Panthers collapse to concede bonus at Blunsdon
Thursday July 13, 2020
Sky Sports Elite League ' A' - Thursday 13 July 2020
Swindon Robins 58 Peterborough Panthers 34 (Agg - 98-89)


Peterborough Panthers fought well in the early stages of their latest battle for Sky Sports Elite League points at Swindonís closure threatened Blunsdon Stadium but in the end they ran out of steam against a rampant Robins side.

Decimated by injury, Panthers called upon the services of Oxfordís Adam Skornicki as a guest replacement to cover for Hans Andersen after ex-Panther Ales Dryml suffered terrible injuries the previous evening in a spill at Oxford. Dryml was the original choice after a string of top riders declined the additional booking to ride for Peterborough.

Ales remains sedated in John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford as this is being written. Losing speedway meetings is important business in any season but when an incident occurs in our sport such as has happened to Ales then winning or indeed losing pales into insignificance. The list of heartfelt get well messages throughout the sports internet message boards indicate what a well respected and well liked member of the speedway community the Czech Republic rider is.

The meeting itself felt a little like the Eastbourne away fixture in that Panthers had a mountain to climb that they were never seriously going to conquer. Therefore the guts and determination Panthers showed early on in the meeting to keep on terms was indeed pleasing and it was a remarkable achievement that with 4 races to go the bonus was still being protected by a 7 point cushion. What was therefore all the more disappointing was the way Panthers capitulated over those last 4 races by a 20-4 differential to eventually lose the meeting 58-34 and the bonus point by 98 to 89.

Overall Adam Skornicki did a good job as a stand-in number one and his bursts around the first and second turns over firstly Ulamek and Gafurov in heat 4 and then again over Miedzinski and Kennett in heat 5 with Ostergaard tucking in to claim third and an overall 4-2 were highlights for the Panthers. The heat 7 maximum 8-1 by tactical ride Niels Kristian Iversen and Ryan Sullivan threatened to pull Panthers right back into it but another disappointing ride from Ulrich Ostergaard when beaten by Kennett and Gafurov in heat 8 put paid to any recovery hopes.

Heat nine summed up Panthers night perfectly. The in-form Ryan Sullivan starting off gate one against Miedzinski and Ulamek would have been reasonably expected to end up a drawn 3-3 at least. This was indeed the result but it was reserve Richard Hall who rode the race of his life to lead the pack with a subdued Sullivan at the back. All this after Hall had struggled badly in heats 2 and 5 against supposedly easier opposition!

Another shared heat 10 and a bizarre 3-2 in heat 11 when both Gafurov and Hall suffered mechanical gremlins was all that separated Panthers from the Robins late 5-1 show which gave them all three points on the night and 8 points in four days to whip up their own assault on a play-off place.

For Panthers Ryan Sullivan was hugely disappointing as were Hall and Ostergaard. The only real fight came from Iversen and Skornicki whilst rider-replacement for Jesper B Jensen netted just 4 points. It is not all doom and gloom for the Panthers however, with 6 wins out of the last 8 meetings. The start of the Speedway World Cup means another week for Jensen to recover without missing a Panthers meeting, meanwhile both Hans Andersen and Karol Zabik will return for the crucial away meeting at Poole on Wednesday 26th July. Then follows two hot dates with the Reading Bulldogs where Panthers simply have to hit top form once again.

SWINDON 58

LS Adams (C) 2* 3 3 3 2* = 13+2
ED Kennett 3 0 2* 3 0 = 8+1
A Miedzinski 3 2 1* 3 3 = 12+1
LS Richardson R/R
S Ulamek 2 1 2 3 2* 3 = 13+1
MK Korneliussen 2* 0 0 = 2+1
R Gafurov 3 1* 2* ef 2* 2* = 10+4
Team manager: AJ Rossiter

PETERBOROUGH 34

A Skornicki 1 3 3 2 1 1 = 11
U Ostergaard 0 1 1 0 = 2
RG Sullivan (C) 1* 2* 0 1* 0 = 4+3
NKT Iversen 2 6 2 R 1 = 11
JB Jensen R/R
RJ Hall 0 0 3 ef 1 0 = 4
H Moller 1 0 1 ef = 2
Team manager: TP Swales
Referee: MJ Posselwhite

Swindon won the toss (1&3)

Ht 1: Kennett, Adams, Skornicki, Ostergaard, 67.21 (5-1)
Ht 2: (Re-Run) Gafurov, Korneliussen, Moller (Exc Tapes 15m), Hall, 66.74 (10-2)
Ht 3: Miedzinski, Iversen, Sullivan, Korneliussen, 66.90 (13-5)
Ht 4: Skornicki, Ulamek, Gafurov, Moller, 67.14 (16-8 )
Ht 5: Skornicki, Miedzinski, Ostergaard, Kennett, 66.99 (18-12)
Ht 6: Adams, Kennett, Ostergaard, Hall, 66.55 (23-13)
Ht 7: Iversen (TR), Sullivan, Ulamek, Korneliussen, 67.43 (24-21)
Ht 8: Kennett, Gafurov, Moller, Ostergaard, 67.21 (29-22)
Ht 9: (Re-Run) Hall, Ulamek, Miedzinski, Sullivan, 66.80 (32-25)
Ht 10: Adams, Iversen, Sullivan, Kennett, 66.87 (35-28)
Ht 11: Ulamek, Skornicki, Gafurov (ef), Hall (ef), 67.71 (38-30)
Ht 12: Miedzinski, Gafurov, Hall, Sullivan, 67.30 (43-31)
Ht 13: Adams, Ulamek, Skornicki (TR), Iversen (ret), 67.39 (48-32)
Ht 14: Miedzinski, Gafurov, Iversen, Hall, 67.58 (53-33)
Ht 15: Ulamek, Adams, Skornicki, Moller (ef), 66.92 (58-34)

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