SWINDON 49 PANTHERS 43

Thursday September 08, 2011
PETERBOROUGH fans were given a tantalising glimpse of the future despite losing in a last heat decider.

The Readypower Panthers needed a maximum to clinch their first Elite League away win of the year but went down 43-49 at bottom of the table Swindon.

But there was some consolation – a point and a sparkling display from youngsters Linus Sundström, Michael Jepsen Jensen and reserve Dakota North.

Sundström – handed the captaincy after both Hans Andersen and Troy Batchelor nominated him as Nicki Pedersen’s successor – topped the scorechart and had superb backing from new capture Jensen.

And after being excluded in his opening ride while taking the lead, teenager North rounded off the meeting by beating Great Britain star Simon Stead.

The ex-Peterborough Thundercat was lying third when he fell after finding it almost impossible to pass the young Australian.

North was unhappy at his exclusion claiming: “The Swindon rider was cutting back and caught my dirt deflector – it was his fault not mine. I would have won that race, I’m sure of that.”

Jensen built on his crowd-pleasing performance at King’s Lynn – where he scored seven – by winning the first race and ended the night with nine points.

While everyone was waiting to see ex-skipper Andersen back in the Readypower Panthers’ colours – it was the youngsters who shone brightly.

Jensen was fast and safe throughout, beating British Champion Scott Nicholls in his opening ride and adding a second win in Heat 8 and scoring in all four rides on a notoriously difficult track for a first time visitor.

He said: “I enjoyed it although I don’t think I had my engine quite right for my second race. I hope I can carry on like this and get even better.”

Andersen added: “It is difficult coming back the way I have, it takes a little while to get the engines right because British tracks are so different to those in other countries.

“But it’s great to be back and I’m looking forward to the return at the Showground on Monday night.”

Despite taking the match right to the limit, Panthers’ team boss Trevor Swales will probably feel this was another potential win that slipped away.

Batchelor took an horrific tumble on the last bend of his opening ride while locked in a battle at the front with Robins’ Cory Gathercole but then reeled off a silky win over Nicholls.

But he suffered mechanical problems that saw him excluded from his third outing and packed in while at the back last time out.
And the injured Kacper Gomolski was an expensive absentee with 21-year-old Aussie Tom Armstrong understandably struggling on his top-flight debut.

SWINDON 49: Simon Stead, 11:1 Scott Nicholls 11:1, Nicolai Klindt, 8:1 Cory Gathercole 6:2, Jesper B. Monberg 6:2, Mikkel B. Jensen 4, Grzegorz Zengota 3:1.

PETERBOROUGH 43: Linus Sundström 14, Michael J. Jensen 9, Krzysztof Buczkowski 7:3, Hans Andersen 5:1, Dakota North 4:1, Troy Batchelor 3, Tom Armstrong 1.

Ht 1: MJ.Jensen, Nicholls, Andersen, Zengota, 2-4.
Ht 2: MB.Jensen, Gathercole, Armstrong, North, fell, excluded, 5-1.
Ht 3: Stead, Sundström, Buczkowski, Monberg, 3-3.
Ht 4: Gathercole, Klindt, Batchelor, fell, excluded, Armstrong, retired, 5-1.
Ht 5: Stead, Monberg, MJ.Jensen, Andersen, 5-1.
Ht 6: Batchelor, Nicholls, Zengota, North, 3-3.
Ht 7: Sundström, Buczkowski, Klindt, MB.Jensen, 1-8.
Ht 8: MJ.Jensen, Zengota, Gathercole, Armstrong, 3-3.
Ht 9: Stead, Monberg, North, Batchelor, excluded, two mins, 5-1.
Ht 10: Nicholls, Sundström, Buczkowski, Zengota, 3-3.
Ht 11: Klindt, MJ.Jensen, Andersen, Monberg, 2-4.
Ht 12: Buczkowski, Monberg, North, Gathercole, 2-4.
Ht 13: Andersen, Klindt, Nicholls, Batchelor, retired, 3-3.
Ht 14: Sundström, North, MB.Jensen, Stead, fell, 1-5.
Ht 15: Nicholls, Stead, Sundström, Andersen, 5-1.

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