What a waste, Bees!
And yet, such was the turnaround in a true match of two halves, the Aces could even have snatched victory but for the efforts of Coventry's two reserves, Michal Szczepaniak and value-for-money guest Ludvig Lindgren.
It seems almost unpalatable that after bemoaning the form of an opposing reserve, Martin Smolinski, in their two defeats against Birmingham, Bees should score 18 (paid 21) in that department - backed up by a back-to-form eight points from Aaron Summers - and still not see off a side tipped to finish bottom of the table.
But the facts of the meeting point to not a single heat win from either of their top two riders, Krzysztof Kasprzak and Scott Nicholls, against - with the exception of Brandon specialist Matej Zagar - a team with far from the strongest of spearheads.
Nicholls was ultra-committed as ever but never got his nose in front, whilst Kasprzak seemed to struggle for any speed and frequently went backwards in his races, whilst there was a glaring hole in the middle-order with a no-score from the struggling Mateusz Szczepaniak.
There seemed little in the way of alarm when Michal Szczepaniak was involved in two 5-1s in the opening four heats, Nicholls turning inside Kauko Nieminen off turn two in Heat 4 to join the Pole up front, whilst Summers had already lowered Zagar's colours in Heat 1. Lindgren was a superb winner of Heat 7 with Nicholls kept in third place by Kevin Wolbert, and a 5-1 from Summers and Michal Szczepaniak over an up-and-down Artur Mroczka in Heat 8 put Bees twelve points in front and seemingly coasting.
The Belle Vue comeback started in Heat 9 when a hitherto out-of-touch Ales Dryml combined with Mroczka for a 5-1, the stark reality being that if the Aces had played the tactical ride available to them in that race, they would have ended up as meeting winners.
Wolbert surprisingly passed Kasprzak on the third lap to take Heat 10, and the alarm bells were well and truly ringing when Nicholls was elbowed aside by Zagar in Heat 11 with Dryml taking advantage to race clear and narrow the gap to two.
Grzegorz Zengota, who has shown some encouraging signs, eased the Coventry nerves with a Heat 12 win but as Zagar again headed Nicholls in Heat 13 Kasprzak was incredibly pipped on the line for third place by Mroczka, bringing the scores level.
With the momentum in Belle Vue's favour, Bees were suddenly secondfavourites, but the meeting swung again in Heat 14 as Lindgren moved Dryml aside into the second bend, and Szczepaniak - replacing his brother - threaded his way to the front for a 5-1 which, again, should have won Bees the meeting.
Wolbert had been left trailing there, but the German was to play a vital role in the decider, as when Nicholls attempted to despatch Zagar from the start, the Belle Vue No.1 simply maintained his line around the outside whilst Wolbert cut through a wide open gap to join him.
There was no way back for Nicholls or Zengota from there, and although the draw gives Bees a point to open their account, there could be no denying which team felt as though they had won the meeting - and it was not Coventry.
BUILDBASE BEES 45: Michal Szczepaniak 11+1, Aaron Summers 8, Grzegorz Zengota 8, Ludvig Lindgren 7+2, Scott Nicholls 7+1, Krzysztof Kasprzak 4+1, Mateusz Szczepaniak 0. BELLE VUE 45: Matej Zagar 13+1, Kevin Wolbert 12+1, Artur Mroczka 7+1, Ales Dryml 7+1, Magnus Zetterstrom 4, Kauko Nieminen 2, Craig Cook R/R.
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|Publication:||Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)|
|Date:||Apr 8, 2013|
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