Sunday September 10, 2017
OWNER Ged Rathbone reckons Peterborough are moving in the right direction again – after a second successive home victory.

The ‘T Balfe Construction’ Panthers eased to a 51-42 victory against Workington in an SGB Championship clash at the East of England Arena on Sunday.

The success, which followed up a triumph against Glasgow the previous Sunday, was more convincing than the final scoreline suggested as the visiting Comets claimed back-to-back advantages in the closing two races when the result was already beyond doubt.

Jack Holder played a starring role on his return to the Peterborough side with a 15-point haul, reeling off four successive victories before seeing his maximum hopes dashed by rival number one Craig Cook in heat 13.

Holder’s contribution headlined a fine all-round showing on a day when the home side made light of the absence of Chris Harris due to a grasstrack commitment.

Rathbone said: “It has been a tough few weeks, but we’re kick-starting our season again with the aim of picking up more silverware.

“The KO Cup is the most important competition for us now and picking up league wins is only helping us to build momentum.

“We’ve produced a couple of good home performances in a row and could have won both meetings – against Glasgow and Workington – by bigger margins.

“Workington had a couple of riders missing, but they were never going to be a pushover. They have guys who score well at our track and we saw that again.

“It’s important to pick up results in front of our own supporters as we need them on side – and we’re showing that there is no way we will just let the season fade out.

“We’ve won the Fours and we want every other piece of silverware that’s still possible as well. By that I mean the KO Cup, the Pairs and the individual riders’ championship.”

It briefly looked as though there might be a disappointing case of déjà vu as rain began to fall during the parade.

The heavens also opened moments before the start to force the postponement of the Comets’ visit to the East of England Arena on May Bank Holiday Monday.

Luckily there was no repeat on this occasion as the shower passed and Peterborough enjoyed the perfect start courtesy of back-to-back 5-1s.

Holder and partner Bradley Wilson-Dean, who enjoyed an excellent comeback from a wrist injury, powered clear of Cook in the opener before Simon Lambert and Tom Bacon saw off the visitors’ makeshift reserve combination of guests Jake Knight and Ryan Terry-Daley in the second test.

A 4-2 inspired by Holder in heat four opened up a 10-point lead and the Comets wasted no time in deploying Cook on a successful tactical ride in heat five.

The British champion forced his way past Paul Starke to hit the front and earn a 6-3 for his side which did little to threaten Panthers’ control in all truth.

Wins for Holder (heat six) and Wilson-Dean (heat eight) provided further 4-2s and that duo then teamed up for another 5-1 in a re-run of heat 10 after unbeaten Workington man Ty Proctor was excluded for a first-bend spill.

Conditions worsened as rain set in again during the 11th and 12th contests, but a decision to allow the inclement weather to pass proved to be a smart one as the meeting was able to be completed following a short break.

Cook claimed the scalp of Holder in heat 13 when the action resumed before the Comets pounced on mechanical misfortune for Ulrich Ostergaard in the penultimate race.

The Peterborough skipper led in a 5-1 situation when losing power and retiring, and it turned into a 4-2 for Workington as Matt Williamson took advantage to also sneak past Simon Lambert and hit the front.

There was also a 5-1 for Workington in the finale as Cook and Proctor successfully kept Holder at bay, but it was Panthers’ day.

They are back in action when travelling to Glasgow this Sunday (September 17).


PETERBOROUGH: Jack Holder 15, Paul Starke 10, Simon Lambert 8+3, Bradley Wilson-Dean 8+2, Ulrich Ostergaard 5+3, Tom Bacon 5+2, Rider replacement for Chris Harris.

WORKINGTON: Craig Cook 16, Ty Proctor 11+1, Thomas Jorgensen 9, Matt Williamson 4, Jake Knight (guest) 2, Ryan Terry-Daley (guest) 0, Rider replacement for Mason Campton.

1 - Holder (61.0), Wilson-Dean, Cook, Terry-Daley. 5-1, 5-1
2 - Lambert (62.0), Bacon, Knight, Terry-Daley. 5-1, 10-2.
3 – Proctor (60.5), Starke, Ostergaard, Williamson. 3-3, 13-5.
4 - Holder (61.4), Jorgensen, Bacon, Knight (ret). 4-2, 17-7.
5 - Cook (t/r, 60.9), Starke, Ostergaard, Williamson, 3-6, 20-13.
6 - re-run Holder (61.3), Jorgensen, Wilson-Dean, Terry-Daley. 4-2, 24-15.
7 - Proctor (62.5), Starke, Lambert, Williamson. 3-3, 27-18.
8 - Wilson-Dean (62.4), Jorgensen, Bacon, Knight. 4-2, 31-20.
9 - Jorgensen (61.7), Starke, Ostergaard, Terry-Daley. 3-3, 34-23.
10 - re-run Holder (63.0), Wilson-Dean, Williamson, Proctor (fell.exc). 5-1, 39-24.
11 - Cook (63.8), Ostergaard, Lambert, Knight. 3-3, 42-27.
12 - Proctor (65.0), Starke, Bacon, Terry-Daley (ret). 3-3, 45-30.
13 - Cook (61.9), Holder, Lambert, Jorgensen. 3-3, 48-33.
14 - Williamson (63.7), Lambert, Knight, Ostergaard (ret). 2-4, 50-37.
15 - Cook (62.5), Proctor, Holder, Starke. 1-5, 51-42.

PICTURE: Jack Holder and Bradley Wilson-Dean on their way to a 5-1 in heat one (by STEVE HONE).

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