PANTHERS 51 BIRMINGHAM 42

Monday May 21, 2012
RICHARD Lawson produced an heroic performance to help bring Peterborough back from the brink against Birmingham in a Showground thriller.

A depleted Readypower Panthers side were staring defeat in the face as they trailed by three points with three heats to go, and circumstances dictated that reserve Lawson was scheduled for four rides on the trot.

After no-scoring in three successive outings, Lawson flew around the outside of Simon Stead and Sebastian Ulamek in Heat 13 to partner Kenneth Bjerre to a 5-1 – and then he brought the house down with a repeat performance in Heat 14 which featured a remarkable defence of second spot against Ben Barker and Josh Auty.

It was then down to Linus Sundstrom, the winner of that Heat 14, and Bjerre, to make sure of maximum points for the Panthers in the final race, and this they achieved in fine style.

But it had been a hugely difficult meeting, Panthers left below-strength by the non-availability of Jesper B Monberg and then a Heat 4 crash which saw Olly Allen ruled out of the meeting with damaged ribs.

Allen came down after clashing with Josh Auty on the way into the first bend, with the Birmingham rider disqualified from the race but the Panthers were left needing to cover all of Allen’s rides with their reserves.

Their early ten-point lead was wiped out by a Barker/King 8-1 in Heat 7, and when Ulamek and King produced impressive wins in Heat 9 and 10 the Brummies were well in the hunt – and the visitors went ahead with maximum points in Heat 11 against the Panthers reserves.

When King held off the strong challenge of Michael Jepsen Jensen to win Heat 12 with Auty third, Panthers were left with a mountain to climb – but climb it they did thanks to Lawson, Bjerre and Sundstrom in the final three races.

Co-boss Jan Staechmann said: “I’ve always said we’ve got a good team spirit, and I think tonight we showed everyone that we do.

“Richard was fantastic, to get anyone to do four on the bounce is a big ask, but he realised something was wrong and swapped bikes, and he contributed two 5-1s which we wouldn’t have dreamed of. It was damage limitation then, so for him to pop out like he did and for us to get all the points is fantastic. He very much deserved the man of the the match.

“Unfortunately I don’t think Olly will be fit for the rest of the week – obviously we hope he will, but we'll have to wait and see.”

PETERBOROUGH 51: Kenneth Bjerre 13+1, Linus Sundstrom 13+1, Richard Lawson 9+2, Michael Jepsen Jensen 8+1, Lasse Bjerre 5+1, Jason Bunyan 3, Olly Allen 0.

BIRMINGHAM 42: Danny King 9+1, Sebastian Ulamek 9, Ben Barker 7, Simon Stead 6, Martin Smolinski 5+2, Josh Auty 5+1, Tomasz Piszcz 1.

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