TWO disastrous minutes ended Peterborough’s hopes of ending their longest losing run.
The Readypower Panthers were on track for their first-ever win at Swindon in the Knock Out Cup quarter final first leg with only four races left.
The two teams were tied 33-33 – but Swindon opened up an eight-point lead for the second leg with successive 5-1 heat wins to clinch a 49-41 win.
Panthers’ skipper Kenneth Bjerre admitted: “We had done all the hard work – and then we let it slip in those two races. That was the only difference between the two sides.”
The brilliant Bjerre had already beaten Elite League number one Leigh Adams in his opening race on his way to three successive wins but lifted and snaked up at the start in a vital Heat 13.
Rory Schlein and reserve Craig Cook had already been on the wrong end of a twelfth race maximum and with Bjerre and guest Adam Shields unable to make any impression of the Robins’ pair, Peterborough dramatically went eight down.
The meeting’s outcome dramatically changed in little over two minutes – the time it took for those two races to be run!
Bjerre had a second win over Adams in the last heat to leave the tie delicately balanced when the teams meet in the return at the East of England Showground.
Team boss Trevor Swales admitted: “I was really confident we could get a win but once again we suffered two vital 5-1s which ended our chances. But given our past form at Blunsdon we have to be relatively happy to have only eight points to pull back.”
Things started so well for the Panthers with Bjerre scorching to a Heat 1 victory and in the first dozen race s there were never more than four points between the two sides.
Despite a weakness at reserve – Frenchman Mathieu Tresarrieu didn’t take a point off an opponent – Peterborough eventually provided eight of the 15 race winners.
But that wasn’t enough in the final analysis….
Swindon 49 (Leigh Adams 11:1 (2-3-2-3-1:1), Morten Risager 3:2 (1:1-1-1:1-0), Grzegorz Zengota 11:2 (3-1:1-3-2:1-2), Mads Korneliussen 6 (0-2-1-3), Simon Stead 8 (2-2-2-2), Jordan Frampton 2:1 (2:1-0-0), Thomas H. Jonasson 8 (3-0-2-3-0)).