Monday September 06, 2021
PETERBOROUGH kept up the pressure at the top of the Premiership with a convincing 55-35 local derby win over Ipswich on Monday.

The Crendon Panthers completed a second double of the season over the Witches, with their opponents blown away by a devastating run of four successive 5-1s in mid-meeting.

Each of the home side collected at least two paid wins, led by Michael Palm Toft who racked up paid-16 in a tremendous performance which started with two 5-1s alongside skipper Scott Nicholls.

And the Panthers’ strength in depth included guest reserve Jack Thomas, who stepped in to great effect with a terrific eight points including two wins - thanks to a first corner full of determination to overcome Jason Crump in Heat 7, and then another Heat 14 success where Nicholls rode shotgun in second place.

The Witches did briefly lead thanks to Anders Rowe’s Heat 2 win, but the Palm Toft/Nicholls maximums in Heats 3 and 5 saw Panthers regain control.

Craig Cook gated in Heat 6 but he was quickly overtaken by Palm Toft, with Bjarne Pedersen cleverly cutting back inside the Ipswich rider going into the second lap.

And the fourth 5-1 in the sequence was the most dramatic with Pedersen well clear in Heat 8 whilst Hans Andersen engaged in a frantic scrap with Drew Kemp before emerging on top.

Not surprisingly the Witches’ resistance was led by Danny King, who rode superbly to get the better of Pedersen and Nicholls in Heat 10, and he received late support from Craig Cook as they gained a consolation 5-1 in Heat 13.

But there were two further Panthers maximums in Heats 12 and 14 with Andersen barging Rowe aside in Heat 12 to team up with Palm Toft, whilst Thomas and Nicholls kept Kemp at bay in the penultimate race.

Manager Rob Lyon said: “The boys were on fire, and it’s one of our biggest wins of the season – everybody was on it, it was a great team performance and I’m really happy.

“It was also good to have Bjarne back, and he’s quality. He put the problem from our previous home meeting right in fine style, and he looked really racy as well around the outside a couple of times.

“Jack did himself no harm for potential future bookings, and he did himself and the club proud. He rode very, very well and I was very pleased for him.”

With Wolverhampton also winning at home to King’s Lynn, it means the Panthers are still nine points behind the Monmore side with three matches in hand.

That means victory in their trip to the West Midlands next Monday is essential to retain their hopes of top spot – but their latest home performance was another statement of intent ahead of the play-offs regardless of how the league table shakes out.

PETERBOROUGH 55: Michael Palm Toft 14+2, Bjarne Pedersen 11+1, Scott Nicholls 10+3, Jack Thomas 8, Hans Andersen 7+2, Chris Harris 5+1, Ulrich Ostergaard r/r.
IPSWICH 35: Danny King 12, Craig Cook 10+2, Drew Kemp 5, Anders Rowe 4, Paul Starke 2+2, Jason Crump 1, Jake Allen 1.

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