Tuesday June 21, 2020
PETERBOROUGH swept back to the summit of the Premier League in sparkling style last night.

The 'T Balfe Construction' Panthers' super six powered to a sixth successive victory when seeing off Plymouth at the East of England Showground.

A blistering surge of five heat advantages in the final five races capped another powerful display from a red-hot Peterborough side as they triumphed 55-34 to ease back into top spot.

Reserve star Simon Lambert, number one Craig Cook, captain Ulrich Ostergaard and the back-on-song Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen delivered double-figures scores while every Peterborough man was paid for at least one race victory.

Promoter Ged Rathbone said: “Plymouth didn’t let us get away for a lot of the meeting, but we showed what we’re all about during the final few races.

“We wanted another convincing result at home to continue sending out a message that we are a force to be reckoned with.

“We’re here to win things and it is great to be back on top of the table. We will take some beating if we can continue in our current form.”

Panthers were briefly behind when Emil Grondal and Cook were on the receiving end of a 5-1 from the visiting Kurtz brothers in the opener, but they quickly took command with back-to-back 5-1s easing them into a four-point lead after four races.

Their advantage increased to seven points after a Cook-inspired 4-2 in heat six was followed by a 3-2 in an awarded seventh contest.

Recent recruit Zdenek Holub was involved in a spectacular crash with Plymouth man Kyle Newman as they battled over second place while going through the final bend.

Newman was withdrawn from the meeting with a suspected collar-bone injury while Holub was excluded by referee Dave Dowling as the cause of the spill when attempting to roar past on the inside.

Newman had been the sole Plymouth representative in that race after Sam Simota was dismissed for riding onto the centre green on his way to the tapes.

The visitors kept themselves in contention as Jack Holder took the flag in a 4-2 in heat nine as Peterborough’s lead was cut to five points at two-thirds distance.

But they blew away the Devils in the closing stages with that spree of heat advantages in which top-scorer Lambert starred.

He ended the unbeaten records of Todd Kurtz and his own skipper, Ostergaard, when leading home a 4-2 in heat 11 before following in Busk Jakobsen for a 5-1 in the next contest.

Ostergaard and Cook combined to great effect to clinch victory in heat 13 before Lambert and Grondal delivered more fireworks in the penultimate race.

Lambert produced a super switch-back before Grondal delivered a powerful outside blast as both men zoomed past busy Plymouth reserve Stefan Nielsen for another 5-1 before Cook powered clear to take the flag in a 4-2 finish.

Rathbone added: “We now have the strength in depth that we have wanted for a long time.

“Bringing in Craig at number one has given everyone a lift, but the arrival of Zdenek Holub at number seven will prove to be just as important.

“He has already shown what a signing he is going to be for this club. He is already scoring points and it was a 50/50 call from where I was standing over whether or not he should have been excluded following the crash in heat seven.

“Everyone seems to have clicked and you only have to look at our scorecard last night to see that we have riders capable of banging in big points in all areas of the team.”

Peterborough now switch their attention to the KO Cup as they prepare to take on Somerset in a mouth-watering quarter-final tie.

The teams meet in the first leg at the Oaktree Arena next Tuesday (June 28) ahead of a return clash at the East of England Showground on Sunday (July 3).

Panthers’ next Premier League meeting is at home to rock-bottom Scunthorpe on Tuesday, July 12.

PETERBOROUGH ‘T BALFE CONSTRUCTION’ PANTHERS: Simon Lambert 12+2, Craig Cook 11+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 11, Nickolaj Busk Jakobsen 10, Emil Grondal 8+3, Zdenek Holub 3+2, Rider replacement for Tom Perry.

PLYMOUTH: Todd Kurtz 10+1, Jack Holder 8, Stefan Nielsen 7, Brady Kurtz 3, Kyle Newman 3 (withdrawn), Sam Simota 2+1, Ellis Perks 1.

1 - re-run B. Kurtz (59.9), T. Kurtz, Grondal, Cook. 1-5, 1-5.
2 - Nielsen (61.7), Lambert, Holub, Perks. 3-3, 4-8.
3 - Busk Jakobsen (60.9), Grondal, Newman, Simota (ret). 5-1, 9-9.
4 - Ostergaard (61.6), Holub, Perks, Holder (ret). 5-1, 14-10.
5 - T. Kurtz (61.8), Busk Jakobsen, Grondal, B. Kurtz. 3-3, 17-13.
6 - Cook (61.2), Holder, Lambert, Nielsen. 4-2, 21-15.
7 - re-run Ostergaard (awarded), Newman, Holub (fell/exc), Simota (exc). 3-2, 24-17.
8 - T. Kurtz (62.4), Busk Jakobsen, Lambert, Nielsen. 3-3, 27-20.
9 - Holder (62.9), Grondal, Nielsen, Busk Jakobsen (ret). 2-4, 29-24.
10 - Cook (62.1), Nielsen, Simota, Holub. 3-3, 32-27.
11 - Lambert (63.1), T. Kurtz, Ostergaard, B. Kurtz. 4-2, 36-29.
12 - Busk Jakobsen (63.4), Lambert, Simota, Nielsen. 5-1, 41-30.
13 - Ostergaard (63.2), Cook, Holder, B. Kurtz. 5-1, 46-31.
14 - Lambert (63.7), Grondal, Nielsen, Perks. 5-1, 51-32.
15 - Cook (62.9), Holder, Ostergaard, B. Kurtz. 4-2, 55-34.

PICTURE: Top-scorer Simon Lambert leads the way last night. by STEVE HONE

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