COVENTRY boss Alun Rossiter hailed new skipper Edward Kennett as the Buildbase Bees got their home season started with a thoroughly entertaining win over Peterborough.
Bees’ ten-point victory on the night wasn’t enough to make them winners of the Hokey-Cokey Cup overall – the Panthers having taken a 32-point lead into the meeting – but it did provide plenty of positive signs ahead for the new-look Coventry side.
Kennett dropped just one point from four rides and was the focal point in the race of the night, Heat 13, when he charged around Troy Batchelor at the start of the second lap and then shot inside former World Champion Nicki Pedersen one circuit later.
That completed a 5-1 with Bees’ No.1 Hans Andersen, who reeled off four smooth victories after being surprisingly relegated to third place in the first race.
Ryan Fisher was another to lower the colours of Pedersen in an action-packed display, whilst Kenni Larsen recovered from two opening blanks – just as at the Showground on Thursday – to serve full notice of his potential with two impressive wins.
The second of those was a team-riding effort with 16-year-old Nick Morris, who impressed greatly with his fast starting which enabled him to share in two 5-1s in his first-ever meeting at Brandon – and a race win apiece for Travis McGowan and Richard Sweetman meant that all seven riders contributed to the result.
Panthers were led from the front by new skipper Pedersen, whose return to the UK is great news for the Elite League as a whole, and there was also an eye-catching display from reserve Dakota North who followed up a blistering run of form in the Premier League with two good race wins for the visitors.
Rossiter said: “We were a bit nervy early on after what was a poor display at Peterborough, but the team is coming together now and there were some really good signs.
“I think that was probably the best I’ve seen Edward ride. I certainly haven’t seen him looking as sharp and fast as that for a long time, and that has to be very encouraging for us.”
Bees will be working on their Elite League fixture list over the coming days, but the first match has already been arranged for next Friday, April 15, when they will face Birmingham.
BUILDBASE BEES 50: Hans Andersen 13, Edward Kennett 10+1, Ryan Fisher 8+1, Kenni Larsen 7, Nick Morris 4+2, Travis McGowan 4, Richard Sweetman 4.
PETERBOROUGH 40: Nicki Pedersen 11, Dakota North 9+2, Olly Allen 7+1, Linus Sundstrom 6+2, Troy Batchelor 5, Luke Bowen 2+1, Kacper Gomolski r/r.