COVENTRY completed the double over Lakeside with a comfortable 39-24 win at Brandon in a meeting curtailed due to the weather.
Rain moved into Brandon some time earlier than forecast, with the early stages of the meeting taking place under light drizzle which gradually intensified as the racing went on.
By around Heat 8 it was clear that conditions were deteriorating markedly, and it was credit to both teams that the match got as far as Heat 10 which is the stage where a result can be declared.
There was never any serious doubt that the Buildbase Bees would be adding three points to their Elite League total, with only a fast-gating show from Swedish rider Kim Nilsson keeping the Hammers’ flag flying.
Nilsson won his first three rides, the third of which was for double points as a tactical ride albeit with a hint of good fortune, but the other visiting riders could get little change out of a rock-solid Bees line-up.
Skipper Chris Harris was unbeaten in his three outings, and all seven Coventry riders took at least one paid win on the night.
They took the lead with a 5-1 in Heat 2 as Jason Garrity steamed past Adam Ellis to link up with the returning James Sarjeant, and it was back-to-back maximums in the next with a fine ride by Joonas Kylmakorpi to snatch second place from Edward Kennett on the line by re-passing the former Coventry man.
Bees led by six points after five races but Kylmakorpi and Danny King stretched it with another 5-1 in Heat 6, and the meeting was virtually away from Lakeside in Heat 7 when Hans Andersen moved Richard Lawson aside on turn one with Harris coming through for another maximum advantage.
The tactical ride gave Lakeside some respite although that race looked set to be another 5-1 until Ellis fell on the third bend, almost clattering into Nilsson, and the race stoppage enabled Nilsson to make a far better start from the outside in the re-run and defeat King and Sarjeant with the weather getting worse.
There was time for another Bees 5-1 from Stuart Robson and Garrity in Heat 9 as both outmanoeuvred Lawson on the second bend, and Harris produced a good ride around the boards in Heat 10 to get the better of Mikkel Bech with Kylmakorpi suffering mechanical trouble.
But that was as far as the meeting went as the riders had to give best to conditions, the Bees taking the three points to maintain a healthy nine-point lead in the Elite League table – reduced by one point due to King’s Lynn’s big away win at Leicester.
Boss Gary Havelock said: “We focused beforehand, and our chat was all about not being complacent. The law of speedway suggests the fact that we won there means we should be able to beat them easily at home, but that’s not always the case.
“One thing that can make you come unstuck is being complacent, and we wanted to start as hard as we could because if you can get on top of a team who don’t travel too well in the first five or six heats their heads tend to go down.
“As they have done all season, the boys listened to what I had to say, they took it on board and it was another good win. The rain wasn’t forecast to come in until about 10pm, but that’s the good old British weather!”
COVENTRY 39: Chris Harris 8+1, Danny King 8, Jason Garrity 6+2, Stuart Robson 6+1, Joonas Kylmakorpi 4+2, James Sarjeant 4+1, Hans Andersen 3. LAKESIDE 24: Kim Nilsson 13+1, Mikkel Bech 3, Adam Ellis 3, Richard Lawson 2+2, Edward Kennett 2, Troy Batchelor 1, James Wright 0.
BUILDBASE BEES 39 Hans Andersen 0 3 = 3 Stuart Robson 2 2 2* = 6+1 Joonas Kylmakorpi 2* 2* R = 4+2 Danny King 3 3 2 = 8 Chris Harris 3 2* 3 = 8+1 Jason Garrity 2* 1* 3 = 6+2 James Sarjeant 3 0 1* = 4+1
LAKESIDE 24 Mikkel Bech 1 0 2 = 3 Kim Nilsson 3 3 6^ 1* = 13+1 Troy Batchelor 0 1 = 1 Richard Lawson 1* 0 1 = 2+1 Edward Kennett 1 1 = 2 Adam Ellis 1 2 0 X = 3 James Wright 0 0 = 0