PANTHERS POWER TO GLORY

Friday April 01, 2016
PETERBOROUGH produced a power-packed performance to fire a message to their Premier League rivals tonight.

The ‘T Balfe Construction’ Panthers dished out a 64-26 drubbing to Scunthorpe - their biggest victory since returning to the second tier of the sport.

It turned into a Midland Group massacre as Peterborough restricted the visitors to just one race win and advantage – both arrived in a heat 10 re-run after Simon Lambert had taken a tumble in the initial staging.

Of the other 14 races, 11 ended in home advantages with nine of them being full-houses, including a five-in-a-row streak between heats five and nine.

There would had been another had Nicklas Porsing not been beset by bike problems when a clear leader in heat four, but that blow was offset by terrific reserve Tom Perry pouncing for his first heat win as a Peterborough rider.

Perry was one of two men to narrowly miss out on paid maximums in the final rides of their home debuts. Dane Nikolai Busk Jakobsen was the other, but he had the consolation of a double-figure return on a night when captain Ulrich Ostergaard led the charge with a 13+1 haul.

Every Peterborough man won at least one race with Ostergaard, Busk Jakobsen and the lightning Emil Grondal completing hat-tricks of heat successes.

Incredibly Michael Palm Toft and Nicklas Porsing found themselves bringing up the rear on the Panthers scorechart despite both accumulating 7+2.

“It wasn’t too bad to be fair,” said team manager Carl Johnson, when reviewing the Panthers performance with a huge helping of under-statement.

“In all seriousness we knew it was vital to make a fast start to the season and we have done that by following up a good draw at Sheffield with a big win against Scunthorpe.

“We’ve never been renowned as a team of trappers, but we made fast starts and we pulled off some smart moves against a team who have already picked up an away win this season.

“We have showed everyone just how good we can be tonight. The boys were on it from the word go and got their rewards.

“We’re not going to get carried away though. It might sound boring, but we’ll take it one meeting at a time and aim to improve every time we take to the track.”

It will be difficult for Panthers to better this dominant display. They never looked back after bagging back-to-back 5-1s in the opening two races.

Their advantage was briefly pegged by a shared third heat eventually completed at the third attempt after an unsatisfactory start and a nasty spill involving Palm Toft and Scorpions man Zdenek Holub.

The Czech rider was unable to take any further part in the meeting following the tangle going through the first and second bends due to a suspected shoulder injury.

The fourth race also ended in deadlock after Porsing’s cruel mechanical misfortune, but Panthers then upped the ante with that devastating streak of five successive 5-1s. It meant they effectively had victory in the bag with six races still to go.

There was brief respite for Scunthorpe as Ryan Douglas darted down the inside of Ostergaard to hit the front in the re-run of heat 10 to secure their sole success and young reserve Josh Bailey’s third place also ensured their only advantage.

Normal service was swiftly resumed though as Panthers piled in four more heat advantages before Ostergaard’s victory in a shared finale when Busk Jakobsen produced a fine recovery on the opening lap as his front wheel headed skywards.

The sky also appears to be the limit for this Panthers team who return to action next Friday (April 8) when hosting Sheffield at the Showground (7.30pm).

PETERBOROUGH ‘T BALFE CONSTRUCTION’ PANTHERS: Ulrich Ostergaard 13+1, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 11+1, Emil Grondal 10, Tom Perry 8+2, Simon Lambert 8+1, Nicklas Porsing 7+2, Michael Palm Toft 7+2.

SCUNTHORPE: Ryan Douglas 8+1, Josh Auty 7, Alex Davies 4, Josh Bailey 3+2, Carl Wilkinson 3, Richard Hall (guest) 1, Zdenek Holub (withdrawn) 0.

HEATS:
1 - Lambert (61.2), Ostergaard, Auty, Hall. 5-1, 5-1.
2 - Grondal (62.3), Perry, Wilkinson, Bailey. 5-1, 10-2.
3 - re-run x2 Busk Jakobsen (60.8), Douglas, Bailey (Holub fell/DNS), Palm Toft (fell/exc). 3-3, 13-5.
4 - Perry (62.6), Davies, Bailey, Porsing (ret). 3-3, 16-8.
5 - Busk Jakobsen (62.3), Palm Toft, Auty, Hall. 5-1, 21-9.
6 - Ostergaard (62.5), Lambert, Davies, Wilkinson (fell). 5-1, 26-10.
7 - Grondal (61.8), Porsing, Douglas, Bailey. 5-1, 31-11.
8 - Lambert (63.5), Perry, Hall, Wilkinson. 5-1, 36-12.
9 - Busk Jakobsen (62.8), Palm Toft, Davies, Wilkinson. 5-1, 41-13.
10 - re-run Douglas (63.6), Ostergaard, Bailey, Lambert (fell/exc). 2-4, 43-17.
11 - Porsing (63.6), Auty, Grondal, Hall. 4-2, 47-19.
12 - Grondal (63.4), Busk Jakobsen, Douglas (t/r), Wilkinson. 5-1, 52-20.
13 - Ostergaard (63.5), Porsing, Auty, Davies. 5-1, 57-21.
14 - Palm Toft (63.5), Wilkinson, Perry, Bailey. 4-2, 61-23.
15 - Ostergaard (64.0), Auty, Douglas, Busk Jakobsen. 3-3, 64-26.

Picture: STEVE HONE

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