DAN Greenwood bagged another dominant maximum as Coventry Storm collected a 51-39 win from their National League trip to Buxton on Sunday.
Greenwood raced to five straight wins, and also defended his Bronze Helmet after the main meeting, and was the fastest rider around the Hi-Edge Raceway by an enormous margin.
With solid support down the order and a total of eleven race wins, the City Gearboxes Storm always looked likely to prevail but they had to wait until the closing stages to fully assert their authority.
Luke Crang fell when well clear in Heat 1, and Darryl Ritchings also hit misfortune on the second turn of Heat 3 when holding a 5-1, and those setbacks ensured the early stages were closely contested.
And the Storm suffered an injury blow in Heat 5 when Martin Knuckey, having just rounded Tom Woolley, clipped the back wheel of Adam Extance causing both riders to fall heavily.
Both walked away after treatment but Knuckey was withdrawn with a knee injury and is set for scans back in Coventry to assess the extent of the damage.
His withdrawal put added pressure on the reserves, where Conor Dwyer gave a mature display for a deserved seven-point score, whilst Stefan Farnaby also battled hard for important points.
With the scores level after Heat 8, Farnaby moved Woolley aside for third place in the next race, which briefly put the Storm ahead only for the Hitmen to hit straight back in Heat 10 – Ritchings being involved in some exciting tussles, losing out to Ben Hopwood in Heat 7 but getting the better of Ryan Blacklock in the tenth to prevent the home side from taking the lead.
At 33-33, the Storm edged back ahead in Heat 12 when Buxton’s David Holt fell due to a stuck throttle, and Crang and Greenwood then exploded from the gate in Heat 13 to leave Hopwood and Tony Atkin trailing.
Rob Shuttleworth had started the meeting with a win and ended it in similar fashion after a hectic first lap of Heat 14, with Dwyer taking third place as Cameron Hoskins fell.
That made the Storm strong favourites for maximum league points, and they achieved that comfortably as Greenwood completed a classy maximum in Heat 15 with Ritchings backing him up in second place.
Boss Laurence Rogers said: “That was a super effort from the team, especially after we lost Marty to what could be a fractured knee-cap – we don’t know yet, but that would be horrible.
“But they all battled well and scored points, and Dan is just on it at the moment as we’ve said before. The progress he’s making is phenomenal, and long may it continue.
“We threw some points away early on, but we knew what we had to come in Heats 13 and 15, there are some good options there!”
BUXTON 39: Tony Atkin 10, Adam Extance 8, Ryan Blacklock 7+2, Ben Hopwood 7, Tom Woolley 4+2, David Holt 2, Cameron Hoskins 1+1. COVENTRY 51: Dan Greenwood 15, Darryl Ritchings 9+1, Luke Crang 8+1, Rob Shuttleworth 7+1, Conor Dwyer 7, Stefan Farnaby 4+1, Martin Knuckey 1.
BUXTON 39 Tony Atkin 3 2 3 1 1 = 10 Ryan Blacklock 2 1* 3 1 = 7+1 Tom Woolley 1* 1* 0 2 = 4+2 Adam Extance 2 2 2 2 R = 8 Ben Hopwood 2 3 2 0 = 7 Cameron Hoskins X F 1* F = 1+1 David Holt 1 0 1 X = 2
CITY GEARBOXES STORM 51 Luke Crang 0 3 3 2* = 8+1 Martin Knuckey 1 X = 1 Darryl Ritchings F 2 2 3 2* = 9+1 Rob Shuttleworth 3 1* 0 3 = 7+1 Dan Greenwood 3 3 3 3 3 = 15 Stefan Farnaby 2* 0 X 1 1 = 4+1 Conor Dwyer 3 1 2 0 1 = 7