Panthers Shocker in Essex
Friday March 31, 2021
Friday, 31st March KO Cup 1st round, 1st leg


Peterborough Panthers failed to get back to winning ways in cup action last night as they turned in a woeful display in the first leg of the Knock-Out Cup and left themselves with a mountain to climb in the 2nd Leg at the East of England Showground next Thursday.

A final scoreline of 59-35, disguised slightly by four points gained from tactical rides, did nothing to please the good sized Panthers travelling support who saw their team surrender all too easily in the early heats against what is admittedly going to be a very good home Arena Essex side in 2006.

Tomasz Bajerski continued his poor run of luck with an awkward fall at the back on lap one of heat one which resulted in bent forks and concussion. This ruled him out of the remainder of the encounter and could make him a doubt for this eveningís clash at Eastbourne. A 3-3 from that first heat (won by Andersen) was little sign of what was to come for Panthers as the Essex side then tore into their hapless guests with three 5-1ís and two 4-2ís over the next five heats to lead 26-10 after six races.

Team Manager Trevor Swales then employed Jesper B Jensen as a tactical ride in heat 7 against Joonas Kylmakorpi and the lively Paul Hurry but Panthers had to be content with a 4-4 as Jensen picked up a second place to leave the score well and truly in the Hammers favour at 30-14. Ulrich Ostergaard showed some improvement in the eighth as Panthers grabbed another drawn heat but it all too evident even at this stage that the meeting was going to end in nothing other than a heavy defeat.

After an Arena Essex 5-1 in heat 9 from the Steve Johnston/Leigh Lanham pairing over a badly out of sorts Ryan Sullivan the rain began to fall and it did look at one stage like the rain gods might do Panthers the favour of the season and bring about an early halt to proceedings. Some excellent track work by the Hammers staff however, during a 20-minute delay, ensured Panthers punishment would be carried out in full.

They did at least begin to show some pride with a couple of 4-2ís in heats 10 and 12, firstly through Iversen/Jensen and then from Jensen/Hall but that was about as good as it got for the Peterborough side as two final nails in Panthers coffin came in the shape of 5-1ís in heats 14 and 15 to bring about a 24 point defeat and a miracle required next Thursday.

Heat 15 was a lively affair as the spirited Hans Andersen had a battle royale with the inspirational Leigh Lanham before an over zealous challenge on bend 3 of the second lap saw a disgruntled Hammer sent tumbling and Andersen deservedly out of the re-run.

Bright spots if any on a dismal night for Panthers was the form of Jesper B Jensen who looked lively all night as did Andersen in patches. Other than that all the riders could point to areas of improvement that are needed quickly with the schedule the team face over the next few days.

There simply has to be that improvement, and quickly, starting tonight at Arlington against the Eastbourne Eagles.


ARENA ESSEX 59
1 Andreas Jonsson 2 3 2 2 = 9
2 Henning Bager 1' 2' 3 0 = 6+2
3 Steve Johnston 1 3 2' 2 = 8+1
4 Leigh Lanham 3 2' 3 3 2' = 13+2
5 Joonas Kylamakoorpi 3 3 3 1' 3 = 13+1
6 Lukasz Romanek 3 0 1 = 4
7 Paul Hurry 2' 1 1 FX 2 = 6+1

PETERBOROUGH 35
1 Hans Andersen 3 1 4 3 FX = 11
2 Tomasz Bajerski FX = 0
3 Jesper Jensen 2 4 1 3 1 = 11
4 Niels K Iversen 0 0 3 1 = 4
5 Ryan Sullivan 2 1 1 0 = 4
6 Richard Hall 0 0 0 1' 0 1 0 = 2+1
7 Ulrich Ostergaard 1 0 2 0 = 3

Heat Results
Ht 1: Andersen, Jonsson, Bager, Bajerski (FX) (3 - 3) (3 - 3)
Ht 2: Romanek, Hurry, Ostergaard, Hall (5 - 1) (8 - 4)
Ht 3: Lanham, Jensen, Johnston, Iversen (4 - 2) (12 - 6)
Ht 4: Kylamakoorpi, Sullivan, Hurry, Ostergaard (4 - 2) (16 - 8 )
Ht 5: Johnston, Lanham, Andersen, Hall (5 - 1) (21 - 9)
Ht 6: Jonsson, Bager, Sullivan, Hall (5 - 1) (26 - 10)
Ht 7: Kylamakoorpi, Jensen (TR), Hurry, Iversen (4 - 4) (30 - 14)
Ht 8: Bager, Ostergaard, Hall, Romanek (3 - 3) (33 - 17)
Ht 9: Lanham, Johnston, Sullivan, Hall (5 - 1) (38 - 18)
Ht10: Iversen, Jonsson, Jensen, Bager (2 - 4) (40 - 22)
Ht11: Kylamakoorpi, Andersen (TR), Romanek, Ostergaard (4 - 4) (44 - 26)
Ht12: Jensen, Johnston, Hall, Hurry (FX) (2 - 4) (46 - 30)
Ht13: Andersen, Jonsson, Kylamakoorpi, Sullivan (3 - 3) (49 - 33)
Ht14: Lanham, Hurry, Iversen, Hall (5 - 1) (54 - 34)
Ht15: Kylamakoorpi, Lanham, Jensen, Andersen (FX) (5 - 1) (59 - 35)

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