy.
Andersen and Kyle Newman took maximum points in the next before two shared heats left the visitors still ahead.
James Sarjeant was a good winner of heat twelve but Bates may consider himself slightly unfortunate not to take second.
Bees were still giving it a go and Kasprzak won heat thirteen with Harris taking second after a good battle with Krzysztof Buczkowski.
King had a better ride in heat fourteen but could not hold Andersen who took the lead on the second lap to bring the scores back level.
Poole finished with a flourish taking maximum points in the final race to win 43-47 on the night.
Although they did not win Bees only need to iron out a few problems, King’s machinery in particular, and they will again be a force when the league campaign proper begins.
All three newcomers contributed well and Garrity’s elevation to the team proper should soon bear fruit.
Bees’ scorers: Kasprzak 13,Harris 9(2), Bates 7, Woryna 5(1), Sarjeant 4, Garrity 3(1), King 2.
Bomber’s Big Bang
A crowd estimated at around the three thousand mark witnessed an excellent afternoon’s racing with 33 races of all grades completed in just over three and a half hours.
After some tight racing in the qualifying heats, the ‘A’ final was won by Swindon’s Jason Doyle with GP star Nicki Pedersen second and former Bees skipper Scott Nicholls in third.
Harris, after some blanket finishes in the earlier stages finished third in the ‘B’ final which was won by another former Bee, Andreas Jonsson. The ‘C’ and ‘D’ finals were won by Richie Worrall and Kenneth Hansen respectively.
All in all an excellent event, which was what Harris deserved after all his efforts for Bees in the past years.
Bees start their Elite League campaign proper with home and away matches against local rivals Leicester. The ‘Lions’, after a number of let downs have struggled to put together a really competitive team. At the moment they field Nicolai Klindt, Patrick Hougaard, Josh Auty and a trio of Polish riders headed by Sabastian Ulamek. Friday’s match at Brandon starts at 7.30pm. with the return at Leicester on Saturday.
Coventry Storm open their season with a home fixture against Eastbourne on Bank Holiday Monday (28th). This will start at 4pm.