COVENTRY moved back into the Elite League’s top six with a 56-38 win over Swindon on a night of entertaining racing at Brandon.
The Robins arrived tracking several guest riders but it could easily still have been a banana-skin fixture for the Buildbase Bees, a fact borne out by the fact that a Poole team with the same number of changes as Swindon romped to a 55-35 away win at Eastbourne on the same evening!
And as it turned out it was the Robins guests who carried the fight to Coventry – including putting Bees on the back foot by recording a 5-1 in Heat 1 – as their regular duo Nick Morris and Kacper Gomolski struggled.
But Bees recovered from their early setback to reel off a string of heat wins, and there was plenty of competitive racing for a decent-sized crowd to enjoy.
Former Swindon man Grzegorz Zengota continued his superb run of form at Brandon, starting the meeting with four straight wins, and his only defeat came at the hands of Jason Doyle in Heat 15.
Michal Szczepaniak was also in high-scoring form at reserve, and he shared in 5-1s in his first three rides, easing out Rory Schlein on the back straight in Heat 4 to allow skipper Scott Nicholls through to join him, and then rounding Schlein with a terrific burst of speed in Heat 6.
Zengota was fast from the start but also very willing to mix it, and he enjoyed a fine first-lap battle with fellow Pole Gomolski in Heat 9 with the pair wheel-to-wheel into turn three before the Coventry man emerged ahead.
Swindon’s first tactical ride went to the lively Josh Grajczonek in Heat 7, and he gated on a possible six-pointer only for Nicholls to make a brave outside pass at the end of the first lap.
The other double-points outing was taken by Doyle in Heat 11, but that was negated by a flying start from Aaron Summers from the outside, with Nicholls slipping off on turn four as he battled with Doyle and Morris.
A 5-1 to Swindon from Doyle and Schlein in Heat 13 suddenly gave the Robins an outside chance of snatching a point from the meeting, but Morris fell on the first bend of the penultimate race leaving the way clear for Summers and Szczepaniak to wrap things up for the Bees.
Doyle ended Zengota’s unbeaten run in Heat 15 by relegating the Coventry man to third place, although Nicholls’ race victory made it 13 heat wins out of 15 for the home side.
Nicholls said: “Swindon certainly weren’t as strong as they would have been if they’d had a full squad, which is a shame, but tonight it was vital that we got maximum points and a win is a win.
“Their guests gave it 100 per cent because for them it’s another pay-day, and the more points they could get the better for them. But if we can get the consistency in the track and the boys are performing well, there’s no reason why we can’t push to get through to the play-offs.
“The track was a lot better, so credit where credit is due because they’ve obviously worked hard and it’s a step in the right direction.”
COVENTRY 56: Grzegorz Zengota 15+1, Michal Szczepaniak 13+2, Scott Nicholls 11+2, Aaron Summers 9+1, Chris Harris 6, Stuart Robson 2, Olly Allen r/r.
SWINDON 38: Jason Doyle 12+2, Josh Grajczonek 10, Rory Schlein 9, Micky Dyer 5+2, Kacper Gomolski 1+1, Nick Morris 1+1, Peter Kildemand r/r.
BUILDBASE BEES 56 Chris Harris 0 3 3 0 = 6 Olly Allen Rider Replacement Grzegorz Zengota 3 3 3 3 2* 1 = 15+1 Stuart Robson 1 1 0 0 = 2 Scott Nicholls 2* 3 2* F 1 3 = 11+2 Aaron Summers 2* 1 3 3 = 9+1 Michal Szczepaniak 3 3 2* 0 3 2* = 13+2