Panthers back in the Groove
Thursday June 29, 2020
Oxford 41 Panthers 49 Wednesday 28th June Sky Sports Elite League B

Panthers gritted their teeth and hauled themselves back onto the winning trail with a well-deserved victory over what started out as a full strength Oxford side at Cowley last night. The ‘big three’ of Hans Andersen, Ryan Sullivan and Niels Kristian Iversen all showed their class whilst there were telling contributions from the lower order riders in the team.

Often victories over the struggling sides away from home can be the hardest to achieve in any season and whilst at one point it looked like Oxford were gaining the upper hand, Panthers fought back to take control and make sure with two maximum 5-1 heat victories in the final three heats to win handsomely in the end by 49-41.

Panthers started the meeting without food poisoning victim Karol Zabik and replaced him with Mildenhall Conference League racer and ex-Puma Mark Thompson who battled gamely throughout against superior opposition. The rider-replacement facility again operated for the injured Jesper B Jensen and with Oxford at full strength for the first time in weeks it was clear Panthers top three would have to have a very good night with some form of decent back up coming from the remaining members of the team.

Andersen opened his account with a race win in Heat 1 in a shared 3-3 race but the first shock of the evening came in heat two when Richard Hall and Mark Thompson gained a maximum over Tomicek and Andersson to put Panthers in the driving seat early on. Admittedly Andersson fell when handily placed but neither of the Oxford riders looked comfortable and indeed Tomicek withdrew from the meeting afterwards complaining that his shoulder was still too sore to contemplate a return to racing. Thompson however came through from the back to earn ‘his side’ two valuable points and ensure a great start to the meeting for the city outfit.

Panthers drove home the advantage through the classy Sullivan from the gate and Iversen, who rode a superb first two bends, in heat 3 and suddenly it was 13-5 to Panthers and all systems go. Two shared heats followed before Oxford started to show some fight of their own.

Todd Wiltshire and Davey Watt gained a 5-1 in Heat 6 before another followed in Heat 8 to level the meeting at 24-24. In between Iversen suffered a nasty fall when he attempted to pass Andersson on the back straight through the slightest of gaps between rider and fence. Unfortunately it didn’t pay off but although bruised and battered the heroic Dane was able to take his place in heat 10.

A Stalemate then followed as heats 9 to 12 were drawn with Ryan Sullivan making himself the villain of the Oxford faithful following a first bend-bunching incident when the Aussie seemed the victim of a Howe/Andersson sandwich. Thankfully referee Chris Durno saw it that way much to the disgust of the Cheetahs fans. Video replays suggested the referee had called it spot on.

Panthers took control with the meeting poised at 36-36 going into the final three heats. Hans Andersen and Niels Kristian Iversen claimed two 5-1’s over former Panthers favourite Ales Dryml as well as Iversen clinching a crucial heat win in heat 14 to send the Panthers fans home happy. The clubs play-off push is now firmly back on track after the blip at Eastbourne last Friday.

The next stop is Ipswich at home this evening (Thursday 29th @ 7.30pm) where incidentally the bonus point is not up for grabs as this is the first of the ‘B’ fixture contests. Following on from that Panthers travel south to Arena Essex for a Sky Sports televised clash on Monday evening.

Oxford 41

1. Todd Wiltshire 2,3,3,1,0 = 9
2. Davey Watt 1*,2*,2*0 = 5+3
3. David Howe 0,2,1*,3 = 6+1
4. Adam Skornicki 1,1*,2,2 = 6+1
5. Ales Dryml 2,2,3,0,1 = 8
6. Lubos Tomicek 1, (Withdrawn- Shoulder Injury) =1
7. Eric Andersson Fm,1*,1*,3,Fm,Exc,1* = 6+3

Peterborough 49

1. Hans Andersen 3,3,3,2,3,3 = 17
2. Ulrich Ostergaard 0,0,1,0,1* = 2+1
3. Ryan Sullivan 3,3,3,2,2 = 13
4. Niels Kristian Iversen 2*,Fx,1*,2*,3,2* = 10+4
5. Jesper B Jensen R/R
6. Richard Hall 3,0,1,0,1* = 5+1
7. Mark Thompson (G) 2*,0,T, e/f = 2+1

Panthers won the toss and took gates 1&3

Heat Results
heat 01: Andersen, Wiltshire, Watt, Ostergaard. 3-3
Heat 02: Hall, Thompson, Tomicek, Andersson Fm 1-5...4-8
Heat 03: Sullivan, Iversen, Skornicki, Howe. 1-5...5-13
Heat 04: Sullivan, Dryml, Andersson, Thompson. 3-3...8-16
Heat 05: Andersen, Howe, Skornicki, Ostergaard. 3-3...11-19
Heat 06: Wiltshire, Watt, Ostergaard, Hall. 5-1...16-20
Heat 07: Sullivan, Dryml, Andersson, Iversen Fx. 3-3...19-23
Heat 08: Andersson, Watt, Hall, Ostergaard. 5-1...24-24
Heat 09: Andersen, Skornicki, Howe, Hall. 3-3...27-27
Heat 10: Wiltshire, Sullivan, Iversen, Watt. 3-3...30-30
Heat 11: Dryml, Andersen, Ostergaard, Andersson Fm 3-3...33-33
Heat 12: Re-run (x3) Howe, Sullivan, Hall, Andersson Exc. 3-3...36-36
Heat 13: Andersen, Iversen, Wiltshire, Dryml. 1-5...37-41
Heat 14: Iversen, Skornicki, Andersson, Thompson e/f. 3-3...40-44
Heat 15: Andersen, Iversen, Dryml, Wiltshire. 1-5...41-49

© Peterborough Speedway, All rights reserved Privacy Policy | Site Design and Production AP Media