PANTHERS IN DEADLOCK

Thursday July 20, 2017
PETERBOROUGH collected more valuable away points when involved in an SGB Championship thriller on Thursday night.

The ‘T Balfe Construction’ Panthers drew 45-45 in a nail-biting clash at Redcar - the fifth fixture between the two sides so far this season.

Peterborough had triumphed in the previous four showdowns against the Bears and team boss Carl Johnson admitted his men could also have emerged victorious in their latest visit to the Media Prima Arena.

“It’s another good result on the road,” said Johnson. “But it could have been even better.

“A couple of errors ended up costing us vital points and they were probably the difference between a good draw and a great win.

“But the main thing is picking up points in every meeting as we try to get ourselves closer to the play-off spots.”

The two teams were never split by more than four points with Panthers boasting that cushion going into the closing stages.

A 5-1 from Paul Starke and Ulrich Ostergaard in heat 10 was swiftly following by a Jack Holder-inspired 4-2 in heat 11 as Panthers threatened to take command.

They looked to be on course for another 4-2 until Holder briefly lost control when leading heat 13, a slip which allowed Bears man Charles Wright through for victory in a shared race.

And there was a further blow for Panthers as they saw their advantage wiped out in a re-run penultimate race after skipper Ostergaard was excluded for hitting the deck in the initial staging.

That set up a mouth-watering finale which was won in terrific style by top-scorer Holder, but partner Starke could find no way past the Redcar pairing of Ben Barker and Wright.

Johnson added: “Another 4-2 to in heat 13 would have put us in a really strong and heat 14 obviously didn’t go to plan.

“Ulrich was sitting third when he crashed, but I’d have fancied him to have at least get into second as he had only dropped one point before then.

“That would have kept us ahead going into the last race which Jack won in great style, but Paul just couldn’t find a way past the Redcar pair despite being all over them.”

Starke endured a tough start to the night with an exclusion and a last place before hitting form to follow in Ostergaard in heat 10 and then claim the scalp of Barker a couple of racers later to earn his spot in the finale.

Guest Nike Lunna impressed with a paid nine-point haul which featured a fine win in an opening race in which Panthers picked up a 4-2, while fellow borrowed Glasgow man Richie Worrall also collected one victory in his paid eight contribution.

Reserve Tom Bacon took the flag in heat two on his way to 5+1, but Simon Lambert endured a blank night.

Peterborough return to action as a team when entertaining Redcar on Sunday, 5pm, but their top duo, Holder and Chris Harris, go in search of glory in the SGB Championship Pairs at Somerset tonight.

SCORES

REDCAR: Charles Wright 11+1, Ben Barker 11, Ellis Perks 6+1, Jonas B Andersen 5+2, Tobias Busch 5+2, Danny Ayres 4+1, Jason Garrity 3.

PETERBOROUGH: Jack Holder 12, Nike Lunna (guest) 8+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 8, Richie Worrall (guest) 7+1, Tom Bacon 5+1, Paul Starke 5+1, Simon Lambert 0.

Picture: COLIN POOLE

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