WIZARDS OF OZ!

Sunday July 02, 2017
PETERBOROUGH collected East Anglian derby glory - as their Australian duo starred in a heat 15 decider.

Guest number one Josh Grajczonek and paid maximum man Jack Holder teamed up for a 5-1 in the finale as the ‘T Balfe Construction’ Panthers saw off Ipswich 48-42 in a SGB Championship thriller at the East of England Arena.

Peterborough trailed early on and never led by more than two points until their duo from Down Under delivered a memorable climax to roar clear of Witches number one Danny King after Rory Schlein retired on the opening lap.

It was the second time this season in which Holder starred in a crucial last race against Ipswich. He took the flag to earn a 46-44 success back on Easter Monday, but Peterborough bettered that winning margin on this occasion.

Holder said: “It's awesome for me to get another maximum and to help us beat a really tough Ipswich team.
“It was a difficult meeting and we were behind in the early heats, but we turned it round and got a great result.

“I love riding round our track, my bikes are going great and I can’t complain about anything at the moment.

“But it’s not just about me. The other guys are all doing their bit to help us get the wins we need to reach the play-offs.”

It was the third in four home meeting that Holder has gone unbeaten by an opposition rider, following up full maximums in a KO Cup success against Scunthorpe and the second of two league triumphs over Berwick last month.

But it certainly wasn’t a one-man show as Peterborough delivered a battling display to complete a home double against Ipswich.

They got off to the worst possible start as Grajczonek retired and BradleyWilson-Dean was powerless to prevent Kyle Newman following in King for an Ipswich 5-1 in the opener.

But the home fans soon had something to cheer as Tom Bacon produced a brilliant third-to-first ride to triumph in a shared second race.

Panthers ate into their arrears when captain Ulrich Ostergaard went tapes-to-flag to inspire a 4-2 in a re-run third race and Holder carried his brilliant June form into July by surviving a couple of scares to see off Schlein in a shared fourth contest.

The fifth race developed into two battles in one – and both were won by Ipswich men. King held off early pressure from Ostergaard to take victory while Newman eased past Paul Starke to grab third and secure the visitors a 4-2.

But Panthers hit back impressively as the fast-starting Grajczonek, borrowed for the day from Sheffield, and wide-riding Wilson-Dean combined for a 5-1 to haul their side level in heat six.

Schlein gave chase before tumbling in the final bend. He walked away unhurt from that spill as did all three men – Cameron Heeps, Holder and Liam Carr – when they came down in the opening turn of a heat 7 re-run. The two Aussies tangled on the inside and debutant Carr took evasive action to lay down his machine and avoid a pile-up.

Holder then fluffed the start as the race was completed at the third attempt, but that slow getaway paved the way for a spectacular blast from third to first.

He picked his way past Heeps before blasting round another Aussie –Justin Sedgmen – to clinch a memorable success.

Peterborough then hit the front for the first time when taking advantage of Newman’s mechanical woes to claim a 4-2 in heat eight. Wilson-Dean, who was himself hit in the pocket by a blown engine and a snapped chain during the course of the meeting, streaked clear while Bacon held an unchallenged third spot.

That two-point cushion remained intact during a series of six shared races which featured a Holder triumph over King in a clash of the two unbeaten riders in heat 11.

Holder also scythed through from last to first on the opening lap of heat 13 before Panthers suffered a blow when Ostergaard ploughed into the tapes at the start of the penultimate race.

The skipper limited the damage by overcoming a 15-metre starting handicap to reel in Ipswich reserve Connor Mountain and follow home Bacon for a share of the spoils in a race won by Justin Sedgmen to ensure Ipswich pocketed at least a consolation point.

And that's all they earned as the long run of deadlocks was eventually broken when Panthers signed off in style thanks to Grajczonek and Holder in the final race to seal a third successive home win.

They now face two away tests in the space of three days with a Thursday (July 6) visit to Redcar followed by a trip to Glasgow on Saturday (July 8).

SCORES
PETERBOROUGH: Jack Holder 14+1 (paid max), Josh Grajczonek 9, Ulrich Ostergaard 7+2, Bradley Wilson-Dean 6+1, Paul Starke 6, Tom Bacon 6, Liam Carr 0.

IPSWICH: Danny King 10+1, Justin Sedgmen 9, Rory Schlein 7, Connor Mountain 5+3, Cameron Heeps 4+2, Kyle Newman 4+2, Nathan Greaves 3.

HEATS
1 - King (59.6), Newman, Wilson-Dean, Grajczonek (ret). 1-5, 1-5.
2 - Bacon (62.1), Greaves, Mountain, Carr. 3-3, 4-8.
3 - re-run Ostergaard (60.4), Sedgmen, Starke, Heeps (15m). 4-2, 8-10.
4 - Holder (60.8), Schlein, Mountain, Bacon. 3-3, 11-13.
5 - King (60.3), Ostergaard, Newman, Starke. 2-4, 13-17.
6 - Grajczonek (60.8), Wilson-Dean, Greaves, Schlein (fell). 5-1, 18-18.
7 - re-run x2 Holder (62.0), Sedgmen, Heeps, Carr. 3-3, 21-21.
8 - Wilson-Dean (62.1), Mountain, Bacon, Newman (ret). 4-2, 25-23.
9 - Schlein (61.8), Starke, Ostergaard, Greaves. 3-3, 28-26.
10 - Grajczonek (62.2), Sedgmen, Heeps, Wilson-Dean. 3-3, 31-29.
11 - Holder (61.6), King, Newman, Carr. 3-3. 34-32.
12 - Starke (63.0), Heeps, Mountain, Bacon. 3-3, 37-35.
13 - Holder (62.1), Schlein, King, Grajczonek. 3-3, 40-38.
14 - re-run Sedgmen (63.0), Bacon, Ostergaard (15m), Mountain. 3-3, 43-41.
15 - Grajczonek (63.1), Holder, King, Schlein (ret). 5-1, 48-42.

Picture: Paid-maximum man Jack Holder leading Danny King. Credit: STEVE HONE

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