Thursday July 06, 2017
STAND-IN skipper Paul Starke led Peterborough to their finest away success of 2017 last night.

The 'T Balfe Construction' Panthers roared to a 52-40 triumph at Redcar to step up their chase for an SGB Championship play-off spot.

And Starke, called on to lead the side after Ulrich Ostergaard was ruled out with a sickness bug, certainly led by example.

He reeled off four successive victories in a 14-point haul as Peterborough triumphed at the Media Prima Arena for the second time this season after an April victory in the KO Cup.

High-scoring Jack Holder and guest number one Richie Worrall also delivered double-figures contributions in an eye-catching result, while Bradley Wilson-Dean would have done likewise but for a tumble in heat eight.

Reserve Liam Carr was another man to impress with seven valuable points in his first away meeting for the club.

Team boss Carl Johnson said: "We've been too slow to get going in away meetings this season, but last night was completely the opposite.
"We gated superbly, we were hard in the first corner when we had to be, and we took control of the meeting with four advantages in the first five races.

"We never looked like letting the lead slip and I feel sure we would have won even more convincingly had Ulrich been part of the team.
"We only picked up four points from his four rides and I'm certain he would have got a hell of a lot more than that.

"But Paul stood in as skipper superbly. He was absolutely flying and led from the front with some great support from the other guys.
"We were confident Richie would prove to be a top guest and Jack continued to do what he has been doing lately – and that's piling up the points.

"It was a terrific team performance that shows we are serious contenders for the play-offs."

Peterborough's dominant start carried them into a 12-point advantage after only a third of the meeting.

Disaster then struck for the hosts when Charles Wright and Danny Ayres were involved in a heat seven spill which put both riders out of the meeting.

Wright, who was taking a tactical ride at the time, was briefly left unconscious by the impact of the third-bend incident, while Ayres injured an arm.

Wright's replacement Jonas B. Andersen then donned the black and white helmet colours in the re-run following a lengthy delay, but he was beaten by the outstanding Starke. Carr's third place restricted the home side to a 4-4.

They did then record back-to-back 4-2s to reduce their arrears to eight points, but Panthers asserted again – sealing victory with three races to spare and then guaranteeing a maximum haul of four league points when Holder led home guest Worrall for a 5-1 in heat 13.

Another couple of Redcar gains did reduce the margin of victory to a dozen points, but that was of little concern to Panthers as they stepped up their play-off challenge.

They have now closed to within seven points of the SGB Championship play-off places a will go into another tough away test – at second-placed Glasgow tomorrow (Saturday, 7pm) – on a high.

Worrall will be a member of the opposition that night with Ben Barker, who rode for Redcar tonight, stepping in as a guest.


REDCAR: Jonas B. Andersen 12+3, Ben Barker 9, Ellis Perks 7, Stuart Robson (guest) 5, Danny Ayres 3+1 (withdrawn), Fernando Garcia 2, Charles Wright 2 (withdrawn).

PETERBOROUGH: Paul Starke 14, Jack Holder 11, Richie Worrall (guest) 10+3, Bradley Wilson-Dean 9+1, Liam Carr 7, Tom Bacon 1, rider replacement for Ulrich Ostergaard.


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