News from Coventry Bees and Storm
Another busy week on the road for both Coventry teams. Bees went to King’s Lynn last Wednesday but suffered a defeat to one of the two teams in the Elite League with an unbeaten home record (Wolverhampton being the other). On Friday they took advantage of some good fortune in the final races to beat Lakeside by 47 points to 42.
There was no such luck for Storm as they went down to Mildenhall by 48 points to 42.
Once back on home soil on Monday, Bees completed the double over Lakeside in a match truncated due to rain.
King’s Lynn 49,
With James Sarjeant still injured, League rules left them with little choice of replacements. In the end they recruited local junior Connor Mountain.
King’s Lynn is not one of Bees’ favourite tracks and they were soon up against it with Stuart Robson and Hans Andersen on the wrong end of a 5-1 heat win.
Jason Garrity took advantage of a Lewis Kerr slip to win a shared heat two.
Heats three and four were shared before the Stars increased their lead in five despite a good effort by Garrity to take second place from Robert Lambert.
Another home 4-2 increased the lead to ten. Andersen once again failed when at the back.
It was now going all wrong and heat seven typified Bees’ luck. Joonas Kylmakorpi was given the tactical ride in heat seven and was set for second place only to stop with machine problems on the final turn.
Garrity and Robson made the start to heat eight but Niklas Porsing passed Robson at the end of the final lap. This left the home side 29-19 ahead at the halfway stage.
Kylmakorpi won a shared heat nine before Andersen finally got it together and won heat ten. With Robson in third, two points were pulled back.
Heat eleven was restarted after both Chris Harris and Danny King came down on the second turn. Niels Kristian Iversen won the rerun with Robert Lambert taking third.
Garrity overtook Kerr to win heat twelve before Harris inflicted the only defeat of the night on Iversen in the next. Andersen took third to bring the deficit back to eight.
Heat fourteen was shared, leaving Bees needing four points from the final race to take a league point.
It was not to be for despite leading from the start, Kylmakorpi had to give way to Iversen at the start of the final lap. Harris took third but it was not enough, the final score being 49-41.
Bees could have well have won this but costly machine problems let them down at vital times.
Bees’ scorers: Kylmakorpi 10, Garrity 10, Harris 9(2), King 9(2), Andersen 4, Robson 3, Mountain 0.
Lakeside 42, Bees 47.
Bees had Darryl Ritchings at reserve while the home side had Fredrik Lindgren guesting for fellow Swede Andreas Jonsson.
Lakeside made the early running, opening with an opening 5-1.
Bees pulled two back in the next through Garrity with Ritchings hanging on for third place.
Former Bees Edward Kennett won heat three with Harris just getting third for a share of the points on the last bend.
King rode a good heat four to pass both home riders for another 3-3 heat result.
Heat five was rerun after Adam Ellis and Garrity had collided on the first turn and resulted in yet another shared heat.
Lakeside went further ahead in the next through Steve Lawson but Harris again rescued after another last ditch effort saw his pass Mikkel Bech for third place.
Bees made the start to heat seven but Kennett went by Kylmakorpi on the second lap to keep the home side just ahead.
A shared heat eight left the halfway score at 25-23 to Lakeside.
Bees drew level in the next. Garrity and King made the start. Kim Nilssen went by King at the end of lap one but the 4-2 was enough to level the scores.
Heat ten was shared before a Lakeside maximum in heat eleven opened up a four point lead.
Heats twelve and thirteen were shared before Bees had a stroke of good fortune in an eventful heat fourteen. At the first attempt to run Bech fell and was excluded and then in the rerun Steve Lawson was well clear before shedding a chain and gifting Bees a 5-0 to put them ahead for the first time, albeit it only by a solitary point.
This was what Bees needed and King and Harris made no mistake in the final race, taking maximum points from the start to give Bees a 47-42 victory, a scoreline that had looked unlikely a couple of races earlier.
Despite another poor night by Andersen a good team effort by the rest of the team saw Bees through. Harris changed bikes and improved as the night went on while Garrity again turned in an impressive performance.
Bees’ scorers: King 13, Garrity 11(2), Harris 7(2), Robson, Kylmakorpi 6(1), Andersen 3(1), Ritchings 1.
Mildenhall 48, Storm 42.
Heavy rain beforehand meant that remedial track work had left the tiny West Row circuit very slick and difficult. Storm were due to be without Dan Greenwood but a postponement for his Premier League track left him available after all. Luke Crang was still unavailable so Luke Chessell came in as a guest.
After sharing the first race, the home side soon built up a four–point lead.
Storm were always in the match and drew level after heat eight.
Two home maximums quickly put Mildenhall back in the driving seat and although two 4-2’s brought Storm back to four behind, the home side had enough strength to hold out, although Storm took one National League point for only losing by six points.
Storm scorer’s; Darryl Ritchings11(1), Dan Greenwood 10, Luke Chessell 6(1), Conor Dwyer 6, Martin Knuckey 5, Rob Shuttleworth 3, Stefan Farnaby 1.
(Abandoned after ten heats – result stands.)
Bees were back to full strength with the return of James Sarjeant. The visitors had Troy Batchelor guesting for Andreas Jonsson and James Wright replaced the injured Steve Boxall at reserve.
Unfortunately, the rain promised for later in the evening arrived at Brandon some ten minutes before start time.
A prompt start was made and in heat one Kim Nilsson made the gate and raced away for a good win. Robson worked his way into second but for the third match running Andersen, after a poor gate came in last.
Sarjeant celebrated his comeback by winning heat two. Garrity worked his way into second spot to give Bees a maximum heat win and a two point lead.
Harris and Kylmakorpi repeated the dose in heat three, despite Kylmakorpi having to re-pass Edward Kennett for second spot on the run-in to the flag.
King took the wide line to lead heat four out of turn two. Despite a good effort, Sarjeant could make no headway on the visiting pair, so the heat points were shared.
With conditions worsening, racing was getting processional and Nilsson won his second race of the night in heat five. An attempt by Adam Ellis to gain third was blocked by Garrity on the last turn.
Bees took successive 5-1’s to stretch the lead to 28-14 after seven heats.
Nilsson was given a tactical ride in heat eight. The move looked to have failed after Bees led from the start. Nilsson was given a reprieve after the race was stopped when partner Ellis fell. He took his chance in the restart, leading from the start, giving the Hammers a 6-3 heat advantage.
Bees were back on top in heat nine after a mistake by Richard Lawson had let both Bees by on the first turn.
Kylmakorpi suffered machine problems at the start of heat ten and was virtually out of the race. Harris took the lead at the end of the first lap. This left the score at 39-24 to Bees.
With ten races ridden, the result would now stand and with the rain not easing, the meeting was abandoned.
Once again it was a good team effort, with all of the side recording a paid win. Andersen recovered from his first heat reverse and won his second.
At the end of the day both teams deserve credit for riding so long in the conditions.
Bees’ scorers: Harris 8(1), King 8, Garrity 6(2), Robson 6, Kylmakorpi 4(2), Sarjeant 4(1), Andersen 3.
Bees have matches on successive nights this weekend. Tomorrow (Friday), they entertain Swindon who are currently at the bottom of the Elite League table. It will however be a stronger side at Brandon as Peter Kildemand is returning to the Elite League to head the side along with fit again Troy Batchelor. Also in the side are former Bees Grzegorz Zengota, Kyle Howarth and Nick Morris. With Alun Rossiter and Colin Pratt involved, Bees will need to be at their best for this one.
On Saturday they travel to Leicester, and already having won the first League match at the Jordan Road Surfacing stadium, they will be hoping for a second. Leicester are led by Jason Doyle and include Bjarne Pedersen and Grzegorz Walasek. This is one Bees need to take points from if they are to stay at the top of the league table.
Storm also go on the road again, they have yet to ride a home league match, and this time visit the garden city on Monday to take on Kent King’s in a National League encounter.