Bees Lose Out On Play Off Final Spot
COVENTRY’S Elite League title dreams were ended with their heaviest defeat of the official campaign in Monday’s play-off semi-final second leg.
The Buildbase Bees were beaten 58-31 on a disastrous night at Poole where they were comprehensively out-gated as the Pirates advanced to the Grand Final against Belle Vue by a 27-point aggregate margin.
A depleted Coventry side, missing both Joonas Kylmakorpi and Jason Garrity who both contributed much towards their success in the regular campaign, were limited to just four race wins with the Pirates showing strength throughout their team, including guest Edward Kennett who won his first two rides having come in for Dakota North.
And that was during the crucial phase of the contest, as the tie was all-but put to bed within six races as the Bees found themselves 14-points down and having no-scored from a tactical ride.
Their only race winner in the early stages was guest reserve Adam Ellis, taking a late call-up and riding well to take Heat 2, but the home side moved clear despite a great effort by skipper Chris Harris to pass Maciej Janowski for second place in Heat 3.
With the score at 20-10, Harris went for double in Heat 6 but it all went wrong on the final turn as he tried to move leader Kennett aside but came to grief with the Pirates therefore collecting a 5-1.
In no time at all the gap had become a 20-point chasm before Bees began to peg the home side as Hans Andersen gated sharply to win Heat 9 and Harris rode superbly to get the better of Kennett from the back in the next.
It was too late for any slice of luck to make a significant difference but Poole lost a near-certain 5-1 in Heat 11 when race leader Chris Holder fell due to a broken chain with team-mate Davey Watt again performing a good avoiding move.
But the home reserves took their side into the Final with a 5-1 in Heat 12 before both Harris and Holder retired from the next race due to mechanical gremlins.
Poole No.4 Kacper Gomolski completed four unbeaten rides in Heat 14 but was finally headed in the last - although Bees were to be denied a consolation 5-1 when Andersen suffered bike trouble, leaving Harris to have the final word with his second win of the night.
Manager Gary Havelock said: “It’s really disappointing, because for the majority of the season we were top of the league and everything was going well.
“But you can’t account for injuries in speedway unfortunately, and I think if we’d had our full team for both legs it would have been a far different story - but that’s all ifs now.
“The fans were down here in force, they were sensational, and it’s just a shame we couldn’t keep it closer for them. But it usually happens that when things start going wrong, they go wrong badly!
“I’ve said to the lads that they need to remember this pain, because they can use it as a motivational force for next year. Hopefully we can do that and come back stronger.”
1 Chris Holder 3, 3, Ex, R = 6
2 Davey Watt 2', 3, 2, 3, 2 = 12+1
3 Edward Kennett 3, 3, 2, 1 = 9
4 Kacper Gomólski 3, 2', 3, 3, 1' = 12+2
5 Maciej Janowski 1, 1, 1', 3 = 6+1
6 Paul Starke 2, 1, 1', 3 = 7+1
7 Kyle Newman 1', 1, 2', 2' = 6+3
1 Chris Harris 0, 2, F^, 3, R, 3 = 8
2 Kyle Howarth 1, 2, 0, 0, 2 = 5
3 Daniel King 0, 1, 2, 1', 0 = 4+1
4 Hans Andersen 2, 0, 3, 2, 2, R = 9
5 Jonas Kylmakorpi (Rider Replacement)
6 Adam Ellis 3, 0, R, 1, 1 = 5
7 James Sarjeant 0, T, 0, 0 = 0
Heat 01: Holder, Watt, Howarth, Harris 5-1 5-1
Heat 02: Ellis, Starke, Newman, Sarjeant 3-3 8-4
Heat 03: Kennett, Harris, Janowski, King 4-2 12-6
Heat 04: Gomolski, Andersen, Newman, Ellis(Ex), Sarjeant(Ex-T) 4-2 16-8
Heat 05: Watt, Howarth, Starke, Ellis 4-2 20-10
Heat 06: Kennett, Gomolski, King, Harris(TR-F) 5-1 25-11
Heat 07: Holder, King, Janowski, Andersen 4-2 29-13
Heat 08: Gomolski, Newman, Ellis, Howarth 5-1 34-14
Heat 09: Andersen, Watt, Starke, Sarjeant 3-3 37-17
Heat 10: Harris, Kennett, Janowski, Howarth 3-3 40-20
Heat 11: Watt, Andersen, King, Holder(Ex) 3-3 43-23
Heat 12: Starke, Newman, Ellis, Sarjeant 5-1 48-24
Heat 13: Janowski, Howarth, Harris(Ret), Holder(Ret) 3-2 51-26
Heat 14: Gomolski, Andersen, Kennett, King 4-2 55-28
Heat 15: Harris, Watt, Gomolski, Andersen(Ret)3-3 58-31