Lakeside Hammers 42, Coventry Bees 48
HAMMERS were left reeling after Coventry came from eight points back to snatch victory in the penultimate race of Saturday’s Elite League encounter.
The Bees were never in front until a 5-1 maximum heat advantage from Edward Kennett and Emil Sayfutdinov in heat 13 gave them the momentum to wrap up the win. A Przemyslaw Pawlicki and Nick Morris inspired 4-2 duly sewed up the match for the Bees on heat 14, leaving the home crowd disappointed.
The early exchanges were very favourable as far as the home side were concerned with the Hammers eager to exploit Sayfutdinov’s lack of Arena-Essex experience and the missing Kenni Larsen. Three heat advantages in the opening five races put the Hammers into an eight points lead and seemingly in control.
The next three heats began to shape the course of the match, though, as they showed the strengths that the Bees would display on their course to the Elite League points. The first of these was Kennett’s emphatic victory over Richardson in heat six, showing the speed that would see him wrap up a brilliant full maximum in the last race.
Although Piotr Swiderski sped past Ryan Fisher at the front of heat seven, the Hammers failed to capitalise as Pawlicki recovered from an awful start to pass Robert Mear. With Kim Nilsson – so good over the past couple of weeks – showing indifferent form on this occasion and spinning off at the start of heat eight, it was left to Fisher to lead a Bees 4-2 and continue the fightback.
A star of the Bees resurgence was Morris, who really turned on the style over the latter heats with several points from the back. The first of these came when he powered past Kauko Nieminen in heat nine for another 4-2 with Kennett to close the gap to two.
There was a great heat ten for fans to savour as Fisher powered past Ljung and Richardson only for the Hammers’ skipper to repay the compliment with Pawlicki also in the mix. But another vital minor place for Morris – this time over Mear – in the eleventh was followed by a momentum shifting win by the young Aussie in heat twelve over Nieminen and Nilsson which paved the way for the Bees’ strong finish.
The only disappointment for the away side was the failure to secure the fourth league point as Sayfutdinov’s debut finished with a retirement in the last race. There was no such problem for Kennett, though, who stormed past Richardson to produce his best ever performance at the Essex track.