FOURS GLORY FOR PANTHERS

Sunday August 06, 2017
PETERBOROUGH ended their long wait for silverware by streaking to glory in the SGB Championship Fours today.

The 'T Balfe Construction' Panthers roared to an emphatic success against Redcar, Sheffield and Ipswich in the final of a terrific event at the East of England Arena.

Captain Ulrich Ostergaard and former British champion Chris Harris reeled off a hat-trick of heat wins apiece in the final as Peterborough piled up 28 points.

They sealed victory with two races to spare as Paul Starke triumphed in heat 10, while late call-up Simon Lambert also delivered a fine contribution as the hosts starred on home shale.

Redcar finished second on 18 points and Sheffield took third spot with 16. Ipswich brought up the rear on 10 points after dominating the second semi-final from which Redcar also advanced.

Peterborough followed Sheffield through in the first semi but then took centre stage with a stellar performance in the showpiece to secure a first team trophy in 10 years.

Their last honour came in 2007 when lifting the Elite Shield following an unforgettable Elite League title success the previous season.

“It takes a good team to win an event like this and we had one today,” said Starke after delivering the winning ride.

“We stuck together, we got the points we needed and now have the silverware to show for it.

“I was frustrated not to have contributed more points, so it was great to go out and wrap it up in style with a heat win.”

Peterborough made steady rather than spectacular progress at the semi-final stage.

Their first success arrived in heat two when Harris scorched to victory in a new SGB Championship-level track record of 58.6 seconds.

He also provided the next victory in heat six as Panthers joined Sheffield at the top of the standings and they hit the front courtesy of captain Ostergaard’s winning ride in heat eight – their penultimate outing.

They went into the closing heat as one of four teams still chasing a final spot and Starke’s third place ensured they were successful in securing second place behind the Tigers as Workington, Scunthorpe and Edinburgh all bowed out.

But Panthers quickly emerged as title contenders in the final as Harris provided the perfect start in the opener and Ostergaard zoomed to success in heat three.

A sizzling streak of four triumphs in the space of five races then turned a fiercely competitive event into one-way traffic.

Harris starred in a sensational sixth contest as he charged from last to first and Ostergaard delivered a masterful ride of his own then bursting past Ipswich skipper Danny King and Redcar man Jason Garrity in a brilliant eighth heat.

Harris produced another supreme charge in heat nine to complete a full set of five victories on the day and leave Peterborough on the brink of glory.

Starke only had to finish in front of Redcar representative Jonas B. Andersen in heat 10, but he sealed a memorable success in style by taking the wide line to glory while the Bears man toiled at the rear.

With the trophy already in the bag, Peterborough refused to ease off. Ostergaard completed the final in unbeaten fashion when emerging with victory from another terrific duel with Garrity in heat 11 before Lambert’s second place in the finale highlighted Panthers’ strength in depth.

They might have started as underdogs, but they certainly finished as top dogs.

SGB CHAMPIONSHIP FOURS

SEMI-FINAL 1
SHEFFIELD 16: Josh Grajczonek 5, Kyle Howarth 4, Todd Kurtz 4, Josh Bates 3.
PETERBOROUGH 14: Chris Harris 6, Ulrich Ostergaard 5, Paul Starke 2, Simon Lambert 1.
WORKINGTON 11: Thomas Jorgensen 5, Mason Campton 4, Ty Proctor 1, Craig Cook 1.
SCUNTHORPE 10: Jake Allen 5, Lewis Kerr 3, Josh Auty 2, Michael Palm Toft 0, Ryan Douglas (res) 0.
EDINBURGH 9: Erik Riss 5, Ricky Wells 2, Theo Pijper 1, Josh Pickering (res) 1, Max Clegg 0.

SEMI-FINAL 2
IPSWICH 18: Rory Schlein 6, Justin Sedgmen 5, Cameron Heeps 4, Danny King 3.
REDCAR 13: Charles Wright 5, Ben Barker 3, Jonas B Andersen 3, Jason Garrity 1, Ellis Perks (res) 1.
NEWCASTLE 12: Steve Worrall 6, Stuart Robson 3, Ludvig Lindgren 3, Ashley Morris 0.
GLASGOW 9: Richard Lawson 3, Aaron Summers 3, Nike Lunna 3, Dan Bewley 0.
BERWICK 8: Kevin Doolan 5, David Howe 2, Jye Etheridge 1, Dany Gappmaier 0, Luke Ruddick (res) 0.

FINAL
PETERBOROUGH 28: Chris Harris 9, Ulrich Ostergaard 9, Simon Lambert 5, Paul Starke 5.
REDCAR 18: Charles Wright 7, Jason Garrity 6, Ben Barker 3, Jonas B Andersen 2.
SHEFFIELD 16: Kyle Howarth 6, Josh Grajczonek 5, Todd Kurtz 3, Josh Bates 2.
IPSWICH 10: Danny King 6, Rory Schlein 2, Cameron Heeps 1, Justin Sedgmen 1.

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