PANTHERS TRIUMPH IN THRILLER

Sunday May 07, 2017
PETERBOROUGH stepped up their SGB Championship play-off challenge by seeing off leaders Edinburgh last night (Sunday).


The 'T Balfe Construction' Panthers emerged with a 48-45 success at the East of England Arena in the first of eight May meetings to close in on the top four.

It was a night of thrills and spills with some outstanding racing and a frightening crash involving Bradley Wilson-Dean and Monarchs guest Danny Ayres.

They were thankfully both able to walk away from the high-speed spill in the opening bend of heat 14, for which the New Zealand champion was excluded.

"We needed to get this hectic run off to a winning start - and we did that," said team boss Carl Johnson.

"It wasn't our best night by any means, but we still managed to beat the league leaders.

"Improving our home form was a major goal for 2017 and that's now four wins in a row on our own track.

"It was good to be back at full-strength and great to pick up the result even though it was a bit closer than I anticipated.

"We're relieved to get the win and also to see Bradley and Danny walk away from a really big crash.

"The two boys were going full bore and thankfully the air fence did its job."

Peterborough led for almost all of an exciting meeting with the Monarchs only briefly hitting the front when following up a 4-2 in heat five and a 5-1 in the next race.

But the hosts responded well with a run of three 5-1s in the space of four heats to open up a 10-point cushion.

That allowed Edinburgh to deploy number one Sam Masters on a tactical ride in the 11th instalment and he took advantage by triumphing in a 7-2 which halved Panthers' advantage.

It remained that way through a series of four shared races which meant Peterborough only needed to have one finisher in the finale to secure victory.

Paul Starke slid out of the opening staging after suffering a broken chain, but number one Jack Holder was the meat in a Monarchs' sandwich in the re-run won by Ricky Wells.

The 4-2 gained by Edinburgh allowed them to leave in possession of a consolation point.

Holder and Starke claimed three heat wins apiece on their way to double-figure hauls while the returning Kenneth Hansen took the flag in his first two outings after sitting out the club's previous four meetings.

Wilson-Dean piled up another impressive haul at reserve before being involved in that crash, while skipper Ulrich Ostergaard starred in two 5-1s with Starke before producing a solo success in the re-run of heat 14.

Simon Lambert signed off by following in Holder for a 5-1 in heat 10 to finish on 3+2, but it was a night of frustration for reserve Tom Bacon, who twice hit the deck while failing to score.

Peterborough are back in action this Saturday when hosting Newcastle at the East of England Arena, 7pm start.

SCORES

PETERBOROUGH 48: Jack Holder 12, Paul Starke 11, Bradley Wilson-Dean 9+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 7+2, Kenneth Hansen 6, Simon Lambert 3+2, Tom Bacon 0.
EDINBURGH 45: Sam Masters 12+2, Ricky Wells 10+1, Danny Ayres 8, Josh Pickering 7, Max Clegg 4+1, Mitchell Davey 3+2, Ben Morley 1.

HEATS
1 - re-run Holder (59.9), Pickering, Masters, Lambert. 3-3, 3-3.
2 - Wilson-Dean (awarded), Ayres, Davey, Bacon (fell/exc). 3-3, 6-6.
3 - Starke (60.2), Ostergaard, Clegg, Morley. 5-1, 11-7.
4 - Hansen (60.5), Davey, Wells (15m), Bacon. 3-3, 14-10.
5 - Masters (60.8), Starke, Pickering, Ostergaard. 2-4, 16-14.
6 - Wells (60.7), Ayres, Holder, Lambert. 1-5, 17-19.
7 - Hansen (61.4), Wilson-Dean, Clegg, Morley. 5-1, 22-20.
8 - Pickering (61.4), Wilson-Dean, Lambert, Ayres. 3-3, 25-23.
9 - Starke (61.1), Ostergaard, Wells, Davey. 5-1, 30-24.
10 - Holder (61.4), Lambert, Clegg, Ayres. 5-1, 35-25.
11 - Masters (t/r, 61.6), Wilson-Dean, Pickering, Hansen (ret). 2-7, 37-32.
12 - re-run Starke (61.8), Ayres, Morley, Bacon. 3-3, 40-35.
13 - Holder (61.9), Wells, Masters, Hansen. 3-3, 43-38.
14 - re-run Ostergaard (62.6), Ayres, Clegg, Wilson-Dean (fell/exc). 3-3, 46-41.
15 - re-run Wells (62.7), Holder, Masters, Starke (fell/exc). 2-4, 48-45.

PICTURE: Kenneth Hansen leads the way in heat four against
Edinburgh (credit: STEVE HONE).

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