Sunday June 10, 2018
PETERBOROUGH completed a productive weekend with a comeback 49-41 win over Glasgow at the East of England Arena on Sunday.

Not for the first time this season, the T.Balfe Construction Panthers found themselves facing an early deficit, but a mid-meeting turnaround was then backed up by strong later results as the Tigers’ challenge self-destructed.

The visitors will point to a string of falls and mechanical failures, but for Panthers these are three more priceless points, in the bag and they currently sit second in the table.

Glasgow were dominant in the early stages with Richie Worrall and Lewis Kerr racing to a 5-1 in Heat 1 over Scott Nicholls, and with ex-Panthers Paul Starke and Chris Harris also successful in their first outings it was left to captain Simon Lambert to provide the home side’s only victory in the opening four races.

The Tigers led 15-9 at that stage, and it could have been worse but for a late move by Michael Palm Toft to pass Claus Vissing for second place in Heat 3.

But the returning Bradley Wilson-Dean then headed up a match-changing 5-1 in Heat 5 with the Worrall/Kerr partnership eclipsed as Palm Toft again came from the back for second position.

Nicholls and new signing Ellis Perks carded a 4-2 in Heat 6, split by Harris after initially holding a 5-1, but the scores had rapidly been levelled.

Tom Bacon took a heavy fall in a shared Heat 7, and after Lambert and Perks packed in behind Lambert for another 3-3 in the next, Glasgow appeared to be regaining control with two 4-2s.

Reserve Jack Thomas held on for what appeared a vital point over Wilson-Dean in Heat 9, and Vissing got the better of Nicholls in the next to put the Tigers 32-28 up.

But a dramatic Heat 11 saw a frantic scrap between Ulrich Ostergaard, Worrall and Kerr – and a likely Glasgow 4-2 turned Panthers’ way when Worrall hit mechanical trouble on the last lap whilst leading, enabling Lambert to pick up a point.

And back-to-back Peterborough 5-1s then totally transformed the meeting, first with Wilson-Dean and Lambert defeating Vissing after an early challenge from Thomas, and then with Nicholls and Ostergaard relegating Harris to third place in Heat 13 – as Worrall suffered more trouble at the start-line.

Suddenly Panthers led 42-36 and the match was safe in the penultimate race when, with Harris taking a tactical substitute ride, Starke came down heavily on the third lap when trying to make his way through from the back.

Palm Toft duly won the re-run, and despite the gremlins striking Ostergaard in Heat 15, a win for Nicholls over Harris and Vissing ensured the Tigers would go away point-less from the meeting.

Panthers boss Carl Johnson said: “We always knew it would be tough here, and in all honesty I thought they would take a point just as we took a point up at their place.

“But with them going away with nothing, it’s a point gained for us on Glasgow, and it’s fantastic for us to get four points against a team which is highly fancied for the title.

“The track was different tonight, but I think once they realised it wasn’t as bad as they thought it was, they then started performing.

“We lost the first few races at the gate, but when you’ve got the likes of Scotty (Nicholls) in the team doing what he does every week he’s a great bloke to have in the team, and everyone looks up to him.

“Ulrich was excellent tonight as well and deserved Heat 15, it was just a shame he threw a chain at the start.”

Panthers are next in league action at Scunthorpe on Friday, before hosting Ipswich in the vital Championship Shield group decider on Sunday (June 17).

PETERBOROUGH 49: Scott Nicholls 12, Ulrich Ostergaard 10+1, Simon Lambert 9+1, Michael Palm Toft 9+1, Bradley Wilson-Dean 6, Ellis Perks 2+1, Tom Bacon 1.
GLASGOW 41: Chris Harris 13, Lewis Kerr 9, Claus Vissing 8+1, Paul Starke 5+1, Jack Thomas 3, Richie Worrall 2+1, James Sarjeant 1.

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