GARY Havelock has praised the strength of his team as Coventry Bees recovered from a deficit to beat Leicester and then Glasgow over the Easter Bank-holiday weekend, writes Observer speedway reporter Robin Allen.
The Bees took on local rivals Leicester at Brandon on Friday night with the visitors setting the pace early on with a four-point lead over their hosts.
However, the firepower of Krzysztof Kasprzak, Chris Harris and Danny King soon put Bees’ in control of the meeting with four heat advantages in the last six races securing a 49-41 victory.
“I was really impressed with the power of our heat leaders, it is comforting to know they will win important races,” said Havelock
“It is nice to get points on the board from the first league match. I said to the boys that Leicester probably look weak on paper but we could not underestimate them because you look through their team, they are a team full of trappers early on before the dirt moves out.”
With bad weather hitting the midlands over the weekend, Bees away meeting at Leicester on Saturday was called off just an hour before the scheduled start, leaving Havelock frustrated after travelling down from his north-east base in torrential rain.
“I left home at about 3:30pm, it was raining then and it basically never stopped. I can understand the difficulty of being a promoter looking at the forecasts and all that, but it’s been happening since when I started racing and I guess it will probably still go on for years to come.”
The Easter weekend was rounded off with an inter-league challenge against Premier League side Glasgow Tigers on Sunday.
Havelock’s side headed north of the border without Jason Garrity and Josh Bates, who were riding for Sheffield, meaning Coventry Storm duo Martin Knuckey and Liam Carr made their first appearance for the senior team.
Despite the efforts of Kasprzak, King and Harris it looked like Tigers home-track knowledge would give them victory with a ten-point lead after 11 heats.
However, the Bees hit back with three-straight heat advantages including a 5-0 in heat 12 after both Glasgow riders fell which put the visitors in the lead going into heat 15.
And then ever dependable Harris secured the unlikely 45-46 victory with the win in the final race.
“Glasgow were certainly up for the occasion and they can probably count themselves unlucky to lose in the end,” Havelock added.
“I think the fact they had a big crowd there with a lot of them coming to see the likes of Krzysztof Kasprzak and Chris Harris because they are riders they do not usually get to see during the season.
“I said to the lads just take it easy and see how we go but as you could see from our top two, they did not want to lose.
“Bomber (Harris), Krzysztof and Danny kept us in it for a while, and that 5-0 in heat 12 was a stroke of luck because we have not had that sort of thing go for us in the last couple of years.
“Harris has really upped his game with the way he has started off this season is fantastic and great for the team because I hope he can carry it forward into his GP stuff because even when he struggled elsewhere last year he’d always be there for the Bees scoring points.”