COVENTRY Storm’s inconsistent start to the season continued with a 42-48 home defeat at the hands of King’s Lynn on Friday.
The City Gearboxes Storm made a flying start with two 5-1s in the first three races to lead 13-5 – but those were to be their only advantages of the night as the Young Stars clawed things back with a series of 4-2s.
The visitors eventually took the lead with a 5-1 in Heat 11, a race which proved to be doubly damaging for the Storm as Liam Carr crashed out of second place on the final bend and was withdrawn with a suspected broken scaphoid.
Whether Carr’s presence over the closing stages would have been enough to turn the meeting back in the Storm’s favour is a debatable point, but his likely period on the sidelines is still a major blow to both Coventry and his Premier League club Berwick.
The Young Stars were impressively solid after their tough start to the meeting, with Nathan Greaves giving a classy display at No.5 and Ryan Kinsley putting in a terrific performance at reserve.
Kinsley came close to snatching second place from Carr on the line in Heat 5, but then used the outside to good effect in Heat 8 to round Conor Dwyer and take his second win of the meeting.
By then, Scott Campos was also on the winners’ board and although Ryan Terry-Daley rode superbly in Heat 9 to end Greaves’s unbeaten record, Storm captain Martin Knuckey – himself unbeaten at that stage – fell on the third bend when trying to pass Greaves.
Carr’s crash left the Storm totally up against it, although Terry-Daley produced a brilliant move in Heat 12 to switch inside Campos on the third lap – and even though Dan Greenwood retrieved second place in the next, re-passing Tom Stokes, the visitors were closing in on victory.
They secured it in Heat 14 as Kinsley and Josh Bailey tucked in behind Knuckey, before Greenwood’s Heat 15 win over Greaves ensured it would be three league points rather than four for the visitors.
Coventry boss Laurence Rogers said: “It looked like it would be a comfortable win, but we seemed to forget our gating gloves. They were out-gating us every time and those three 4-2s on the trot pulled them level.
“When Liam crashed that gave them the advantage, and they did ride well – you have to give credit to all seven of them. It was at reserve really with Ryan Kinsley where they won the meeting, and they beat us fair and square.
“For us, it was great to see Dan back to his normal self, and also Ryan (Terry-Daley) is a different rider altogether this year, which is pleasing. It was the most amazing ride to pass Scott Campos.”
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE; COVENTRY 42: Dan Greenwood 12+1, Martin Knuckey 9, Ryan Terry-Daley 8+1, Conor Dwyer 5, Liam Carr 4, Jamie Halder 2+1, Callum Walker 2 KING’S LYNN 48: Nathan Greaves 13, Ryan Kinsley 10+1, Scott Campos 7, Tom Stokes 6+3, Shane Hazelden 6, Josh Bailey 4+2, Layne Cupitt 2+1 National League points: Coventry 0 King’s Lynn 3