SPEEDWAY: Bees win first challenge match at Peterborough
Coventry track Premiership line-up as meeting supports riders' fund
Bees’ line-up on Sunday: (Back) Lewis Kerr, Josh Bates, Danny King, Gary Havelock (Team Manager), Kenneth Bjerre, Lasse Bjerre.
(Kneeling) James Sarjeant, Jason Garrity.
After all the upsets and disappointments of the winter, a Coventry Bees team finally got on track on Sunday, writes Alan Goodman. They raced at Peterborough in the first of the challenge matches organised by the ‘Save Coventry Speedway’ group.
This group intends to raise funds for Bees riders who find themselves out of pocket this season. Most of the tracks hosting these matches expect a good attendance from the well known hordes of travelling Bees fans and like Peterborough intend to make a donation to the fund.
Peterborough 33, Bees 57.
The start time was delayed some 40 minutes to allow all the above-mentioned fans to get in.
Once underway Bees, who tracked their intended Premiership line-up, for what will probably the only time as riders get fixed up with other tracks, saw Danny King pass Jack Holder to take an early lead in a rerun heat one.
Heat two was shared before the unfortunate Jason Garrity went from first to last in the space of a single lap of heat three to let the home side draw level.
Bees then took two successive maximums to open up an eight-point lead.
Kenneth Bjerre won his second race in heat six but with James Sargeant missing out on a three-way battle for the minor places, the lead remained the same.
It was the same again in heat seven before British Under-21 Champion Josh Bates took an impressive heat eight win. With Lewis Kerr in third, Bees led at the halfway stage by 29-19.
Kenneth Bjerre took another win in shared heat nine before Bees took maximum points from an exciting heat ten. Home number one Jack Holder was given a tactical ride and led before some hard riding by Bees reversed a possible home 5-1 the way of Bees with Garrity getting second on the line.
Another 4-2 put Bees in an impregnable position.
Heat twelve was shared before heat thirteen turned out even better than ten with Bees again having to work hard for their maximum which was only gained through Kenneth Bjerre completing his paid maximum with second place in another blanket finish on the line.
Bees took their fifth maximum of the day in the penultimate race despite Lasse Bjerre clipping the fence entering lap three.
A shared three-man heat thirteen left the final score at 57-33 to Bees. Peterborough are in a lower league so one could not estimate Bees possible chances if allowed in the Premiership. These will be known when they meet Premiership opponents.
Other matches arranged for April are at Wolverhampton (10th), Leicester (13th) and Poole (20th).