PANTHERS' LATE SHOW

Thursday July 28, 2016
PETERBOROUGH completed a stirring comeback to snatch a vital Premier League success on Thursday night.

The ‘T Balfe Construction’ Panthers recovered from being 10 points down after just six races to triumph 48-45 at play-off rivals Sheffield.

In the process they ended the unbeaten home league record of a Tigers side who lost number one Simon Stead following an early crash.

Peterborough reeled off five successive advantages to finish the meeting with a bang and jump back to second place in the second-tier standings.

Captain Ulrich Ostergaard led the Peterborough charge with a 15-point haul boosted by a successful tactical ride in heat seven which launched their revival.

The skipper was joined in double-figures by number one Craig Cook, who warmed up for World Cup Final duty with a valuable dozen points.

Great Britain star Cook won three of the last five races, including the finale when Ostergaard came home in third to sew up victory.

Panthers had only hit the front for the first time moments earlier when Emil Grondal classily roared to glory in heat 14 with reserve Ashley Morris taking third.

Assistant team boss Carl Johnson said: “It was a good result against a strong team at a tough place to go.

“It stops the rot and gives our league position a boost – and it was great to see all the boys chipping in with valuable points.”

Peterborough endured a nightmare start as they conceded 5-1s in the opening two races, but a key moment arrived in the third heat.

Main Sheffield man Stead, taking a rider replacement outing, hit the deck in the opening bend and took no further part in the meeting.

The hosts then had Josh Bates excluded in the re-run as he tumbled when attempting to go around the outside of Ostergaard.

And Peterborough took full advantage to record a 5-1 with Grondal following home his captain when the race was finally completed at the third attempt.

The loss of talisman Stead didn’t stop Sheffield from responding with a hat-trick of advantages to open up a 10-point cushion, but that was reduced when Ostergaard successfully completed a double-points mission in heat seven.

Sheffield then preserved a seven-point advantage through a series of shared heats before Panthers upped the ante to power to victory.

Their finishing burst of five successive 4-2s began when Cook took the flag in the 11th contest before Ostergaard roared round the widest line to power home in heat 12.

Cook then did the honours again in heat 13 when only a Kyle Howarth pass on Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen denied Panthers a 5-1.

But the 4-2 they did earn pulled them to within a point of the hosts and a narrow deficit became a slim advantage when Grondal produced his best contribution to win heat 14.

And Peterborough’s big guns finished the job by firing in the finale to clinch victory as Cook raced clear.

Johnson added: “It is never nice to see a rider have to pull out through injury, but Sheffield losing Simon obviously worked in our favour.

“They certainly weren’t any pushovers through with Dimitri Berge and Kyle Howarth putting in awesome performances for a team I expect to make the play-offs.

“But we managed to get on top towards the end of the meeting and finished it very strongly. Getting our noses in front in heat 14 was crucial as it took a bit of pressure off the boys in the final race.”

Peterborough hit the road again on Sunday when they travel to Workington with the aim of ending another unbeaten home record.

SCORES

SHEFFIELD: Dimitri Berge 14+1, Kyle Howarth 14, Arthur Sissis 7+1, Nathan Greaves 4+1, Simon Stead 3 (withdrawn), Josh Bates 3, Rider replacement for Jason Garrity.

PETERBOROUGH ‘T BALFE CONSTRUCTION’ PANTHERS: Ulrich Ostergaard 15, Craig Cook 12, Emil Grondal 6+2,Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 5, Ashley Morris 4+1, Zdenek Holub 3+1, Tom Perry 3.

Picture: ANDY GARNER

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