Monday August 13, 2012
DEPLETED Peterborough produced one of their best performances of the season to stun league leaders Swindon on Monday at the Showground.

The Readypower Panthers went into the crunch Elite League clash without injured duo Tomas H. Jonasson and Krzysztof Buczkowski and then had to contend with the withdrawal of star guest Ryan Fisher after a frightening crash in Heat 8.

The American had been in superb form up to that point – unbeaten by an opponent with a 6+3 score – but clipped the back wheel of Robins reserve Dawid Lampart causing him to hit the second bend fence at full speed. After a lengthy delay he was taken to hospital by ambulance, but was conscious and speaking to the medics.

With the Panthers already operating rider-replacement for Buczkowski they were now suddenly down to five men and the visitors were threatening to get back into contention. But Jan Staechmann’s men dug deep and assisted by some magnificent individual performances regained their composure to claim all three Elite League points with a strong finish to the meeting.

Michael Jepsen Jensen picked up a lot of his points from behind on his way to a 15+2 haul – beaten only by Troy Batchelor whilst on a tactical ride – and skipper Kenneth Bjerre backed him up with a faultless 15-point maximum. Norbert Kosciuch was a busy man taking seven rides for a 11+2 return and Fisher also looked good before his untimely crash.

Panthers looked set to run away with things early on as they jumped into a 24-12 lead after Heat 6, but Robins got back into the match with Batchelor’s double-point win over Jepsen Jensen in Heat 7, with Simon Stead following them home in third. This resulted in a 7-2 and with Fisher excluded after his fall the Wiltshire men took full-advantage to storm to a 5-1 in the re-run of Heat 8.

Panthers lead was now suddenly cut to just three-points (27-24), but in the face of adversity they raised their game to register three 5-1s and a 4-2 in the next five races. They now held an unassailable 47-34 lead with two races to go which ended Swindon’s previous ten-match unbeaten run.

All that was left now was for Bjerre to complete his maximum and he duly obliged by linking up with Jepsen Jensen for another five-pointer in Heat 15.

A delighted Panthers co-boss Jan Staechmann said: “We’ve seen this all year, when our backs are against the wall we come out fighting. I’m really pleased with how they performed.

“We didn’t have our strongest team out tonight, but it bodes well and hopefully we can now make the play-offs – that’s what we’re aiming for anyway.

“Our thoughts go out to Ryan and hope he is okay, and we must also say a big thanks to Berwick for allowing us to use David Bellego. Both the guests did a great job and I’m really pleased with how the whole team responded and continued to work hard for every point.”

PETERBOROUGH 55: Michael Jepsen Jensen 15+2, Kenneth Bjerre 15, Norbert Kosciuch 11+2, Ryan Fisher 6+3, Linus Sundstrom 6+2, David Bellego 2, Krzysztof Buczkowski R/R.

SWINDON 38: Troy Batchelor 12, Jason Doyle 9, Dawid Lampart 5+2, Hans Andersen 5+2, Lasse Bjerre 4, Peter Kildemand 2, Simon Stead 1.

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