SWINDON 65 PANTHERS 25

Thursday August 29, 2019
PETERBOROUGH suffered their heaviest defeat of the season as they were outclassed 65-25 by rampant Swindon on Thursday.

The Robins had gone to the top of the Premiership by scoring 66 against Ipswich three days earlier, and they were just one point off that mark against the Crendon Panthers, who were beaten for a tenth successive meeting.

They did improve on the Witches’ performance in one other respect, in that the visitors did manage two race winners compared to the clean sweep that the hosts had enjoyed on their own circuit on Monday.

Rohan Tungate and Charles Wright were the two riders who took the chequered flag for the Panthers, Tungate with a good ride to get the better of Rasmus Jensen in the early stages of Heat 5, whilst Wright was successful in a hectic Heat 12 which also netted the visitors their only race advantage of the night.

The British Champion stormed to the front on the outside of turn two and headed a battle for between Ulrich Ostergaard and former Panthers rider Claus Vissing – which took a dramatic turn when Jensen went from fourth to second in one move whilst Vissing came to grief at the start of the third lap.

Reserves Ostergaard and Jason Garrity were worth more than their points totals although they did concede a 5-1 in Heat 2 to Vissing and Ellis Perks.

But the Panthers’ middle-order endured a disaster with neither Ty Proctor nor Hans Andersen troubling the scorers – the Panthers captain being unable to recover from mechanical failure off the start-line in Heat 3.

Scott Nicholls was another who didn’t beat a home rider, although he suffered misfortune in his first outing when the Robins got the best of a ragged start – and Heat 6 summed up Panthers’ frustration as Nicholls and Ostergaard gated on a 5-1 only for Adam Ellis and Jason Doyle to simultaneously pass Ostergaard before rounding up Nicholls to produce a maximum of their own.

Doyle and ex-Panther Troy Batchelor both finished with paid maximums for Swindon, whilst for Peterborough recent signing Garrity got the better of Perks and Vissing for a couple of battling second places later in the meeting.

But with Tungate’s Heat 14 tactical ride coming to nothing, Panthers conceded three 5-1s in the last three races to bring an unhappy end to a fruitless period on the road.

Boss Carl Johnson said: “Swindon were the strongest team we’ve faced. You can’t take anything away from them, they were awesome.

“They made starts, they rode the track well and we just couldn’t live with them. Obviously Ipswich had the same problem on Monday, and we just weren’t at the races.

“You have to give Swindon credit but we have to be disappointed with our performance. Again, we didn’t have enough riders scoring, but it would have been difficult to get near them on that form.

“It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what’s going wrong, but we just aren’t good enough at the moment.

“We know we have to pick everyone up, and the position we’re in makes it even more difficult, but I’m sure going back to our home track will help. We might not be perfect there, but at least it’s going to give us a bit more confidence.”

Panthers now have three home matches remaining to complete the season – and all three could have major significance in the race for play-off places.

Belle Vue, who are in the thick of the battle, are the next visitors to the East of England Arena on Thursday September 5.

SWINDON 65: Troy Batchelor 14+1, Adam Ellis 12+1, Jason Doyle 10+2, Rasmus Jensen 10, Nick Morris 7+2, Ellis Perks 7+2, Claus Vissing 5+2.
PETERBOROUGH 25: Rohan Tungate 9+1, Charles Wright 7, Jason Garrity 5, Ulrich Ostergaard 3, Scott Nicholls 1, Ty Proctor 0, Hans Andersen 0.

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