DEPLETED Coventry Storm suffered a night to forget with a 24-66 defeat at Kent in the Travel Plus National League on Monday.
That result came despite a stunning individual display from City Gearboxes Storm No.1 Dan Greenwood, who with a score of 13 picked up more than half of the side’s points on his own.
Greenwood again showed his mastery of the Central Park circuit by breaking the track record in Heat 1, which was the first of four race wins against an ultra-strong Kings side.
But with the Storm’s other top heat-leader Liam Carr absent due to a broken scaphoid, it was always going to be an uphill battle as the home side repeated the performance they had put in against another weakened side, Mildenhall, one week earlier.
The Storm had little in the way of fortune, as shown by Callum Walker leading Heat 2 only for guest Rob Watts to fall, and the re-run went the Kings’ way with Danno Verge coming through on the last bend.
Greenwood was most unlucky to be disqualified from Heat 4 after a clash with James Shanes where the general consensus was that a re-start with all four riders would have been the appropriate verdict – but after touching the tapes in the next and going off the 15-metre handicap, he brilliantly overhauled both David Mason and Danny Ayres.
But falls for Martin Knuckey and Ryan Terry-Daley helped the home side onto a run of four successive 5-1s, ended by Knuckey’s second place ahead of Luke Clifton in Heat 10.
Greenwood was then the only Storm rider to defeat opponents in the closing stages of the meeting, defeating Shanes in Heat 11 but then missing out to the former Coventry man in Heat 13 when attempting a challenge on Luke Bowen.
The Storm No.1 did then gain another win over Bowen and Danny Ayres in Heat 15 with a superb first lap move, but his display – reminiscent of the early part of last season – was all the visitors could take from the meeting.
Boss Laurence Rogers said: “If we were going to have any luck tonight it was bad, and obviously we missed Liam badly – he scored 17 here last time.
“We just couldn’t get going. They are a strong team, they’re riding well, the luck wasn’t on our side and some of the refereeing was debatable.
“We have to put it behind us and re-group for next week. It’s one of those nights, but to have Dan back to his very best is the big thing we can take out of it.”
KENT 66: Danny Ayres 13, Luke Bowen 12+1, James Shanes 10+1, Jack Thomas 9+3, David Mason 8+3, Danno Verge 7+4, Luke Clifton 7+2. COVENTRY 24: Dan Greenwood 13, Martin Knuckey 4, Ryan Terry-Daley 3, Callum Walker 3, Conor Dwyer 1, Rob Watts 0, Liam Carr R/R.