PANTHERS PIPPED BY BANDITS

Saturday August 12, 2017
PETERBOROUGH were pipped in a dramatic finish to a crash-affected SGB Championship contest on Satur4day night.

The depleted ‘T Balfe Construction’ Panthers had to settle for a consolation league point following a 47-46 reverse at Berwick.

Double-figures duo Ulrich Ostergaard and Jack Holder were unable to prevent the bottom side from snatching victory with a 4-2, inspired by Nick Morris’ victory, in a last-heat decider.

“We battled hard to get ourselves back into a tough meeting and we were gutted to just come up short,” admitted Johnson.

“I felt Berwick wanted it more than us in the early races and the lead they built up reflected that.

“But we made full use of a tactical ride to claw our way back into the meeting and we could have nicked the win, but it wasn’t to be in heat 15.

“Berwick had the choice of gates and that was a big advantage for them.”

Bandits number one Morris led from start to finish with Panthers skipper Ostergaard taking second place in the decider.

But, crucially, David Howe held onto third place to keep Jack Holder at the back and secure the win for the hosts.

Holder top-scored for Panthers with a 13-point haul boosted by a successful tactical mission in heat nine, when his victory and Simon Lambert’s second place – during his best meeting of the campaign - earned an 8-1 for the away side.

Captain Ostergaard added 12+1 for the Panthers cause and also earned high praise from team boss Johnson for battling through the meeting after being caught up in two crashes in as many races.

Ostergaard suffered a blow to the knee when involved in a first-bend tangle with Morris in heat 10 and was on the deck again in the next instalment when unable to take evasive action after partner Steve Worrall, the club’s guest number one, tumbled in front of him.

Ostergaard went on to inspire a 5-1 in an awarded penultimate race when Lambert took second spot as Berwick captain Kevin Doolan tumbled out.

That left Panthers a point up going into the crucial finale, but it was Berwick who claimed the heat 15 advantage.

Johnson added: “Ulrich was in a lot of pain after the first crash and could easily have pulled out of the rest of the meeting.

“But we saw his passion and determination to help the club again as he soldiered on through four more rides.

“He deserved to be part of a winning team for that, but we just couldn’t manage it.

“It’s the second time this season we’ve been beaten at Berwick when not having a full team to call upon. Had we been at our strongest I feel we would have won both meetings.”

SCORES

BERWICK: Nick Morris 13+1, David Howe 10+1, Kevin Doolan 8, Dany Gappmaier 6, Jye Etheridge 6, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn (guest) 4+3 (withdrawn), Rider replacement for Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen.
PETERBOROUGH: Jack Holder 13, Ulrich Ostergaard 12+1, Simon Lambert 9+3, Paul Starke 8+1, Steve Worrall (guest) 4, Tom Woolley (guest) 0, Rider replacement for Bradley Wilson-Dean.

Picture: COLIN POOLE

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