GARY Havelock could not hide his disappointment after watching his Coventry Bees team slip to a narrow 46-44 defeat to Leicester at Beaumont Park on Monday night, writes Observer speedway reporter Robin Allen.
The Bees were without Josh Bates who had been ruled out with concussion after crashing while riding for Sheffield in the Premier League last week, while Jason Garrity made a welcome return to the side after missing the win at King’s Lynn.
A number of incidents in the second half of the meeting cost the visitors, with the most pivotal perhaps coming in Heat 8 with Garrity suffering further damage to his arm following a crash which caused him to withdraw from the meeting.
“It’s very disappointing, because it’s a meeting we really should have won, said Havelock “We missed Josh Bates tonight, and it sums our season up really.
“We’ve talked about the consistency before, we go to somewhere like King’s Lynn and win, and you look at the teams on paper with no disrespect to Leicester and this is one we should have won.
“I wasn’t unhappy with Jason being excluded in the crash, but I was with the referee pulling the race back at the start for no reason. He was dialled-in and dropped his clutch faster than everyone else – it was poor refereeing.
“Fair play to Leicester, though, they kept at it and they’ve been the whipping boys for the last couple of seasons but there was plenty of fight in their team, so congratulations to them.”
The visitors looked set for 5-1 in the opening race only for Aaron Summers to get past Garrity going into the second lap limiting it to a Bee 4-2.
Kacper Woryna made a jet-propelled start in heat two beating the Lions’ Ludvig Lindgren and Paul Starke in excellent style maintaining Bees two-point lead.
And after a superb win in heat three Coventry captain Chris Harris made it two wins from two with a strong first lap in Heat six putting Bees four-up again as he moved back past Nicolai Klindt exiting turn four.
Problems began for the Bees in heat eight, first when the race was stopped and Garrity warned after appearing to have made a good start.
The re-run saw Garrity collide with Starke, and the disqualification of the Coventry rider from the race was an understandable decision from the referee.
Woryna prevented maximum damage by splitting the Lions in the re-run, but the home side did go ahead in the next when Aaron Summers made it through the narrowest of back-straight gaps to join key reserve Lindgren for a 5-1.
Harris and King teamed up for Bees 5-1 in heat 11 which put them back in the lead by two points. Despite the best efforts of Woryna in the following race, Bees were on the wrong side of a 4-2 on a much changing track.
And in heat 13 Krzysztof Kasprzak was out-front while Bees captain Harris picked up third place putting Coventry 40-38 up. With the track now slick, the home side romped to 5-1 in heat 14, meaning Bees needed a 5-1 in final heat to secure the win.
On paper Coventry were favourites to get the win, but Harris struggled with bike problems after being squeezed out by the Lions pair, whilst Kasprzak was a clear winner.
The 3-3 was enough for the Lions to take just their third Elite League win of the season, with Bees limited to one league point from the match.