PANTHERS ARE TOP CATS!

Sunday May 10, 2015
PETERBOROUGH continued their perfect start to the Premier League season when storming back to the top of the table tonight.

The Readypower Panthers extended their hot streak by casting aside a highly-rated Workington side 56-36 at the East of England Showground.

It was a fourth successive victory and means Carl Johnson’s men still boast the maximum number of league points after two smooth home successes and two bumper wins on the road.

They were mightily impressive in this clash as skipper Ulrich Ostergaard spearheaded a fine all-round performance. The Dane reeled off four successive victories after being let down by a slow start in his opening ride which cost him a maximum.

And there was plenty of strong support with countryman Michael Palm Toft again excellent, Simon Lambert chipping in with valuable points and guest number one Brady Kurtz looking super-fast after a disappointing opening ride.

Robert Lambert marked his return to the Panthers fold for the first time in five meetings with two victories while Lewis Blackbird picked himself up off the deck to win a heat 14 re-run.

Ollie Greenwood was the only home rider not to win a race, but his paid five-point performance certainly wasn’t without positives.

“We expected a good meeting and a very tough one,” said Johnson.

“I told the lads in the team-talk that Workington would want to be the first team to take points off us in the league.

“The track wasn’t ideal in the early races, but we got on with the job in hand and did it very well indeed.

“We have beaten a very strong team in very convincing fashion and we are all delighted to keep the good start going.

“But we have to put this meeting to bed now and focus on our next challenge – away at Sheffield on Thursday.”

Workington were reliant on a fine display from Ricky Wells to be competitive. The American ace contributed close to half of their overall tally.

Wells won two of the opening three races and then reeled off a succession of second places to notch 16 points – a haul boosted by a tactical ride in heat 11 when he was thwarted by Ostergaard.

Simon Lambert also took the chequered flag twice in the early stages with victories in heats two (when he had Greenwood in tow for a 5-1) and four (when producing a high-class ride to get the better of British Under 21 champion Kyle Howarth).

The second of those Lambert triumphs edge Panthers back into a lead they would never lose. It was one they gradually extended thanks to a hat-trick of 4-2s between heats six and eight with Kurtz, Ostergaard and Palm Toft claiming the wins.

A tapes-to-flag triumph from Howarth in heat nine briefly interrupted the hosts’ charge but a 5-1 from Palm Toft and Kurtz in heat 10 pushed the advantage into double-figures.

The response was predictable as Wells donned the black-and-white helmet colours, but he couldn’t get close to the fast-starting and wide-riding Ostergaard as the Comets had to settle for a 5-3.

The Lambert namesakes then left Panthers on the brink of victory with a Robert-led 4-2 before they wrapped up their latest victory in style as Ostergaard blazed clear with Kurtz in tow for a 5-1 in the heat 13.

And there were back-to-back 4-2s to finish as Panthers emphasised their dominance to put a seal on another power-packed performance.

The next stop is Sheffield for a top-of-the-table showdown against the Tigers on Thursday (May 14).

SCORES

READYPOWER PANTHERS: Ulrich Ostergaard 13, Michael Palm Toft 9, Robert Lambert 8+1, Simon Lambert 8, Brady Kurtz (guest) 7+2, Lewis Blackbird 7, Ollie Greenwood 4+1.

WORKINGTON: Ricky Wells 16, Kyle Howarth 8, Rene Bach 7, Kenneth Hansen 4+2, Nicki Barrett 1, Nathan Greaves 0, Rider replacement for Rusty Harrison.

Picture: STEVE HONE

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