Blogs & Opinion


Hammer time

'Stalling Lakeside can get back into gear against troubled Bees'

Kelvin Tatum Posted 7th September 2012 view comments

I saw Lakeside lose heavily at Coventry in the Elite League a couple of weeks ago and they looked like a side that had run out of gas.

That defeat at Brandon Stadium signalled the start of a five-match losing streak for the Hammers and their hopes of a play-off spot, something they have achieved in three of the past four seasons, have taken a significant dent.

Watt: Lakeside's main man

Watt: Lakeside's main man

I can think of a couple of reasons why they might have started to struggle.

Firstly, unlike Swindon and Poole who have two or three riders that can come in with big scores, Lakeside's undoubted number one is Davey Watt; the Australian has dipped in form of late and the pressure of being the team's chief points getter seems to have eventually weighed him down.

Watt has dipped in form of late and the pressure of being the team's chief points getter seems to have eventually weighed him down.

Kelvin Tatum
Quotes of the week

LIVE ON SKY SPORTS
Elite League Speedway
Lakeside v Coventry

7.30pm, Mon, Sky Sports 2 HD
Watch on the move with Sky Go
How to remote record

Secondly, Lakeside have had to deal with the tragic death of Lee Richardson, killed during a race in Poland earlier this year; that has not been easy to overcome and may have finally taken its toll on the team emotionally.

Winning momentum is crucial at this stage of the campaign and that is something that the Hammers do not have, but there are loads of play-off permutations as we head into the final few meets and the Essex side, who sit sixth in the table, are not yet out of the running.

Needless to say, Lakeside must gain a revenge victory over Coventry in Monday night's Sky Live clash and they will feel confident of getting that against a side lying ninth in the standings.

Surprised

As I mentioned a couple of weeks back, Coventry have underachieved this season and with a rider line-up comprising Chris Harris, Scott Nicholls, Eddie Kennett and Kenni Larsen, they should not be languishing in the lower reaches.

The Bees announced this week that co-promoter Colin Pratt has ended his 15-year association with the club and, I have to say, I am pretty surprised and saddened to see him depart; ideally you want any shake-up to take place at the end of the season.

Speedway is not quite as ruthless as football - where heads often roll if performances are not up to scratch - and team managers/promoters tend to stick around, even if their sides have not achieved what they had hoped for.

The nature of the sport - riders regularly switching teams and the average limits imposed upon sides - means that you cannot guarantee success season upon season, so there must have been a clash of personalities between Pratt and some other figures at Coventry.

Nevertheless, the Bees will have to reflect on what went wrong this term because they are a successful team and have been used to winning championships. There may be a major rider overhaul during the winter.

Eddie Kennett could be the Bees' key man on Monday night, though, after riding very well in the side's recent 45-45 draw with Midland rivals Wolverhampton.

The former Poole and Eastbourne man will be looking to finish the season in a good patch of form to remind everybody that he is a decent rider, and put himself in the shop window for a good job next year - whether that be with Coventry or another outfit.

I do expect Kennett to be on the losing side against Lakeside, however, the Hammers' greater need for a victory should ensure they come out on top.

back to top

Other Speedway Experts:

Latest Posts in Speedway:

Kelvin Tatum

Back on track

Lakeside can make it two wins over Belle Vue Aces in four days, says Kelvin Tatum, but it'll be close!...

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Hit the road

Swindon are struggling this season but will fancy their chances at Birmingham, says Kelvin Tatum....

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Racing away

Belle Vue are unbeaten at home but Kelvin Tatum asks if they can transfer that form at Swindon....

comments

Latest News RSS feeds

Swindon, Lakeside victorious

Swindon and Lakeside secure vital away victories as the race for Elite League playoff places intensifies.

Robins rally to beat Leicester

Swindon fought back from a six-point deficit to edge out Leicester 47-43 at the Abbey Stadium.

'Exhausted' Tai takes break

World champion Tai Woffinden given week off with stress-related illness

Birmingham Brummies to close

The British Speedway Promoters' Association have announced the closure of Birmingham Brummies with immediate effect.

Rossiter names GB side

Great Britain name starting line-up for the Monster Energy FIM Speedway World Cup clash with Australia, USA and Italy.

Features

Sky Sports and British Speedway, Sky Tickets have an exclusive offer for all live meetings

Sky Sports and British Speedway, Sky Tickets have an exclusive offer for all live meetings

To celebrate the partnership between Sky Sports and British Speedway, Sky Tickets have an exclusive offer.

Elite League Speedway: Download a free Sky Sports programme

Elite League Speedway: Download a free Sky Sports programme

Make sure you make the most of your Elite League speedway action with the Sky Sports programme.

2014 Elite League season preview

2014 Elite League season preview

Sky Sports brings you an extensive preview of the new Elite League speedway season, which looks set to be the most exciting for years.