Coventry Bees entered 2012 with lofty ambitions of repeating their 2010 Elite League triumph, but it turned out to be a season of consolidation.
After another enthralling season, the Elite League has drawn to a close for another with Swindon Robins eventually crowned Champions.
There have been lots of ups and downs, with many stand out performers – but here is my team of the year for 2012.
Coventry Bees are through to the KO Cup Final after a battling 45-45 draw at Perry Barr gave them a 96-90 aggregate triumph.
The depleted Wolverhampton Wolves snatched a shock draw away against local rivals Coventry Bees after last heat heroics from Freddie Lindgren and Tai Woffinden saw the meeting end 45-45.
Popular Brit Adam Roynon has suffered injury heartbreak yet again – this time suffering a broken and crushed vertabrae following a crash at Swindon whilst riding for Coventry on Thursday.
Birmingham Brummies left it late before taking a 49-41 victory over a depleted Coventry Bees side without key men Chris Harris and Scott Nicholls.
Wolverhampton Wolves gained revenge after losing twice in recent weeks to local rivals Coventry by defeating the depleted Bees 51-39 at Monmore Green.
Coventry Bees bounced back from last weeks home defeat to Swindon by beating Wolverhampton 42-47 at Monmore Green in a Midlands derby clash.
Coventry Bees slumped to yet another home defeat as they were beaten 42-48 by the high-flying Swindon Robins at Brandon.
Having been held to a home draw against Kings Lynn just 24 hours earlier, the Robins bounced back in style, coming on strong in the closing stages to condemn the Bees to their second consecutive loss in front of their home fans.
Coventry reserve Adam Roynon was left ruing what could have been as Coventry just missed out on a superb away victory, going down 46-44 to the Birmingham Brummies at Perry Barr after conceding a last heat 5-1. The Bees led for the majority of the meeting – holding a 10 point advantage at one stage – before being undone by a late surge from the home side.
Speaking after the meeting, Roynon was gutted to see his side lose out: “Yes it is a real shame to end up losing after getting a healthy lead early on in the meeting, and it is very disappointed to just get pipped to the post right at the death in the last heat. It is just one of those things though, and we still came away with a point, so that is a positive so hopefully we can build on that tomorrow night at home against Wolves”.
On a personal level, Roynon enjoyed a stunning night, adding paid 15 to the Coventry scorecard to continue his brilliant form so far this season: “It has been a great meeting for me. Tonight was my top Elite League score, and it is all going good for me at the minute so I just hope I can continue this good form on and try and stay consistent”.
Riding in all 3 leagues across Britain with Dudley, Workington and Coventry, the 25 year old admits that it is tough, but he is keeping on top of things and things are going well.”It is really busy, I am getting pretty tired pretty quickly but trying to keep on top of the bikes is the main thing, and also looking after myself and keeping myself fresh after that”.
With the second half of the season still to come, Roynon insists Coventry still have what it takes to make the play-off’s despite some disappointment recently: “The play-off’s are definitely still within our reach. As long as we can start winning at home and getting all 3 points at home consistently then I don’t see why we can’t do it”