GARY Havelock says his side were ‘nothing short of sensational’ as they came back from an eight-point deficit to draw 45-45 against Poole in the first leg of the play-off semi-final at Brandon Stadium last Friday, writes Observer speedway reporter Robin Allen.
Despite Bees’ calling upon Swedish international Freddie Lindgren to guest for Joonas Kylmakorpi, it did seem that Gary Havelock’s team were lacking the firepower at number five.
With Lindgren only scoring three points, it put more pressure on the rest of the team – with Hans Andersen showing his class and experience with a vital 13 points.
“I’m sure people thought we were dead and buried after Heat 13, but it just shows the spirit in the camp to go out and get two 5-1s like we did was nothing short of sensational – and if nothing else, that gives Poole something to think about,” said Havelock
“The best thing about tonight was the form of Hans, he was absolutely sensational and we need him riding like that at Poole as well if we’re going to have a chance there.”
The home side made a terrible start to the meeting after conceding a 5-1 to Pirates’ duo Chris Holder and Davey Watt.
But the powerful pairing of Jason Garrity and James Sarjeant rescued their team straightaway with a 5-1 of their own, with the score 6-6.
And then there was drama in heat four after Sarjeant was excluded for touching the tapes; which meant his fast-track partner Garrity came in as his replacement in the re-run.
The visitors looked set for a 5-1 with an excellent gate but Andersen went into battle with Kyle Newman and finally snatched second place with a last gasp pass on the line, cutting it to a 4-2 putting Poole in the lead.
But three-straight 4-2 race advantages in heat six, seven and eight put Bees’ in the lead for the first time on the night, with the score 26-22
However, the Pirates’ responded with back-to-back 5-1’s putting them four points up. Although Bees’ could haven’t counted themselves as unlucky – when Danny King made a superb gate in heat ten only to hit a rut on the first turn which chucked him off the back of his machine.
Garrity then took a heavy tumble in heat 11 which led to a lengthy stoppage so the Manchunian could receive treatment. The Fast-track reserve returned for the re-run getting a well-deserved second place in a 3-3 shared heat.
Bees’ looked set for a defeat though, after being on the wrong end of a 5-1 in heat 13; meaning the home side were now eight points down, and needed two 5-1’s to get a draw.
But whoever said miracles don’t happen as King and Andersen teamed up for back-to-back 5-1’s in heats 14 and 15, with King going from fourth to second with a superb blast round the fence in the last race.
Havelock added: “We pulled it back to get a draw, and it’s all on now. We’ve got to go there with belief, and give it to them. It’s now a one-meeting dash, and we’ve got to try to hit them hard.”