PANTHERS STILL PERFECT

Friday May 01, 2015
PETERBOROUGH continued their flawless start to the Premier League season with a third successive victory on Friday night.

The Readypower Panthers eased to a 52-40 triumph at Plymouth to go a point clear at the top of the standings.

They achieved a second success of the campaign at the St Boniface Arena (they won at the same venue in the League Cup last month) despite losing influential youngster Robert Lambert to illness on the day of the meeting.

But a trio of double-figures displays from top-scoring skipper Ulrich Ostergaard, borrowed number one Ben Barker and the impressive Lewis Blackbird led them to a bumper haul of four league points.

Former Devils man Barker proved to be an inspired choice of guest with three victories at his old stomping ground before following in Ostergaard for a 5-1 in the finale.

“It might be early days, but it is a good feeling to be top of the table,” said Panthers team boss Carl Johnson.

“It was another terrific all-round team performance to continue what has been an excellent start to the league.”

Panthers had to recover from a nightmare start in Devon after Barker was on the receiving end of a 5-1 in the opening race before both their reserves hit the deck in the initial staging of heat two

Ollie Greenwood careered into the fence in the opening bend to earn an exclusion and partner Simon Lambert had to take evasive action to avoid a collision.

Luckily Lambert was able to dust himself down to win the re-run at the start of another valuable personal performance.

Panthers levelled as Michael Palm Toft led in Blackbird for a maximum in heat three and the first of four Ostergaard triumphs on the night in heat four soon had them ahead.

And they never looked back with 5-1s in a re-run seventh race (from Blackbird and Ostergaard) and a twice re-started 11th contest (courtesy of Barker and Palm Toft) powering them 10 points clear.

Blackbird expertly thwarted Jack Holder’s tactical ride in heat 12 thanks to a fine tapes to flag triumph and victory was eventually ensured when the same Panthers man took the chequered flag in the penultimate race.

Then it was over to Ostergaard and Barker to deliver a big finish as Panthers continued their run of collecting maximum points from all league meetings to date.

Johnson added: “Ben did a terrific job as a guest. His performance on the track and his attitude off it were both very impressive.

“Ulrich scored a stack of points and Lewis produced a couple of the best rides I’ve ever seen him have to win his last two races.

“Michael and Simon both scored well and I couldn’t have asked for any more from Ollie either even though he didn’t get a point.

“He gave it his all and was on the pace, and I feel sure he is only a couple of good rides away from turning his season around.”

Panthers return to action on Sunday, May 10 when they entertain Workington in an East of England Showground battle which begins at the later-than-normal weekend start time of 6.30pm.

SCORES

PLYMOUTH: Kyle Newman 9+2, Sam Simota 9, Ashley Morris 6+1, Jack Holder 6, Morten Risager 5+2, Ryan Fisher 4+1, Ben Morley (guest) 1+1.

READYPOWER PANTHERS: Ulrich Ostergaard 14+1, Ben Barker (guest) 12+1, Lewis Blackbird 11+1, Michael Palm Toft 8+1, Simon Lambert 7+1, Oliver Greenwood 0, Rider replacement for Robert Lambert.

Picture: NICHOLAS TRUSCOTT

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