Panthers kick start season at Cowley
Wednesday April 05, 2021
Peterborough Panthers finally got their season back on the right track at Oxford last night with a worthy 47-42 victory in their latest Sky Sports Elite League clash.

Both teams were unchanged as Oxford won the toss taking gates 1 and 3 from the outset. Hans Andersen made his intentions clear right from the off as he took heat 1 from former Panther David Howe with Swede Eric Andersson third. Unfortunately for Panthers, Tomasz Bajerski was once again at the back and once again looking down on power and confidence.

After a solid looking win from Ostergaard in heat 2, the referee awarded Panthers the third heat (5-1) after Adam Skornicki had to come to grief on the 2nd bend of lap two just as Jesper B Jensen passed him. A further shared heat in heat 4 kept the lead to six points as Tony Rickardsson streaked away from Ryan Sullivan for an easy win. Heat 5 was the first of two bizarre races involving the Pole Bajerski. Hans Andersen claimed another straightforward win from Davey Watt for a 3-2 after Adam Skornicki stalled at the tapes. Tomasz Bajerski still failed to capitalise however, as he struggled to make any impact with a spluttering bike before retiring with engine failure before he was lapped at the end of the second lap.

For a brief period this lost point looked vital as the Cheetahs took a 5-1 in heat 6 from the Howe/Andersson partnership over a sluggish looking Sullivan to bring Oxford within 3 points. A further 3-3 kept Panthers noses just in front before further drama beset heat 8.

Ulrich Ostergaard was excluded form the original staging for bringing down Eric Andersson on the first lap of heat 8. In the re-run Bajerski made his best gate since the Wolverhampton Challenge Match and was actually second coming of the final bend before getting horribly out of shape. He collided with the home straight fence in the process and reared alarmingly to lose control as he approached the finish line. He was awarded third for still being in contact with his machine as he crossed the line but video replays in the stadium afterwards suggested that referee Robbie Perks had been a touch generous in his decision making.

So, after another shared heat 9 where Sullivan looked much more like his old self, Oxford lead briefly by 27-26. Jesper b Jensen and Niels Kristian Iversen then edged Panthers back in front with a 4-2 in heat 10. An excellent victory for Hans Andersen over World Champion Tony Rickardsson in heat 11 gave Panthers their 3-point cushion at the interval.

The third of three successive 4-2ís in heat 12 put Panthers in a commanding position that they were never going to surrender once Andersen had inflicted a further defeat upon Rickardsson in a shared heat 13. Two further 3-3ís gave Panthers the victory although Rickardsson gained some revenge in the last, with a tapes to flag victory over Hans Andersen.

It was Panthers who took the spoils however with a 47-42 victory, two more Sky Sports Elite League points and boosted confidence ahead of the mightily difficult Arena Essex KO Cup contest this evening. The action starts at the East of England Showground at 7.30pm.


Thursday, 5th April Elite League

OXFORD 42
1 David Howe 2 2' 2 1' 0 = 7+2
2 Eric Andersson 1' 3 3 0 = 7+1
3 Davey Watt 1 2 1' 2 = 6+1
4 Adam Skornicki FX R 2 3 = 5
5 Tony Rickardsson 3 3 2 2 3 = 13
6 Adam Pietraszko 0 0 0 = 0
7 Lubos Tomicek 2 R 2' 0 0 = 4+1

PETERBOROUGH 47
1 Hans Andersen 3 3 3 3 2 = 14
2 Tomasz Bajerski 0 R 1 = 1
3 Jesper Jensen 2' 1' 3 3 1' = 10+3
4 Niels K Iversen 3 2 1 2 = 8
5 Ryan Sullivan 2 1 3 0 = 6
6 Richard Hall 1 0 R = 1
7 Ulrich Ostergaard 3 1' FX 1 1 1' = 7+2

Heat Results
Ht 1: Andersen, Howe, Andersson, Bajerski (3 - 3) (3 - 3)
Ht 2: Ostergaard, Tomicek, Hall, Pietraszko (2 - 4) (5 - 7)
Ht 3: Iversen, Watt, Jensen (15M), Skornicki (FX) (1 - 5) (6 - 12)
Ht 4: Rickardsson, Sullivan, Ostergaard, Tomicek (R) (3 - 3) (9 - 15)
Ht 5: Andersen, Watt, Skornicki (R), Bajerski (R) (2 - 3) (11 - 18)
Ht 6: Andersson, Howe, Sullivan, Hall (5 - 1) (16 - 19)
Ht 7: Rickardsson, Iversen, Jensen, Pietraszko (3 - 3) (19 - 22)
Ht 8: Andersson, Tomicek, Bajerski, Ostergaard (FX) (5 - 1) (24 - 23)
Ht 9: Sullivan, Skornicki, Watt, Hall (R) (3 - 3) (27 - 26)
Ht10: Jensen, Howe, Iversen, Andersson (f.rem) (2 - 4) (29 - 30)
Ht11: Andersen, Rickardsson, Ostergaard, Tomicek (2 - 4) (31 - 34)
Ht12: Jensen, Watt, Ostergaard, Tomicek (2 - 4) (33 - 38)
Ht13: Andersen, Rickardsson, Howe, Sullivan (3 - 3) (36 - 41)
Ht14: Skornicki, Iversen, Ostergaard, Pietraszko (3 - 3) (39 - 44)
Ht15: Rickardsson, Andersen, Jensen, Howe (3 - 3) (42 - 47)


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