Lakeside suffered a costly mid-meeting collapse as they were beaten 54-39 at Coventry on Friday.
The Vortex Hammers made an encouraging start and led 13-11 after four races, having provided three of the heat winners – but they then conceded a disastrous run of five successive 5-1s to all-but end their hopes.
Skipper Andreas Jonsson and reserve Lewis Kerr both won three races, but support from the middle order was lacking as the Bees proved to be the more solid side.
The Hammers’ problems began when Jason Garrity and Adam Roynon raced to maximum points over Piotr Swiderski in Heat 5 – but the events of the next race proved a major turning point as Jonsson was disqualified after a third-bend clash with Coventry’s Kacper Woryna, which handed the Bees another 5-1.
And by the time the Swede was back on-track to go for double points in Heat 10, the Hammers were 18-points down and looking at damage limitation, with Lewis Bridger having fallen in two of his first three outings.
Jonsson’s six-pointer was backed up by an excellent 5-1 from Richard Lawson and Kim Nilsson over Krzysztof Kasprzak in Heat 11, giving them an outside chance of salvaging at least a point from the meeting.
But those hopes were dashed by Kasprzak and Chris Harris in Heat 13 as the Bees wrapped things up with a 5-1 over Jonsson and Nilsson.
Lakeside boss Kelvin Tatum said: “We started well, but then Coventry really got going and those five 5-1s were fairly damning.
We had some frailties, which is of some concern, and in truth we weren’t at the races and Coventry gained in confidence. The track suited them, it was heavier than we expected, but that’s not an excuse and it’s something we should be able to deal with.
The referee was always going to exclude AJ from Heat 6 with the view from his position. Obviously Woryna was squeezing him down the back straight, so there was an argument, but I think most referees would have made that call.
It was a bad day at the office for us, and now we need a good one in the return match at home on Saturday.”
*THE return fixture at Purfleet takes place on Saturday (first race 7.45pm) with the Hammers unchanged from the match at Brandon.
Coventry make one alteration, as with Josh Bates absent on World Under-21 duty the Bees bring in former Lakeside stalwart Leigh Lanham to guest.
That also has the effect of moving Polish rider Kacper Woryna down to reserve, with Lanham taking the No.4 riding position.
Coventry Bees = 54
1. Krzysztof Kasprzak – 2,3,1,3,2 = 11
2. Jason Garrity – 0,3,3,FX = 6
3. Danny King – 3,2*,2,3,1* =11+2
4. Kacper Woryna – 2,3,2*,F = 7+1
5. Chris Harris – EF,2*,1*,2* = 5+3
6. Adam Roynon – 1*,2*,2*,1* = 6+4
7. James Sarjeant – 2,1*,3,2 = 8+1
Lakeside Hammers = 39
1. Andreas Jonsson – 3,EX,6^,0,3 = 12
2. Piotr Swiderski – 1,1,0,R = 2
3. Richard Lawson – 2,1,3,1*,0 = 7+1
4. Lewis Bridger – FX,0,F,2 = 2
5. Kim Nilsson – 1*,1,2*,1 = 5+2
6. Robert Mear – 0,0,(LK-1),0 = 0
7. Lewis Kerr – 3,3,1,1,3 = 11
Coventry win the toss and defer to Heat 15. Lakeside choose gates 1&3 in Heat 1.
Heat 01: Jonsson,Kasprazak,Swiderski,Garrity…2-4
Heat 02: Kerr,Sarjeant,Roynon,Mear…(3-3). 5-7
Heat 03: King,Lawson,Nilsson,Harris(Engine Failure)…(3-3). 8-10
Heat 04: (Re-Run): Kerr,Woryna,Sarjeant ,Bridger(Fell/Excluded)…(3-3). 11-13
Heat 05: Garrity,Roynon,Swiderski,Mear…(5-1). 16-14
Heat 06: Woryna,King,Nilsson,Jonsson(Excluded)…Awarded. (5-1). 21-15
Heat 07: Kasprzak,Harris,Lawson,Bridger…(5-1). 26-16
Heat 08: Sarjeant,Woryna,Kerr,Swiderski…(5-1). 31-17
Heat 09: Garrity,Roynon,Kerr,Bridger(Fell)…(5-1). 36-18
Heat 10: JONSSON,King,Harris,Swiderski(Retired)…(3-6). 39-24
Heat 11: (Re-Run): Lawson,Nilsson,Kasprzak,Garrity(Fell/Excluded)…(1-5). 40-29
Heat 12: Kerr,Sarjeant,Roynon,Mear…(3-3). 43-32
Heat 13: Kasprzak,Harris,Nilsson,Jonsson…(5-1). 48-33
Heat 14: King,Bridger,Lawson,Woryna(Fell)…(3-3). 51-36
Heat 15: Jonsson,Kasprzak,King,Lawson…(3-3). 54-39
Updates courtesy of @speedwayupdates & @lakesidelive
Image: Lewis Kerr Credit: TGS Photo