COVENTRY Storm captain Dan Greenwood was taken to hospital after a Heat 6 crash which forced the curtailment of the second half of Friday’s National League double header at Brandon.
Greenwood came to grief when attempting to pass Mildenhall’s Connor Coles, clipping the visiting rider’s machine as he looked to make his move on the inside and being thrown heavily into the fence.
The Storm number one was unconscious for several minutes with his helmet badly damaged, and the decision was taken that an ambulance would be required.
Greenwood did regain consciousness but was unsure of his whereabouts, and medical staff were unwilling to move him any more than necessary.
He was released early Saturday morning and scans confirmed he had largely escaped with concussion and bruising, as well as a black eye, and he also has a cracked hip-bone.
Greenwood was not the only rider in the wars on a tough night which again underlined the dangers of speedway and the risks the riders take whenever they compete.
In-form Martin Knuckey was involved in an horrific-looking crash with Kent’s Ben Morley in Heat 11 of the Storm’s 46-42 win over the Kings in the first match of the evening.
Knuckey hit the back of Morley on turn four which brought both riders down heavily, and Morley was unfortunately unable to take his place in Heat 13 although he was able to remain at the stadium.
And youngster Jamie Halder also took a heavy fall into the fence in Heat 11 when he clipped the machine of Adam Sheppard, who had come to grief in front of him midway between turns one and two.
The Mildenhall match had opened with a trading of 5-1s before a 4-2 in Heat 5 put the visitors into a 16-14 lead; and clearly with Knuckey and Greenwood both ruled out, the Fen Tigers would have been favourites to go on and claim their first away win of the National League season.
But rider safety has always been, and always will be, of paramount importance and whilst the abandonment was no doubt frustrating especially to those who had travelled a long distance, the most important thing was that Greenwood received the best possible attention.
The accidents overshadowed a hard-working display by the Storm to collect three points from the Kent match against a visiting team bolstered by the inclusion of Ellis Perks as a guest.
Storm currently sit fourth in the table ahead of their next meeting at home to Buxton next Friday.