Bomber Rides In Play Off
Chris Harris will race in Friday’s crucial Elite League play-off semi-final against Poole at Brandon (8pm).
The Buildbase Bees have been sweating on the fitness of their inspirational skipper since he was involved in an horrific crash in Poland last weekend.
But after extensive treatment during the week, Harris is all set to take his place at No.1 in the line-up as Bees look to build a first leg advantage to take into the return fixture in Dorset on Monday.
And whilst the Pirates topped the table by four points, a certain amount of history is on Coventry’s side as on both previous occasions the clubs have met in the play-offs prior to the Final, the Brandon outfit have emerged on top - in both 2002 and 2007.
Just over a month ago, Poole boss Neil Middleditch stated he would not be picking Coventry in the semi-finals - but the Pirates then had a change of heart and elected to travel to Brandon in the first leg.
And the Bees are now looking for a big atmosphere off-track as well as a big performance from their riders in order to make their opponents regret that choice.
Promoter Mick Horton said: “It has all the makings of a fantastic tie - Poole obviously feel with their selection that they can roll us over, but we’ll see.
“This season we’ve been to their place and won, and they’ve come here and won whilst one meeting here was a bit of a fiasco, and we have a score to settle.
“We certainly want to take a lead down there, to give us something to defend, but I don’t think there’s going to be a lot in it - these have been the top two teams in the league this season, and we know they have a great side.
“The boys will be up for it and an extra point for us is when we get the big crowd in. We want to make Poole feel uncomfortable, and the fans can play a big part in that for us.”
Bees track the line-up which would have been on track on Monday before the first leg was put back by four days due to the weather - with Swedish star Freddie Lindgren guesting for the injured Joonas Kylmakorpi.
Poole have maintained an unchanged one-to-seven throughout the year, barring an early-season injury for Davey Watt, and have won half of their away fixtures including twice at Brandon - but their only home defeat was at the hands of the Bees.
Manager Gary Havelock said: “I won’t be setting any points targets - obviously we want to win the meeting but I don’t feel you should ever put a figure on it.
“If you do that and you don’t get your figure you end up disappointed, and if you do hit your figure, you can go into the second leg a little complacent, and we certainly won’t be doing any of that.
“Whatever happens, I truly believe that on our day we can win at Poole as well, and having Bomber ready to race is going to give everyone a massive boost going into the meeting.”
Start-time for Friday’s meeting is 8pm in line with broadcast schedules, and supporters are reminded to bring their re-admission tickets from last Wednesday’s home match against Lakeside in order to qualify for a £5 discount. Season tickets are valid.
BUILDBASE BEES (from): Hans Andersen, Jason Garrity, Chris Harris, Kyle Howarth, Danny King, Freddie Lindgren, James Sarjeant.
POOLE (from): Kacper Gomolski, Chris Holder, Maciej Janowski, Kyle Newman, Dakota North, Paul Starke, Davey Watt.