BIRMINGHAM 49 PANTHERS 44

Thursday June 23, 2011
PANTHERS skipper Nicki Pedersen pulled off a stunning Heat 15 victory to lead his side to their first away point of the season.

Pedersen sliced superbly between home duo Ben Barker and Daniel King coming out of turn four having been outgated by the Birmingham pair, and that ensured Peterborough took some reward from the meeting.

The Showground side were always likely to find things tough in the lower-order with both Kacper Gomolski and Norbert Kosciuch unavailable – but there were three terrific performances amongst their ranks at Perry Barr.

Pedersen dominated the closing stages with race wins in Heats 11, 13 and 15, Troy Batchelor was also a treble winner – including one for double-points after Panthers had slipped twelve points down – and Linus Sundstrom was another who enjoyed a fine night’s work.

The young Swede recorded the fastest time of the season at the Second City venue when combining with Pedersen for a Heat 1 5-1, and the same pairing were at it again in Heat 11 with Sundstrom getting the better of Daniel Nermark on the run to the finishing line.

The home side proved to be the more solid, and they recovered from their opening race concession to build up an eight point lead by the halfway stage of the meeting.

Panthers looked set to halve that deficit in Heat 8 only for Richard Lawson – who rode far better than his zero points return suggests – to lose out to first Claus Vissing and then Ulrich Ostergaard on the final lap.

A Brummies 5-1 in Heat 9, with ex-Panther Daniel King impressing against his old club, put them 12 points to the good, but Batchelor reduced the arrears with a sharp start to take Heat 10 for double-points.

Pedersen and Sundstrom then brought Panthers right back into contention in the next, but their comeback stalled somewhat with a Brummies’ 4-2 in Heat 12 headed up by Barker.

With the gap at seven points, Panthers required a stroke of fortune to get into a winning position on the night, but they worked hard to keep themselves in touch for at least a point from the meeting.

Pedersen controlled Heat 13, Batchelor reeled off another win – becoming the first man to defeat King – in Heat 14, and that left them needing a share in the final race to hit their target.

When King and Barker hit the front, Panthers looked to be in trouble – but skipper Pedersen stepped up with his magnificent ride to secure a well-deserved point for the visitors.

BIRMINGHAM 49: Daniel King 12+1, Ben Barker 8+1, Claus Vissing 7+2, Krzysztof Kasprzak 6+1, Kevin Wolbert 6+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 5+1, Daniel Nermark 5+1.

PETERBOROUGH 44: Troy Batchelor 14, Nicki Pedersen 12+2, Linus Sundstrom 10+1, Krzysztof Buczkowski 7, Alex Davies 1, Richard Lawson 0, Kacper Gomolski r/r.

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