PETERBOROUGH finally ended the longest-running losing record in their history – to roar into third place in the Elite League.
And they did it even though they ended up with only THREE fully fit riders to cement their play-off spot.
Missing the injured Troy Batchelor before the meeting even began, the Readypower Panthers then lost reserve Mathieu Tresarrieu and skipper Niels-Kristian Iversen during their stunning win at Swindon.
And match-winning reserve Norbert Kosciuch limped out of Blunsdon after courageously picking himself up after a frightening crash to clinch the hard-earned victory.
Peterborough hadn’t won in their previous 24 visits to the Abbey Stadium but put a huge dent in Swindon’s play-off ambitions.
And the three points saw them leapfrog Lakeside into third place in the table.
But more important they are now eight points ahead of fifth placed Belle Vue with two matches in hand and a massive 12 points in front of Swindon although the Robins have two matches in hand.
Tresarrieu was ruled out with double vision after being brought down by rival Cory Gathercole in Heat 2 – and his absence meant the Panthers could track only one rider in Heat 13.
Iversen was ruled out after suffering leg and chest injuries in a Heat 14 fall and another victim of the same crash was Poland star Kosciuch whose double figure score was his best in his British career.
He provided superb backing to top-scorer Rory Schlein with his best performance since his mid-season loan move from Coventry.
Team boss Trevor Swales said: “It’s been 17 years coming – but we richly deserved the win. It was a terrific performance, particularly considering all our injury problems.
“We certainly boosted our chances of making the end of season play-offs and the good thing is we are getting better and better.”
All the damage was done in the opening half of the meeting and it was only after extensive track work after both Heat 8 and again at a Heat 10 interval that Swindon were a match for the visitors.
And Panthers would have taken an extra fourth point but for Swindon using the tactical rider rule to add six points to their overall tally.
Guest for the night Chris Harris – replacing Kenneth Bjerre – joked: “Their best rider was the tractor driver – he got them back in it by making the track so slick for the last five races.”
Panthers led by 17 points at one stage before the major trackwork turned the circuit into a gater’s paradise – and Swindon proved much quicker out of the tapes.
Tresarrieu is expected to be okay for tonight’s visit to Lakeside but Iversen – who will compete in the Danish Championship if he recovers sufficiently – and Batchelor (waiting to see a specialist because of muscle damage in his shoulder) will definitely be missing.
And so will number one Kenneth Bjerre who will be bidding for his first senior Danish title.
Ipswich Scott Nicholls and Belle Vue veteran Peter Karlsson will come into the squad as guests with rider replacement facility also in operation at Purfleet.
SWINDON 47 (Leigh Adams 16:1 (2-6-3-3-2:1), Thomas H. Jonasson 0 (R-F-0), Grzegorz Zengota 8 (0-0-6-2), Mads Korneliussen 5 (1-2-1-1), Simon Stead 9:1 (1-0-3-2:1-3), Morten Risager 8 (2-2-0-1-3), Cory Gathercole 1 ((FD-0-1-0)).