Battling Bees are denied a point
COVENTRY’S spirited secondhalf comeback saw them fall just short of a point in their first trip to the new National Speedway Stadium yesterday.
The Buildbase Bees ultimately paid the price for a dreadful start which saw them go 19-5 down after four races, because from that point on they were completely competitive on a superb new circuit.
Racing was top-drawer and other visiting clubs will certainly take heart that the Aces appear to have little in the way of home advantage at this stage, with the Bees frustrated to miss out in a performance much improved on last weekend’s hammering at Lakeside.
The home side opened up with a 5-1 as Krzysztof Kasprzak was beaten by Max Fricke and Matej Zagar, although the Pole quickly got into his stride – but before that, his team fell much further behind. Belle Vue ....................... 50 Coventry ........................ 42
Belle Vue continued to make fast starts with James Sarjeant passing Joe Jacobs for second place in heat two which ultimately prevented a run of four Aces’ 5-1s as Steve Worrall spectacularly came from fourth to second after being handicapped for tape-touching in heat four.
Jason Garrity was immediately deployed as a tactical ride in heat five and collected four points, with Kacper Woryna passing Jacobs for third as Bees pulled two points back, a result they repeated in a stunning heat six with Kasprzak overhauling Scott Nicholls for the win whilst Chris Harris was denied after a fierce battle with his opposing captain.
Bees’ progress was cut short by Zagar and Craig Cook, who recorded the home side’s fourth 5-1 in heat seven and the visitors found themselves 16 points down when the Worrall brothers carded a 4-2, split by Garrity, in the next.
At 33-17, Coventry’s position looked unpromising, but matters changed considerably over the next two races with Sarjeant flying from the start in heat nine while guest Ashley Morris held off Jacobs for second as Fricke hit trouble.And a further Bees maximum followed in the next thanks to a brilliant ride by Garrity to pass both Nicholls and Cook, teaming up with Kasprzak to cut the gap to eight.
It could have got even better in heat 11 when King and Harris hit the front, only for Harris to be swamped either side by Zagar and Fricke at the end of the first lap, turning a possible 5-1 into a 3-3.
Belle Vue added a 4-2 in heat 12 with Woryna overhauling Jacobs for second, and Harris and Kasprzak then ramped up the tension further with a terrific 5-1 in the next, Kasprzak slicing past first Zagar and then Cook on successive laps.
But Bees suffered misfortune in heat 14 when they appeared set for a shared race only for Morris to suffer mechanical trouble at the end of the first lap to hand third spot to Richie Worrall. That left them needing an advantage from the last race for a league point – but with Zagar out-front, Kasprzak was delayed in fending off Nicholls, and although Harris eventually retrieved third place, Zagar held on for the win to leave Coventry agonisingly short of adding to their away tally.
Jason Garrity and Kacper Woryna battle with Steve and Richie Worrall in heat eight. Below, Bees skipper Chris Harris goes shoudler to shoulder with Scott Nicholls.