WELCOME WIN FOR PANTHERS

Sunday September 03, 2017
PETERBOROUGH boss Carl Johnson dished out the plaudits after a long wait for SGB Championship success came to an end tonight (Sunday).

The 'T Balfe Construction' claimed a first league triumph since July when beating Glasgow 35-31 in a rain-shortened clash at the East of England Arena.

Reserve Simon Lambert, guest number one Scott Nicholls and fellow former British champion Chris Harris were the leading performers as Panthers prevailed.

And Johnson wasn't just full of praise for the efforts of his men - he also appreciated the contributions of opponents Glasgow and referee Graham Reeve in ensuring the meeting reached a point where a result could stand.

Rain fell for much of the contest but became heavier during an 11th contest with track conditions becoming too treacherous for any further action.

"This win has been a long time coming - and it's one we really needed," admitted Johnson.

"It was the shame the weather defeated everyone in the end, but ourselves, Glasgow and the referee all deserve credit for ensuring there was a result.

"We knew rain was expected and we moved things along as quickly as possible - and we saw some terrific racing in the process.

"It was a close contest as the scoreline shows, but I feel we would have taken control over the final few races if the meeting had gone the full distance."

The meeting looked to be building towards an exciting climax with Panthers four points to the good against a Glasgow side desperate to boost their prospects of securing a runners-up finish in the SGB Championship standings.

Johnson's men led throughout - largely thanks to a pair of 5-1s from Nicholls and Lambert, who formed a successful alliance in the first and sixth heats.

Lambert also inspired a 4-2 with victory in heat two, while Glasgow managed three advantages of their own to keep themselves within touching distance of their hosts.

Harris and Nicholls only dropped a point apiece from three rides while skipper Ulrich Ostergaard racked up 6+1 with a couple of exciting contributions.

Paul Starke endured a difficult start, but was much-improved when switching to machinery belonging to Ostergaard in his final two rides, while reserve Tom Bacon deserved more than the one point he did gain.

Johnson added: "It was great to have Scott back at the club where he started out in speedway. He really showed his quality and hopefully we'll get the opportunity to use him again.

"The play-offs might be beyond us, but we're still looking to finish as high as we can and win as many meetings as possible along the way."

SCORES

PETERBOROUGH: Simon Lambert 8+3, Chris Harris 8, Scott Nicholls (guest) 8, Ulrich Ostergaard 6+1, Paul Starke 4, Tom Bacon 1, Rider replacement for Bradley Wilson-Dean.

GLASGOW: Aaron Summers 8+1, Richard Lawson 8, Richie Worrall 6, Mason Campton (guest) 4+1, Jack Smith 4, Tom Perry 1+1, Rider replacement for Nike Lunna.

HEATS
1 - Nicholls (61.0), Lambert, Worrall, Smith. 5-1, 5-1.
2 - Lambert (61.7), Smith, Bacon, Perry (ret). 4-2, 9-3.
3 - Ostergaard (60.5), Lawson, Campton, Starke. 3-3, 12-6.
4 - Harris (61.6), Smith, Summers, Bacon. 3-3, 15-9.
5 - Worrall (61.8), Ostergaard, Campton, Starke (ret). 2-4, 17-13.
6 - Nicholls (62.4), Lambert, Summers, Perry. 5-1, 22-14.
7 - Lawson (61.3), Harris, Campton, Bacon. 2-4, 24-18.
8 - Summers (62.6), Starke, Lambert, Smith. 3-3, 27-21.
9 - Summers (62.8), Starke, Ostergaard, Smith. 3-3, 30-24.
10 - Lawson (62.8), Nicholls, Campton, Bacon (fell). 2-4, 32-28.
11 - Worrall (64.0), Worrall, Perry, Lambert. 3-3, 35-31.

PICTURE: Guest Scott Nicholls (red) leads partner Simon Lambert (blue) last night (by Steve Hone).

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