PANTHERS 54 EASTBOURNE 38

Monday September 10, 2012
PETERBOROUGH powered into the Elite League play-off positions with an impressive 54-38 win over Eastbourne at the Showground on Monday.

The Readypower Panthers are now third in the table with three matches to go – and their ultimate destiny will be determined on the road, as all three of those remaining fixtures are away from home.

But they will be confident of securing however many points are required with trips to the bottom two, Belle Vue and Coventry, to come, along with Friday’s match at Lakeside who are one of their direct rivals.

Panthers produced a convincing, solid display to see off the Eagles, with good scoring from one to seven, including guest reserve Josh Auty who was in for foot injury victim Tomas H Jonasson.

Skipper Linus Sundstrom took the individual honours with four race wins, his scoresheet only blotted by a retirement in Heat 9 when he was trying to work his way through from the back.

The Eagles were well served by former Panthers man Lukas Dryml, who provided a predictable threat at reserve and piled-up 14-points before falling in his last ride as the home side made sure of maximum points from the meeting.

They had looked to be on course for a landslide victory when they dropped just one point in the first five races to open up a 24-6 advantage, but the Eagles deserve some credit for their fightback, led by Dryml’s win over Ryan Sullivan in Heat 6 and continued by a surprise 5-1 from Simon Gustafsson and Cameron Woodward in the next race.

Although Gustafsson was limited to two points from a tactical ride in Heat 10, won by Sullivan, the visitors put further pressure on when Dryml and Joonas Kylmakorpi combined for a 5-1 in the next race, and suddenly they were within sight of snatching a crucial point from the meeting.

Panthers, though, finished strongly with Auty riding superbly to get the better of Dryml in Heat 12 as the lead moved up to ten points, before Kylmakorpi fended off Krzysztof Buczkowski to keep the Eagles in with a glimmer of hope in a shared Heat 13.

Dryml’s fall in the penultimate race resolved the issue in Panthers’ favour, and Sundstrom and Sullivan ensured a more emphatic look to the scoreline with a last-heat 5-1.

Panthers will now await the outcome of Thursday’s key meetings – Birmingham v Eastbourne and Swindon v Lakeside – which will determine what they need to do to hold a top four place in their crucial closing fixtures, which start at Lakeside on Friday.

PETERBOROUGH 54: Linus Sundstrom 12, Ryan Sullivan 10+3, Norbert Kosciuch 7+1, Krzysztof Buckowski 7, Michael Jepsen Jensen 6+1, Richard Lawson 6+1, Josh Auty 6+1.

EASTBOURNE 38: Lukas Dryml 14, Simon Gustafsson 9, Cameron Woodward 6+2, Joonas Kylmakorpi 6+1, Lewis Bridger 2, Timo Lahti 1, Denis Gizatullin 0.

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