Plenty In Reserve As Panthers Stay Top
Friday July 07, 2020
Panthers 49 Coventry 41 Sky Sports Elite League B

The reserve pairing of Richard Hall and Henrik Moller tallied eight points in a meeting which might otherwise have gone the way of the visitors. And the two points which Panthers earned over Coventry meant that they retained their position at the top of the Elite League table.

The fast-starting Coventry Bees made sure that it was a game of catch up for Panthers in several of the earlier heats. Heat 2 was a prime example. After missing the start Hall had it all to do. He cut up the inside of the Coventry pairing of Martin Smolinksi and Troy Batchelor on the third bend and then took Smolinski wide to ensure he kept the lead – a manoeuvre which earned him the plaudits of the crowd.

And when Batchelor suffered an engine failure on the last lap a 3-3 turned into a Panthers’ 4-2 as Moller picked up the third place point.

But Coventry quickly turned things around again with a 5-1 in heat 4 followed by a 4-2 (courtesy of Scott Nicholls and Billy Janniro) to give the visitors a four point lead. And it was that heat in particular which gave Panthers’ fans cause for concern as Ryan Sullivan struggled at the back. Although Niels Kristian Iversen – to his credit – managed to split the Coventry duo to prevent a 5-1 reverse.

There was drama in heat 7 when former Panther Chris Harris (who had won his heat 3 outing) careered into the first bend safety fence on lap three. Luckily he walked away unscathed and was able to take part in the rest of the meeting.

Meanwhile the re-run of that heat saw Panthers pick up a valuable 4-2 before Moller and Ulrich Ostergaard put Panthers in the driving seat with a hard-earned 5-1. Moller was first away from the tapes while Ostergaard and Billy Janniro fought for second spot - Ostergaard eventually got the better of the American down the back straight. And for the first time it looked like Panthers would win the meeting.

Heat 10 saw the reliable number one Hans Andersen record another race win (despite missing the start). And when Harris’ bike failed on the last bend Ostergaard picked up second spot to take Panthers to a 34-26 lead.

A series of 3-3’s rounded off proceedings. To the relief of the fans Sullivan showed that he was still at the races with a win in heat 12 before Nicholls caused Andersen to drop his only point of the night in heat 13. It was then left to Iversen to record his customary heat 14 win and Andersen to take victory in heat 15.

In the post-meeting press conference Team Manager Trevor Swales was reluctant to single out one particular rider for praise although Andersen was voted man of the match by the meeting sponsors.

As to the rider’s man of the match. Well, that was unconventionally given to a rider who didn’t actually race in the meeting – Jesper B Jensen. The injured Panther made an appearance at the Showground (to the delight of the fans) and confirmed that he could be back in the saddle by mid August. Until that time it looks likely that Panthers will continue with the rider replacement facility.

Match Report by Sarah Tooze

Elite League - Thursday 6th July 2006


1.Hans Andersen 3 3 3 3 2 3 = 17
2.Ulrich Ostergaard 0 1 3 2* = 6+1
3.Ryan Sullivan 1* 0 0 3 1 5+1
4.Niels-Kristian Iversen 2 2 3 3 3 0 13
5.r/r for Jesper B Jensen
6.Richard Hall 3 1 1 0 0 = 5
7.Henrik Moller 1 0 2* 0 = 3+1


1. Scott Nicholls 2 3 2 3 2 = 12
2.Billy Janniro 1* 1 1 1* = 4+2
3.Chris Harris 3 Fex ef 1* = 4+1
4.Olly Allen 0 2 1 1* = 4+1
5.Rory Schlein 3 2 1* 0 1 = 7+1
6.Martin Smolinski 2 0 2 2 2 = 8
7.Troy Batchelor ef 2* 0 = 2+1

Panthers won the toss and took gates 1 & 3

Heat1: Andersen, Nicholls, Janniro, Ostergaard 3-3, 60.2
Heat2: Hall, Smolinski, Moller, Batchelor ef , 4-2, 7-5,
Heat3: Harris, Iversen, Sullivan, Allen 3-3, 10-8, 60.6
Heat4: Schlein, Batchelor, Hall, Moller 1-5, 11-13, 61.5
Heat5: Nicholls, Iversen, Janniro, Sullivan 2-4, 13-17, 60.7
Heat6:Andersen, Schlein, Ostergaard, Smolinski 4-2, 17-19, 60.6
Heat7:Iversen, Allen, Hall, Harris fexc, 4-2, 21-21, 61.6
Heat8: Ostergaard, Moller, Janniro, Batchelor, 5-1, 26-22, 62.2
Heat9:Iversen, Smolinski, Schlein, Sullivan, 3-3, 29-25, 61.2
Heat10:Andersen, Ostergaard, Allen, Harris ef 5-1, 34-26, 61.2
Heat11: Andersen, Nicholls, Janniro, Hall, 3-3, 37-29, 60.9
Heat12: Sullivan, Smolinski, Harris, Moller 3-3, 40-32, 61.0
Heat13:Nicholls, Andersen, Sullivan, Schlein 3-3, 43-35, 61.6
Heat14:Iversen, Smolinski, Allen, Hall 3-3, 46-38, 62.1
Heat15: Andersen, Nicholls, Schlein, Iversen 3-3, 49-41, 61.0

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