YOU don’t have to hold the greatest memory to recall our latest ‘Brandon Years’ feature, in fact you only have to cast your mind back seven years ago to Monday October 4, 2010.
It was Chris Harris’ Buildbase Bees up against the mighty Poole Pirates of Dorset, led by Australian international Davey Watt.
For context, the Bees had endured a miserable start to their 2010 campaign – losing their opening nine fixtures leaving them rooted to the foot of the Elite League table.
A dramatic turnaround though, boosted with the signing of young Pole Przemyslaw Pawlicki, saw Coventry do the unthinkable and reach the end of season playoffs with a win at home against Poole on the final day of the regular season.
A playoff semi-final win against Peterborough followed before the Bees were confirmed as finalists alongside Poole – who in the same week defeated Wolverhampton in their respective semi-final.
Alun Rossiter’s side managed to win the first leg at home by 11 points, but the Pirates hadn’t been defeated on their home track all season – a stiff task lied ahead.
Three heat wins in the opening four races halved Coventry’s aggregate advantage before the meeting had hardly started.
And things got worse in heat six when skipper Chris Harris was knocked off his bike by Poole number one Chris Holder in a tight first turn.
ABOVE: Chris Harris is involved in a horrific first bend crash before winning the re-run in dramatic style.
Harris fell straight into the line of team mate Lewis Bridger, who over Harris at 50mph – causing the ‘Brandon Bomber’ severe pain.
With adrenaline pumping though, Harris got to his feet and sensationally won the re-run after cutting back on Chris Holder on the final turn of the last lap to win the race on the line.
From there the Bees never looked back – with Harris performing a similar miracle in heat nine when defeating Danish international Bjarne Pedersen by passing him on the final lap.
A 5-1 for Coventry in heat ten brought the Bees level and – for the first time – fans started to believe the impossible could happen.
Jason Doyle – then a reserve but now one of world speedway’s best riders – won a crucial heat 12 for the Pirates, but it was the unstoppable duo of Krzysztof Kasprzak and Chris Harris that finished first and second in heat 13, wrapping up the Elite League title.
It marked one of the all-time great comebacks in speedway history.
Celebrations on the start/finish line proving a total contrast to the team which failed to win a meeting until late April earlier in the season.
Within the celebrations there was a constant. A constant which remains in fans hearts today – fight, courage and determination. Coventry Bees, Elite League Champions 2010.
To find out more about our ‘Save Our Bees’ campaign, visit https://coventryobserver.co.uk/news/campaign-save-our-bees-a-coventry-observer-campaign-to-get-the-bees-back-on-track/.
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