Sunday May 22, 2020
CRAIG Cook was a last-heat hero as his Peterborough debut ended in a dramatic derby victory yesterday.

The 'T Balfe Construction' Panthers' high-profile new recruit led home star guest Kenneth Hansen for a 5-1 in a re-run finale as they snatched a 48-45 success against Ipswich in their final League Cup, Midland Group fixture.

They did the business in a soggy second staging after unbeaten Ipswich captain Danny King had hit the deck in the initial attempt to earn an exclusion from referee Willie Dishington.

Peterborough had earlier trailed by 12 points after being on the receiving end of three 5-1s in the opening five races, but they turned the tide in brilliant style.

Hansen delivered another vintage display in Peterborough colours with a 16+3 haul including a vital tactical ride triumph, while reserve Simon Lambert piled up a terrific 14+2 at reserve and Cook roared to 11 despite his first outing for the club ending in retirement.

Team boss Jason Attwood said: “It was a very entertaining meeting and I’m delighted to come out of it with a win even though we made hard work of it.

“I feared it wasn’t going to be our day when we found ourselves so far behind early on.

“It is very difficult to recover from being 12 points behind at any stage of a meeting, but we managed to do it.

“Craig showed why he has been brought into the club with some important points while Kenneth wasn’t a bad guest again, was he?

“And Simon had a stormer down at reserve. I worked him really hard, but he kept coming up with results for the team.”

Cook’s first outing in Peterborough colours came to an abrupt end with a third-lap retirement as Ipswich duo King and Lewis Kerr gave their side the best possible start in the opener.

Panthers were dealt a further blow when skipper Ulrich Ostergaard crashed heavily in heat three after swiping the fence. He and Emil Grondal were on a 5-1 at the time, but Ipswich duo Morten Risager and James Sarjeant claimed that outcome for the visitors in the re-run.

And Ipswich extended their lead to a dozen points when Ostergaard had no answer to Kerr and King in the fifth contest.

But then came the fightback as Panthers turned a big deficit into an advantage in the space of three thrilling races.

Cook set the ball rolling with his first victory for the club in heat six before the star duo of Hansen and Lambert produced an 8-1 followed by a 5-1 in successive races.

The teams then traded 4-2s over the next three races to leave Ipswich with the narrowest of advantages which they preserved through a series of shared races to set up a final-heat decider.

But when King hit the deck while attempting to blast around the outside on the opening lap, Peterborough became favourites to take victory.

Cook and Hansen certainly didn’t disappoint as they smoothly saw off Nico Covatti on a surface made tricky by a sudden downpour to earn a standing ovation from the Alwalton faithful.

The high-scoring of Hansen, Lambert and Cook proved vital for a Peterborough side without injury victims Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen and Tom Perry.

Ostergaard and Grondal had difficult meetings while debutant Tom Stokes was regularly on the pace at reserve despite failing to score.

Peterborough and Ipswich do battle again on Bank Holiday Monday (May 30, 8pm) with Panthers hitting the road to Scunthorpe earlier that day (2pm).


PETERBOROUGH ‘T BALFE CONSTRUCTION’ PANTHERS: Kenneth Hansen 16+3, Simon Lambert 14+2, Craig Cook 11, Ulrich Ostergaard 5, Emil Grondal 2, Tom Stokes 0, Rider replacement for Tom Perry.

IPSWICH: Danny King 11+1, Nico Covatti 8, Lewis Kerr 7+1, Morten Risager 7, James Sarjeant 6+1, Ollie Greenwood 3+3, Paco Castagna 3.

1 - King (59.5), Kerr, Grondal, Cook (ret). 1-5, 1-5.
2 - Lambert (62.9), Castagna, Greenwood, Stokes. 3-3, 4-8.
3 - re-run Risager (62.0), Sarjeant, Grondal, Ostergaard (fell/exc). 1-5, 5-13.
4 - Hansen (61.1), Covatti, Greenwood, Stokes. 3-3, 8-16.
5 - re-run Kerr (62.1), King, Ostergaard, Grondal. 1-5, 9-21.
6 - Cook (61.0), Covatti, Lambert, Castagna. 4-2, 13-23.
7 - Hansen (t/r, 62.4), Lambert, Risager, Sarjeant, 8-1, 21-24.
8 - Lambert (63.4), Hansen, Kerr, Greenwood. 5-1, 26-25.
9 - Covatti (62.9), Ostergaard, Castagna, Grondal. 2-4, 28-29.
10 - Cook (63.3), Sarjeant, Lambert, Risager. 4-2, 32-31.
11 - King (63.2), Hansen, Kerr, Stokes. 2-4, 34-35.
12 - Risager (63.7), Ostergaard, Lambert, Castagna. 3-3, 37-38.
13 - King (63.3), Cook, Hansen, Covatti. 3-3, 40-41.
14 - Lambert (63.6), Sarjeant, Greenwood, Grondal. 3-3, 43-44.
15 - re-run Cook (66.8), Hansen, Covatti, King (fell/exc). 5-1, 48-45.

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