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Speedway: Depleted Bees hold their nerve at Brandon.

Byline: By David Rowe

Buildbase Bees 57

Ipswich Witches 33

COVENTRY made sure there were no slip-ups despite being below full strength as they secured their eighth straight win at Brandon last night.

Ipswich put up some stern resistance in the first half of the meeting, but there was always the feeling that they would run out of options later on without the injured Jesper B Jensen, who generally rides well at Coventry.

The home side were without a top man too, Rory Schlein missing out due to illness, but they generally had the strength to cover even though the Australian would probably have scored more than the eight points they gained from rider replacement.

Bees made the ideal start with guest Kevin Doolan joining Scott Nicholls for a 5-1 in the first race, and although Ipswich's Tobias Kroner won Heat 2, the home side had extended their lead to eight points after the fourth.

Chris Harris won his first two outings, blasting around Robert Miskowiak off the second bend to take Heat 4, whilst Martin Smolinski also made a good outside move on Chris Louis in the previous race.

But the Witches then started making some fast gates, and both Nicholls and Harris found themselves chasing in their next outings.

Nicholls could not catch Miskowiak in Heat 6 whilst Harris was facing a 5-1 for much of Heat 7 until a lively Zibi Suchecki went too wide on the last lap allowing the Buildbase Bees man into second, and he nearly snatched the win from Louis on the line.

Ipswich had clawed the gap back to four points but Doolan, who rode well as a replacement for Olly Allen, combined with Steve Johnston to ease Bees' nerves with maximum points in Heat 8.

That seemed to settle Coventry, and after another race win for Miskowiak they took total control with back-to-back 5-1s in Heats 11 and 12, the second of which being a total disaster for the Witches.

They used Louis on a tactical ride but he was first taken wide by Nicholls as he attempted to move around the outside, and then as Johnston cut through as well, Louis ground to a halt.

Miskowiak flew from the start to hold off both Nicholls and Harris in Heat 13, but the Buildbase Bees finished with a flourish, taking 5-1s from the last two races.

First Smolinski won a terrific duel with countryman Tobias Kroner to team up with Billy Janniro in Heat 14, and then Nicholls and Harris finally got their revenge on Miskowiak in the last although it was actually Suchecki who caused them some trouble in the early stages.

COVENTRY: Scott Nicholls 16, Chris Harris 14+2, Martin Smolinski 8, Steve Johnston 7+2, Billy Janniro 6+4, Kevin Doolan 6+2, Rory Schlein r/r.

IPSWICH: Robert Miskowiak 12, Chris Louis 7+1, Zibi Suchecki 6, Tobias Kroner 5, Marcin Rempala 2, Chris Schramm 1, Jesper B Jensen r/r.


CORNERING IN STYLE ... Martin Smolinski scorches past Reading's Travis McGowan during the Bees' midweek win. Picture: Jeff Davies; CLOSE UP ... Bees skipper Scott Nicholls squeezes inside Reading's Matej Zagar Picture: Jeff Davies
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 18, 2007
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