GARY Havelock showed his disappointment after watching his Coventry Bees team slip to a resounding 33-60 defeat to Lakeside who exacted swift revenge with the win in Saturday’s Elite League encounter at the Arena-Essex Raceway, writes Observer speedway reporter Robin Allen.
Whereas the Bees had raced to a convincing win over the Hammers at home 24 hours earlier, their weakened team was unable to make any serious impression in the return at Purfleet against a Hammers side perfectly dialled-into their own circuit.
Already missing Josh Bates who has qualified for the World Under-21 Final after scoring 12 points in Germany, the visitors were dealt a further blow with the absence of Jason Garrity, who was left battered and bruised following his heavy Heat 11 crash on Friday.
Danny King was Bees’ star performer on the night with a 13-point haul (paid 14) including a six-point tactical ride seeing him move past Piotr Swiderski going into the second lap, in heat five.
On this occasion though, it was Lakeside who were by far the more solid side as they raced to a total of seven 5-1s during the evening.
Krzysztof Kasprzak and King took successive wins for Coventry in Heats 10 and 11 but James Sarjeant crashed out of the second reserves’ race after a clash with Robert Mear – the referee deeming there to have been no contact – and Lewis Kerr completed a paid maximum for the Hammers in the re-run.
Despite Bees’ number-one getting the better of Jonsson and Kim Nilsson in Heat 13 before a promising start for Havelock’s side in the next was ended by Lewis Bridger’s back straight move on King and guest Leigh Lanham.
And the home side duly hit the 60-point mark with a 5-1 from Bridger and Jonsson in the last, leaving the Bees with just one point from their four away matches so far this season.
“It’s really disappointing,” Havelock told the Observer. “We weren’t at the races at all.
“It was always going to be difficult when Jason pulled out on Saturday morning because he’s such a good rider on these small, technical tracks, but we just didn’t get at them.
“The track was quite patchy to begin with, and really bumpy, and the boys were struggling to find the smooth line. They changed things and KK had a few good rides towards the end, but really we were never in it.”