THE FOUR year wait for Elite League success took one step closer to ending this week after the Bees secured their place in the Elite League Grand Final.
A sensational performance in Blunsdon on Monday event saw the Bees defeat Swindon 50-45 to take a 99-86 overall victory.
It was a remarkable scoreline given the Robins’ recent home form, which had seen them win their last nine matches on their own circuit, scoring at least 52 points in the last seven of those.
Bees adapted far better to track conditions than their hosts, and there was never any suggestion of a repeat of their 31-60 mauling at the same venue one month earlier.
A complete team performance from the Bees was headed by a stunning paid-14 showing from Kyle Howarth who came up against his former club.
And youngster Max Fricke produced a hugely impressive guest performance by beating all of the Swindon big guns, while in-form reserve James Sarjeant won both reserves’ races.
“I certainly expected us to run them close on the night, and I was absolutely certain that there was no way we’d perform as badly as we did here last time,” said Bees manager Gary Havelock.
“All season I’ve been delighted with our team, and I don’t think there’s one meeting where I could have criticised one of them for effort.
“Kyle and Max were sensational, and also James Sarjeant was unbelievable with the way he came past Steve Worrall in Heat 2, but all of them were great.
“As I’ve said before, backs to the wall is when you find out about your team, and we’ve certainly found out a lot about these riders during the season.”
Bees do not yet know who they will face in the Grand Final after the second leg of the other semi-final between Poole and King’s Lynn was postponed on Monday due to the weather.
The two clubs will try again at Wimborne Road on Thursday night with the winners set to visit Brandon for the first leg of the Final next Monday (October 13).
James Sarjeant put in another impressive performance for the Bees against Swindon. (s) Photo by Jeff Davies
Chris Harris, Mick Horton and Jason Garrity celebrate the win. (s) Photo by Jeff Davies