COVENTRY Storm will have to return to Birmingham later in the season after Wednesday’s Travel Plus National League match was abandoned.
Eight races were possible at Perry Barr before a second heavy downpour forced proceedings to be halted, although every effort was made to push the meeting through to a conclusion.
Prior to the abandonment, the City Gearboxes Storm had produced an improved performance and only trailed the league leaders by eight points, 20-28, in stark contrast to their heavy home defeat last month.
They had also achieved the notable feat of a 5-1 in Heat 2 against the Brummies’ powerhouse reserves, as Callum Walker and guest Bradley Andrews took advantage of a second-bend fall from Jack Smith to instantly cancel out an opening race maximum from the home side.
Liam Carr also won his opening outing with a good move to get the better of Jack Parkinson-Blackburn in Heat 4 which was raced in torrential rain, after which there was a half-hour delay to allow the weather to clear and the track to be recovered.
The Brummies went eight points ahead after the resumption only for the Storm to hit back in Heat 7 through Mitchell Davey and Ryan Terry-Daley, who halved the deficit by seeing off Darryl Ritchings and Smith.
A challenge for a league point at least did not look out of the question with conditions a great leveller, but further rain began to fall and a 5-1 from the impressive Tom Bacon and Parkinson-Blackburn in Heat 8 put the Brummies eight-up again.
The second downpour was followed by more track work, after which Carr and Tom Perry as senior riders went out to test the circuit, and although both did complete their laps safely it was clear that an attempt to race would have been a lottery on a saturated surface and with added visibility issues.
With eight races completed, the result does not stand and the meeting will be re-arranged for later in the season.
Storm boss Laurence Rogers said: “Unfortunately the elements were against us. We did feel after the first lot of rain came through that the track wouldn’t take much more, and although we only needed another couple of races to get a result, it could probably have been called off earlier.
“It wasn’t a bad effort by the boys at all, to be only four points down after a really good 5-1 in Heat 7 where Mitch Davey showed after one race to weigh a track up, he flies - so he’s been a good acquisition to our team.”
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE BIRMINGHAM 28: Tom Bacon 9, Tom Perry 7, Danyon Hume 5+2, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn 5+1, Darryl Ritchings 2+1, Jack Smith 0, Zach Wajtknecht R/R. COVENTRY 20: Liam Carr 5, Ryan Terry-Daley 3+1, Bradley Andrews 3+1, Mitchell Davey 3, Callum Walker 3, Conor Dwyer 3, Dan Greenwood 0. Abandoned after 8 heats - Track waterlogged - Result DOES NOT stand.