SPEEDWAY: GARY Havelock says his depleted Coventry Bees needed a miracle to beat Elite League leaders Belle Vue as they slipped to a 59-34 at the National Speedway Stadium last Friday, writes Observer speedway reporter Robin Allen.
The Bees were without number-one Krzysztof Kasprzak because of the Grand Prix Challenge in Sweden which was a blow because the Pole had showed his liking to the new track on his two previous visits this season.
Josh Bates then withdrew through illness on Friday afternoon which forced team manage Havelock to call upon the services of local youngster Matt Williamson to guest at reserve.
“It’s a difficult place to come even when you’re at full strength, because you look at their pairings and there isn’t a weak link,” said Havelock. “Joe Jacobs is flying, and I think they’ve got to be favourites for the league at this moment in time.
“The boys tried really hard and there was some fantastic racing. Some of the rides from Jason Garrity and Danny King were exceptional, and great to watch, but overall it was a bit of a mirror of our season as a whole.
“Belle Vue are top of the league so even if we were at full team and not lost Chris halfway through it would have been a tough ask, but to come here with riders missing, R/R for your number-one, it would have been a miracle if we would of pulled off the result.
“Matt Williamson took the guest booking with just a few hours’ notice, he is a really nice kid, he listened to what I was telling him and he was on the pace despite normally riding in the National and Premier Leagues it is a big jump going into the Elite, but he did not disgrace himself and it was good of him to take the booking.”
The bulk of the Bees resistance was provided by British Champion Danny King, who was outstanding, and the ever-spectacular Jason Garrity.
Manchurian Garrity was out on the black and white helmet colour in heat five where came up trumps with the win, but that 6-3 for the Bees was their only heat advantage in an under par team performance.
The visitors’ poor night was summed up by captain Chris Harris’ high-speed crash which resulted in a trip to hospital, but thankfully he escaped without serious injury
King trapped Craig Cook on the inside in a hotly-contested heat 14 for his third win of the night, although Kacper Woryna’s best ride of the night eventually saw him re-passed by Scott Nicholls.
But King then found himself out-manoeuvred in Heat 15 with the very impressive Joe Jacobs, a former Coventry Storm number-one, coming past him whilst King’s way was blocked by leader Cook.