PANTHERS 'ROCKET' TO GLORY

Saturday April 16, 2016
PETERBOROUGH produced a blistering finish to launch their Premier League campaign with a bang on Saturday night.

The ‘T Balfe Construction’ Panthers slammed in three 5-1s in the final four races to swoop for a fine 48-42 at Rye House in a terrific clash.

Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen made a stunning return to his former club by leading home fellow double-figures stars Emil Grondal in heat 12 and captain Ulrich Ostergaard in heat 15 for two of the full houses.

Grondal, starring at the tight Hoddesdon track for the second successive season, also inspired another maximum in the penultimate race when zooming clear with Michael Palm Toft in tow as the hosts were unable to live with Peterborough’s late show.

Temporary team boss Dale Allitt said: “It was exactly the start to the league season we wanted.

“We showed we have a lot of fighters in the team to keep ourselves in a position from which we could win the meeting.

“Nikolaj had a great return to his former track while Emil and Ulrich were also superb. To have three riders in double-figures on the road is no mean feat.

“Rye House have started the season very well and have a number one who had been nigh on unbeatable.

“To beat them at their own track sends out a massive message that we are a team to be taken seriously.”

Ostergaard ensured Peterborough got off to a fine start as he claimed the notable scalp of Rockets skipper Edward Kennett in a shared opening race.

Kennett had reeled off maximums in his club’s three previous meetings, but a streak of 17 successive race wins was broken in fine style by the reigning Premier League Riders’ Championship king.

Peterborough then hit the front as Tom Perry and Grondal dominated a re-run reserves’ contest which was halted and awarded just before the finish line as Rockets man Peter Karger hit the deck.

But two races later they were behind with a Rockets 4-2 in heat three being followed by the most fortunate of 5-1s in the next contest after Nicklas Porsing had retired from the lead.

A series of six deadlocks in the next seven races followed with the only advantage during that time going to the hosts as Cameron Heeps as Porsing could only split Cameron Heeps and Leigh Lanham in heat nine to extend their advantage to four points.

But Heeps had no answer to the pace of Busk Jakobsen and Grondal as Panthers hauled themselves level with the first of their late 5-1s.

Parity provded to be short-lived as a rare slip from Ostergaard leaving the final bend of the third lap in heat 13 allowed Kennett to pounce for victory and a Rockets 4-2.

But Peterborough responded superbly. Allitt’s decision to draft in Grondal for the penultimate race proved inspired as he teamed up with Palm Toft, who found his form in the second half of the meeting, to great effect.

It meant Busk Jakobsen and Ostergaard only had to clinch a share of the spoils in the finale to secure victory, but they wrapped up a fine night in style by keeping Kennett and Stuart Robson at bay.

Peterborough hit the road again on Thursday (April 21) when facing Redcar.

SCORES:

RYE HOUSE: Edward Kennett 12, Stuart Robson 9, Cameron Heeps 8+1, Leigh Lanham 5, Ben Morley 4+2, Kasper Lykke 3+1, Peter Karger 1+1.

PETERBOROUGH ‘T BALFE CONSTRUCTION’ PANTHERS: Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 13, Emil Grondal 12+2, Ulrich Ostergaard 12+1, Tom Perry 4, Michael Palm Toft 3+2, Nicklas Porsing 3+1, Simon Lambert 1+1.

Picture: IAN BUSH

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