Wednesday June 24, 2015
PETERBOROUGH continued their Premier League title challenge thanks to a nail-biting success in front of the nation last night.

The Readypower Panthers stood strong to see off big-spending Glasgow in a pulsating East of England Showground encounter that went right down to the wire.

Chosen home pair Brady Kurtz and Robert Lambert had to avoid conceding a 5-1 in a last-heat decider to seal an important victory – and they did just that by both zooming past Richard Lawson to pack the minor places in a 3-3 deadlock.

It was a fitting finish to a thrilling meeting staged on a seriously fast track with only four of the 15 races taking more than a minute to complete.

The Lambert namesakes Simon and Robert were both within a tenth of a second of the Premier League track-record of 58.7 seconds with wins in two of the opening five races.

And those two men also topped the scorechart to lead Panthers to glory. Simon marked his return from injury with a stunning paid 15-point haul from reserve with Robert bagged paid 11.

“Simon was a big reason why we won the meeting,” admitted co-boss Dale Allitt.

“He has been scoring big points all season and proved himself to be an absolute star down at reserve.

“It is never easy for a rider to come back from injury, but he went out to win heat one and just carried on from there.”

Panthers powered into a 10-point advantage after just five races even though guest number one Kurtz ploughed into the tapes ahead of the opener.

Simon Lambert proved a more than able deputy at short notice to lead home Lewis Blackbird for a 5-1, but he had to play second-fiddle to another busy man, Victor Palovaara, in heat two.

The spoils were again shared in heat three as Aaron Summers escaped without punishment from referee Graham Flint for a flying start and Panthers had to settle for a 4-2 in heat four after captain Ulrich Ostergaard had got out of shape while sat in second alongside Simon Lambert.

But the hosts were quick to capitalise on an error from Tigers number one Nick Morris as they stretched their advantage in heat five. Morris tumbled from the lead and both Panthers representatives – Robert Lambert and Michael Palm Toft – stormed past Victor Palovaara to claim a 5-1.

Glasgow’s response to falling into a double-figure deficit was immediate and impressive as Richard Lawson completed a successful double-points mission in heat six – the first of seven successive wins for visiting riders.

Aaron Summers inspired a seventh heat 4-2 that further reduced their arrears before they clawed their way to within a point when being awarded a 5-1 in heat 10 after Kurtz had left the impressive Dimitri Berge on the deck.

It wasn’t until Kurtz went from villain to hero with a crucial success over countryman Morris in a heat 13 4-2 that Panthers were able to edge further clear.

They looked set to clinch victory with Simon Lambert and Palm Toft on a 5-1 in heat 14 only for the Dane’s machine to be struck by gremlins on the final lap as he fell to the back.

But there was no cause for panic as Kurtz and Robert Lambert did the necessary in the finale to finish the job.

“It was probably a bit too close for comfort in the end,” said joint team manager Carl Johnson. “But the character of the riders was clear to see.

“There were a few stern words said at times when things were not going our way, but we got the job done in the end and picked up the result we needed against another very strong team.

“It was a night that ended up being good for us, good for the fans and good for the TV cameras.”


READYPOWER PANTHERS: Simon Lambert 14+1, Robert Lambert 9+2, Lewis Blackbird 6+2, Brady Kurtz (guest) 6+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 6, Michael Palm Toft 5+2, Ollie Greenwood 2+2.

GLASGOW: Richard Lawson 11, Dimitri Berge 10+1, Aaron Summers 8+1, Nick Morris 8, Victor Palovaara 5, David Howe 3, Rider replacement for James Sarjeant.

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