PETERBOROUGH recovered from a slow start to take all three points against a spirited Swindon side and take a step closer to securing a play-off place.
Missing number one Kenneth Bjerre, who is in Croatia for today’s Grand Prix (Saturday), the Panthers had to rely on strength in depth to fight off the visitors’ late surge for a point.
The Wiltshire side, weakened by the loss of new signing Maciej Janowski due to illness, started strongly with the timeless Leigh Adams claiming a 5-1 with former Panther Mads Korneliussen,
That deficit was soon reduced, however, when Mathieu Tresarrieu held off Justin Sedgmen and Norbert Kosciuch finished in third to gain a Panthers 4-2.
A stunning third-bend swoop from Niels-Kristian Iversen meant that the Panthers secured a second successive 4-2, although Rory Schlein tried everything to pass Grzegorz Zengota to join his teammate at the front.
Heat 4 saw the Robins take the lead once again, when ex-Panthers Simon Stead and Morten Risager teamed up to take a 4-2 over Troy Batchelor and Norbert Kosciuch, with Batchelor suffering an engine failure on lap two.
A shared Heat five meant that the Robins still held a two point lead going into heat six, however the next five heats was where the meeting was won for the Panthers.
Three 4-2’s and two 5-1’s, where Peter Karlsson, Troy Batchelor, Rory Schlein and Krzysztof Buczkowski all registered heat-wins, meant that the home side went into the 11th race 12 points ahead.
Swindon boss Ronnie Russell entrusted his captain Leigh Adams with the black-and-white helmet colour, and his partnership with Mads Korneliussen again yielded a positive result, this time clawing back seven points with a potentially match-turning 8-1.
Rory Schlein stalked compatriot Justin Sedgmen for three laps in Heat 12, before finally managing to pass the Swindon number eight to gain another Panthers 4-2.
Another 3-3 in Heat 13 meant that Swindon were still in with a shout of a point, however their hopes were dented when Iversen and Tresarrieu secured Panthers’ seventh 4-2 of the meeting.
Swindon, needing a last heat 5-1 to take a point back to Wiltshire, could only manage a 3-3.
Leigh Adams led from start-to-finish, but a great race between Niels-Kristian Iversen and Simon Stead ended with the Danish star passing Stead on the last corner and joining guest Peter Karlsson in third.
Team manager Trevor Swales was pleased with his side’s performance, despite a shaky start: “It was exactly what I thought it’d be, Swindon put up a great fight.
“We knew it was going to be tough, and credit to Swindon because they were a completely different side to the one that came here earlier in the season.
“Leigh Adams was brilliant and he showed why he’s such a top rider. He did exactly what he normally does around here, and you can’t say anything but good things about him.”
He continued: “It was really good to see Niels back amongst the points, he can be so quick around here and it’s great to see him back.
“We’ve got three more points in the bag and we’re another step closer to the play-offs.”