Panthers March On - Panthers 52 Coventry Bees 40

Tuesday September 26, 2020
Sky Sports Elite League Play Off Semi-Final
Monday 25th September 2006

Panthers gained their revenge on the reigning Elite League Champions with a case of third time lucky in the play offs to progress through to the final. Peterborough will now face Reading Bulldogs in a two-legged tie with the first leg at Reading next Monday with the return at the East of England Showground on the 9th October.

On a track made heavy by rain throughout the previous 24 hours, Coventry got off to the better start and rather surprisingly skipper Hans Andersen was pegged back to third by the Coventry pair in heat 1. Richard Hall jetted away to win heat 2, but Piotr Swiderski was baulked on the first corner and was never able to get back on terms.

Sullivan took advantage of a hard first corner to lead heat 3, and Niels Kristian Iversen briefly got by Chris Harris to raise home spirits, but Bomber managed to re-take second place and hold Iversen at bay.
Jesper B Jensen & Swiderski made the gate in heat 4, but Rory Schlein got past Swiderski on the back straight and then Troy Batchelor did the same on the 3rd lap to the disappointment of the home fans and the delight off the large contingent from Coventry.

Scott Nicholls made the better 1st corner in heat 5 but Janniro was pegged at the rear by Iversen and Sullivan. Andersen took an almighty shove from Martin Smolinski in heat 6 on the first corner but still managed to slip inside race leader Rory Schlein on turn 3 and with Ulrich Ostergaard holding off Smolinski, Panthers were on level terms again.

Oliver Allen made the gate in heat 7 and it didn’t look good for the Panthers as Harris looked set to go around Jensen on the 3rd/4th bend, but Bomber lost it and went into the fence. Jensen then went up the inside of Allen on the home straight with Bomber scrambling to get his bike off the track and the resulting 4-2 gave Panthers the lead on the night for the first time. Janniro went around everyone on the first corner of heat 8 but Swiderski and Ostergaard were holding onto the minor placings until Ostergaard got it all wrong on the end of turn 2 and went down, which levelled the scores again.

Peterborough then moved up a gear as Iversen took both the Coventry riders at the same time in heat 9 to join Sullivan up front for the first Panthers maximum on the night. Hall in for Ostergaard in heat 10 made a great start to lead and was followed home by skipper Andersen after he had passed Allen on the back straight. Jensen then got the advantage of a tight first corner in heat 11 to lead and Hall passed Janniro and nearly took advantage of a Nicholls slip before settling for third. Panthers were now 10 in front and clearly in the tactical zone.

Coventry surprisingly gave Allen the first tactical ride in heat 12, but Iversen made the gate and although Smolinski got by Swiderski, Allen remained at the rear throughout the race, The latter stages saw Swiderski almost snatch second place on the line but the referee gave the result to Coventry after using the benefit of watching television replays.

Heat 13 saw Nicholls take a tactical ride, but Andersen made no mistake to win comfortably with Nicholls passing his team mate later on to ensure the heat advantage, Jensen was shut out on the first corner and was unable to make much inroads on the Coventry pair. The opposition opted to put Janniro off a golden double in heat 14 with a last gasp attempt to turn it around, but Hall made an excellent start to lead and when Sullivan passed Harris on the back straight it was all over for the Bees and the celebrations began.

Hall & Sullivan were both given a mud bath by the team and then the whole team turned on Colin Horton and he was given the same, much to the amusement of the Sky presenters.

Iversen got taken wide by Janniro in heat 15 and ran out of track, coming down heavily in the air fence, but thankfully he walked away. In the re-run both Nicholls and Janniro got away, but Swiderski wore Janniro down and passed him to the delight of the home crowd, some of which thought Janniro had made a significant contribution to Iversen’s demise earlier.

As they say when the going gets tough the tough get going, and Panthers did their usual show in the second half of the meeting to ensure Peterborough play their part in the end of season celebrations. All in all a great match in front of what appeared to be the biggest crowd of the season so far.

Panthers could do with starting better against the Bulldogs than they have in the last 2 matches at Alwalton, but the ball is in their court now and you have to be in it to win it. Panthers, however, after a few hiccups on the way are well and truly there.

Peterborough Panthers 52

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

Coventry Bees 40

1. Scott Nicholls 3, 3, 2, 4, 3 = 15
2. Billy Janniro 2', 0, 3, 0, 1, 1 = 7+1
3. Oliver Allen 0, 2, 0, 0 = 2
4. Chris Harris 2, 0, 1, 0 = 3
5. Rory Schlein 2, 2, 0, 1' = 5+1
6. Martin Smolinski 2, 0, 1, 2 = 5
7. Troy Batchelor 1', 1', 1 = 3+2

Heat Results

Heat 01: Nicholls, Janniro, Andersen, Ostergaard ret 1-5 1-5
Heat 02: Hall, Smolinski, Batchelor, Swiderski 3-3 4-8
Heat 03: Sullivan, Harris, Iversen, Allen 4-2 8-10
Heat 04: Jensen, Schlein, Batchelor, Swiderski 3-3 11-13
Heat 05: Nicholls, Iversen, Sullivan, Janniro 3-3 14-16
Heat 06: Andersen, Schlein, Ostergaard, Smolinski 4-2 18-18
Heat 07: Jensen, Allen, Hall, Harris fell 4-2 22-20
Heat 08: Janniro, Swiderski, Batchelor, Ostergaard 2-4 24-24
Heat 09: Sullivan, Iversen, Smolinski, Schlein 5-1 29-25
Heat 10: Hall, Andersen, Harris, Allen (tr) 5-1 34-26
Heat 11: Jensen, Nicholls (tr), Hall, Janniro 4-2 38-28
Heat 12: Iversen, Smolinski, Swiderski, Allen 4-2 42-30
Heat 13: Andersen, Nicholls, Schlein, Jensen 3-5 45-35
Heat 14: Hall, Sullivan, Janniro (t/s), Harris 5-1 50-36
Heat 15: Nicholls, Swiderski, Janniro, Iversen Fx 2-4 52-40

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