THE Vortex Lakeside Hammers suffered a second successive home defeat when the Coventry Bees delivered a last heat 5-1 to take all the Elite League points with a 42-47 victory.
In a close fought affair, the Hammers got off to the best possible start with Kim Nilsson scorching from the gate, followed by guest Freddie Lindgren in for Andreas Jonsson. Jason Garrity took the chequered flag in heat 2, as the Bees reserves delivered a 2-4 over Adam Ellis and Marc Owen, on his Hammers debut.
Edward Kennett gated in the next race, chased by former Hammer Joonas Kylmakorpi, whilst Mikkel Bech kept GP Star Chris Harris at the back, until the Danish rider over ran on bend 4 of the last lap, allowing Harris through for a shared heat.
Former Hammer Danny King delivered a stunning ride in the 4th, sweeping round the boards and on the outside of the home straight to muscle past Lawson. Heat 5, with the Hammers 2 points to the good, saw a third shared heat, after Ellis and Garrity both fell on the first bend in the initial running.
A 2 point lead became 4 to the Hammers in the next race, when Lawson gated, whilst Harris eventually got the better of Bech. The Bees kept themselves within reach in the following race, initally gating on a 5-1 before Kennett wound it on to swoop past Kylmakorpi, with King taking the flag.
After a shared heat 8, the Bees clawed themselves level. Guest reserve Darryl Ritchings was excluded for missing the two minute warning, allowing the impressive Jason Garrity to take his place, and the victory, despite the best efforts of Nilsson.
Kennett produced a great ride in the next heat, hunting down and passing Anderson on the second lap. Nilsson and Lingdren then teamed up for a maximum heat advantage in heat 11, re-establishing a four point lead for the Hammers. Successive shared heats in the following three races, which included Marc Owen’s first Elite League point in the heat 12, then saw disaster strike in heat 14.
With Bech falling on bend 2 in the initial running, stand in Skipper Richard Lawson then suffered a blown engine whilst leading on the third lap. As he ground to a halt, the Bees pairing of King and Kylmakorpi sped past to give the Bees a 0-5 heat win.
With a point between them, the nominated heat saw further disaster, as both King and Harris got the better of Kennett exiting the second bend, to deliver a 1-5 and the final hammer blow.
Vortex Hammers Co-Promoter Jon Cook is confident the team will come through it’s worse run of his and club owner Stuart Douglas’ reign. After the meeting Cook commented:
“It’s obvious to all that with Steve Boxall fit we’d have taken at least six home points and probably a couple of bonus points away such are the importance of reserves nowadays. That said you couldn’t wish for worse luck than we had in Heat 14 and it’s a crying shame for the efforts put in particularly by Edward, Kim & Richard.
We’ll be back at the Raceway next Friday against Poole, ready to bounce back, with Mikkel on an engine that hasn’t been mistuned and adopted Hammer Rory Schlein filling in for AJ, who will himself return to action in our later May dates.”