SWINDON gave their Elite League season a major boost with a terrific 49-41 win at Coventry on Friday.
Sky Sports Elite League
Coventry Bees 41
Swindon Robins 49
Alun Rossiter’s side collected maximum points from the meeting despite a late Coventry comeback from 14 points down to force a totally unexpected last-heat decider.
But Peter Kildemand and Troy Batchelor, who had been on the receiving end of a 5-1 from Hans Andersen and Chris Harris in Heat 13, turned the tables in emphatic fashion in the decider to secure the victory.
The Robins’ top two were superb save for that one blip, and Nick Morris again supplied major points in the third heat-leader role – but the star of the night was fast-track reserve Steve Worrall, who gave a match-winning performance.
Worrall conceded a 5-1 to the home reserves in Heat 2 but was then unbeaten from his next three rides, defeating established top flight men such as Kenneth Hansen and Ryan Fisher along the way and recording the fastest time of the season at Brandon in the process.
It was Worrall’s inclusion in Heat 8 after Dakota North had touched the tapes which sparked a mid-meeting Swindon surge, as the scores went from 21-21 to 40-26 in the Robins’ favour, another highlight being Morris switching inside Andersen to join Batchelor for a 5-1 in Heat 10.
The points appeared in the bag when a tactical ride for Harris was seen off, but the Bees increased the pressure with a 4-2 and 5-1 in successive races – and then in Heat 14 Simon Gustafsson, who had looked fast all night, overdid things in his efforts to pass Hansen with home man Jason Garrity coming through for a dramatic second place.
That meant a last-heat 5-1 would have seen the home side snatch a draw, but Batchelor made the perfect start from gate two and with Kildemand flying around the outside it was job done for the visitors.
Boss Rossiter said: “That result gives us a kick-start, and we can go on now and hopefully get some points at Wolverhampton and King’s Lynn as well next week.
“I’m always confident in our top two although I didn’t really know what to think towards the end, but we had the riders in the right positions with Troy off two and Peter off four and I always felt they could do it.
“Simon has been struggling but now he has a new engine and you can see he has some speed, so he’s racing – he had a bit of a blind moment in Heat 14, but I’ve had a chat with him and luckily Peter and Troy pulled it out of the bag for us, and Stevie Worrall was just superb.
“I must admit I’ve never seen the Coventry track this slick, there’s normally a racing line but there were no racing lines at all apart from a couple at the end.”
COVENTRY: Hans Andersen 9+1, Jason Garrity 8+1, Chris Harris 8, Aaron Summers 6, Kenneth Hansen 5, James Sarjeant 3+1, Ryan Fisher 2.
SWINDON: Steve Worrall 12+1, Peter Kildemand 12, Troy Batchelor 10+2, Nick Morris 8+1, Simon Gustafsson 4+1, Dakota North 2+1, Dan Greenwood 1.