23rd Sep, 2018

Coventry Bees claim best away result of season at Stoke

Craig Gibbons 16th Aug, 2018

COVENTRY picked up two points from a 29-29 draw in a weather-curtailed National League encounter at Stoke.

Rain fell steadily throughout much of the meeting and intensified in the closing races, with both teams in agreement a halt should be called after ten races.

It is the Bees’ best away result in the league so far this season and it means they very much retain play-off aspirations if they can maintain their unbeaten home form.

Stoke never led on the night but Coventry’s maximum advantage was three points in a tight encounter with produced plenty of drama in the wetter closing stages.

Reserves Luke Harris and Ryan MacDonald put them in front with a 4-2 in Heat Two and it was a lead they held through three shared races with Connor Mountain quickly getting past David Wallinger to win Heat Five.

Potters guest Tom Perry headed up a Stoke 4-2 in the sixth to level the scores, but Danny Phillips and Luke Ruddick collected a 4-2 of their own in Heat Seven as Bees made it 22-20.

In Heat Eight, Stoke held a 5-1 when MacDonald fell, which meant Jamie Halder had to go off a 15-metre handicap in the re-run – and he stunned home duo Paul Burnett and Adam Extance by passing both on the outside, with the Potters losing another point when Burnett fell.

But fortune turned back in the home side’s favour in Heat Nine when again there were only two finishers – Wallinger coming to grief first, and then Armstrong putting his bike down when Rob Shuttleworth locked up in front of him.

Referee Jim McGregor disqualified Wallinger and Armstrong, with the re-run seeing Shuttleworth come home in front of Harris, cutting the gap back to two points.

Perry won the final race of the night ahead of Luke Ruddick, with Phillips squeezed out for third by Extance as the meeting ended all-square.

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