Panthers On Course For Play-Off Top Spot

Friday September 08, 2020
Panthers 62 Arena Essex 'Duggo' Hammers 28
Thursday 7th September Sky Sprts Elite League B

Panthers shot back to the top of the Sky Sports Elite League with a resounding 34 point win over the Hammers. But the night wasn’t without incident as both Niels Kristian Iversen and Hans Andersen hit the deck - the latter in spectacular fashion.

The last thing Panthers need at the moment is an injury scare to their front man Andersen (or indeed any of the team) but that’s exactly what they got in heat 10. The skipper missed the gate and was trying to find a way past Steve Johnston on the third bend when disaster struck.

Andersen said: “I came together with Johnno which pushed me into Leigh Lanham. I hit a bit of dirt on the outside, hit the fence, and off I went.”

The point where Andersen crashed was down the home straight and there were several gasps from the fans in the Grandstand who witnessed his head bash into the top of the solid wooden fence. Concussion, or at the very least a thumping headache, was what was expected. But Andersen appeared to have suffered no ill effects although he was slightly subdued in the post meeting press conference.

The crash meant that number two Ulrich Ostergaard, who was out in front at the time, had it all to do again. In the re-run he didn’t make the gate and found himself sandwiched between the two Arena riders. After three and half laps keeping Johnston at bay a snapped chain denied Ostergaard second place. And that heat was the visitors’ only heat advantage of the night (their double tactical rides in heats 8 and 11 failed to produce any extra points).

Had heat 10 been awarded the first time around it would have meant that all the Panthers recorded race wins but Ostergaard pointed out that the main thing was that Andersen was alright and that the team got the win.

Fortunately, Iversen was also uninjured after he fell on the fourth bend in heat 15.

But there is one rider nursing an injury who is so committed to the Panthers’ cause that he won’t pay a visit to the doctor in case he is forced to have an operation.

You would never have guessed it considering he scored 11 paid 13 but Northern Soul Richard Hall is riding with a collarbone injury.

His now legendary blasts round the boards were evident again last night as he over took in all five of his rides. In heat 7 in particular there was plenty of passing and re-passing between Hall and Johnston. And the 22-year-old Panther earned another bottle of champagne as he was awarded rider of the night by the meeting sponsors.

The team’s rider of the night, however, went to Ryan Sullivan who was back on song with a paid maximum. He has looked off the pace in recent weeks but thanks to a new engine which he said was “working perfectly” there was no stopping him against the Hammers.

And there was praise for the extensive track work which has been carried out recently. Sullivan said: “It’s smooth and there’s a bit of grip. It’s the perfect track.”

In fact, Reading team manager Jim Lynch (who will be at the Showground on Monday with his team) commented that it would be difficult for any rider not to score on the track and that the score line belied some entertaining racing.

But Panthers can’t afford Reading and Swindon to enjoy their time at the Showground too much next week. Nothing less then two home wins are needed if Panthers want to cement their top spot.

Report by Sarah Tooze

Peterborough Panthers 62

1. Hans Andersen 3,3,Fx,3 = 9
2. Ulrich Ostergaard 0,1,1 = 2
3. Niels Kristian Iversen 2*,3,3,3,Fx + 11+1
4. Ryan Sullivan 3,2*,2*,3,3 = 13+2
5. Jesper B Jensen 3,3,1,1 = 8
6. Richard Hall 3,2*,1,3,2* = 11+2
7. Piotr Swiderski 1,2*,3,2* = 8+2

Arena Essex ‘Duggo’ Hammers 28

1. Mikael Max 2,0,2,0,1* = 5+1
2. Paul Hurry R/R
3. Steve Johnston 0,1,0,2*,0 = 3+1
4. Leigh Lanham 1,0,3,Fx = 4
5. Joonas Kylmakorpi 1,2,1,2,2 = 8
6. Henning Bager 1*,2,1,2,0,1,1 = 8+1
7. Andreas Messing 0,0,0,0 = 0

Arena Essex won the toss and took gates 1 & 3

Heat 1 Andersen,Max,Bager,Ostergaard 3-3 61.2
Heat 2 Hall,Bager,Swiderski,Messing 4-2 61.9 7-5
Heat 3 Sullivan,Iversen,Lanham,Johnston 5-1 61.7 12-6
Heat 4 Jensen,Swiderski,Kylmakorpi,Messing 5-1 61.9 17-7
Heat 5 Iversen,Sullivan,Bager,Max 5-1 61.9 22-8
Heat 6 Andersen,Kylmakorpi,Ostergaard,Messing 4-2 61.3 26-10
Heat 7 Jensen,Hall,Johnston,Lanham 5-1 63.0 31-11
Heat 8 Swiderski,Bager,Hall,Johnston(TR) 4-2 62.3 35-13
Heat 9 Iversen,Sullivan,Kylmakorpi,Messing 5-1 61.6 40-14
Heat 10 Lanham,Johnston,Ostergaard,Andersen(Fx) 1-5 63.8 41-19
Heat 11 Hall,Max,Jensen,Bager 4-2 62.7 45-21
Heat 12 Iversen,Swiderski,Bager,Johnston 5-1 62.9 50-22
Heat 13 Andersen,Kylmakorpi,Jensen,Max 4-2 63.2 54-24
Heat 14 Sullivan,Hall,Bager,Lanham(Fx) 5-1 Awarded 59-25
Heat 15 Sullivan,Kylmakorpi,Max,Iversen (Fx) 3-3 Awarded 62-28

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