BEES boss Gary Havelock has labelled Friday’s convincing 52-39 win over Belle Vue as the team’s best performance at Brandon this season.
A third successive win has put the Bees level on points with fourth-placed Eastbourne as Havelock’s side made another stride towards the Elite League play-offs
Despite being without in-form reserve Jason Garrity, who had a clashing Premier League match for Rye House, the hosts’ other top five stepped up to the plate to nullify the threat of Matej Zager and former Bees skipper Scott Nicholls.
The Aces pair were limited to just 18 points from 11 races combined as their miserable away form continued with just three away points gained on the road all season.
“That was our best performance around here this season without a shadow of a doubt.” said Havelock.
“We wanted to go hard right from the start, and after a couple of 3-3s we really kicked in with a lot of 5-1s.
“We controlled the meeting all the way through, we 5-1’d their first double and their second one only got a 5-2, so really all round it was a perfect team performance.
“It could have been a bit ‘iffy’ for us without Jason (Garrity) because he’s been doing fantastically well, but the top five did the job that they’re paid to do and I’m really happy.
“At no time during the meeting were the nerves coming – it was pretty smooth all the way through.”
After a shared opener the Bees secured maximum points in Heat 3 as Chris Harris sliced past Nicholls on the back straight to team up with Michael Jepsen Jensen.
And Nicholls was again on the receiving end in Heat 5, this time at the hands of Harris and Hans Andersen.
Jepsen Jensen showed his talent with a fine win over Zagar in Heat 6 and a Bees 4-2 in Heat 7 headed up by Aaron Summers put the visitors into tactical territory.
But their move to nominate Nicholls for double points in Heat 8 went badly wrong as Jepsen Jensen made another terrific start and then waited for Hansen to join him around the outside, leaving Nicholls mired in third place and not doubling his score.
Bees looked set to extend the lead to 18 points in Heat 9 only for the unlucky James Sarjeant to fall due to machine failure on the third lap, with guest Tom Perry taking a good win.
The second Belle Vue tactical ride was only marginally more successful as Zagar snatched third place from Summers late in the race.
Zagar then clocked the fastest time of the season when he won Heat 11 and a fightback looked on the cards in the next when the Aces got the better of a ragged start before Summers overhauled Nielsen going into the last lap to prevent a 5-1.
Belle Vue’s night was summed up by the events of Heat 13 after Zagar was disqualified for not being under power at the time of the stoppage and Andersen and Harris then secured a maximum in the re-run.
The ever-trying Michael Palm Toft got the verdict in the closest of finishes with Hansen in Heat 14 after a late inside move, but all Bees needed to do in the last race was provide a finisher to ensure all three league points.
But they did more than that as Andersen fended off a strong Nicholls challenge to win the race.
The Storm clowds gathered over Brandon on Friday evening but the rain stayed away. (s) Photo by Jeff Davies