Coventry 49 Panthers 47
Monday August 21, 2020
Coventry Bees 49 - Peterborough Panthers 47

Monday 21st August - Sky Sports Elite League B

Peterborough win the aggregate Bonus Point 96-90

High drama for Sky Sports as Peterborough, for much of the match dead and buried, raised the game late to level the scores after 13 heats at 42 all.

And even after Coventry got a much needed maximum in heat 14 to save the match, they lost skipper Scott Nicholls to a suspected broken collarbone when he collided with Hans Andersen on the first bend of heat 15.

It all started off fairly tight with Andersen jetting away to win heat 1, and returning old boy Piotr Swiderski doing the honors in heat 2, after replacing Karol Zabik in the team for the rest of the season.

Heat 3 was a disaster for Panthers as the referee called it back following a good start by Ryan Sullivan. In the first re-run Niels Kristian Iversen fell and was excluded and in the second rerun Sullivan was left at the start with Coventry taking full advantage to put themselves in the lead.

Iversen overtook Billy Janniro to win heat 4, but Swiderski was unable to build on his earlier success despite pressuring Jacek Rempala all the way. Chris Harris made a brilliant start to leave Andersen in his wake with Ostergaard fortunate to scramble a point when Oliver Allen retired.

Heat 6 saw Andersen totally miss the gate and after chasing down Billy Janniro he tried to go around him on the 3rd/4th bend only to come to grief and be excluded. A mistake by Sullivan in heat 7 let Martin Smolinski past for another Coventry maximum and with Iversen being shut out on the 1st bend, things were starting to look bad as they trailed 27-15.

It got immediately worse as another maximum in Heat 9 by Coventry as Ostergaard and Swiderski were again left at the start by the fast trapping Bees. Ostergaard got a flyer in heat 9 and led from tapes to flag, although Richard Hall could make no impression from the back.

The 10th Heat was bizarrely awarded by the referee after Janniro had fallen on the 1st bend of lap two, despite team manager Trevor Swales’s complaints. This wasn’t the first bad call by the referee and unfortunately it wasn’t the last either.

Panthers at this stage were losing by 38-22 and looking distinctly second best on the night. What happened then was to my knowledge a first for Elite League speedway as first Andersen & Ostergaard combined for a tactical 8-1 in heat 11 and then Sullivan and Hall repeated that score line in heat 12. Suddenly Panthers were just 2 points behind, another 4-2 from Andersen & Sullivan in heat 13 stunned the home crowds as Panthers were then level at 42 pts apiece.

Coventry eased there problems with a maximum in heat 14 despite Swiderski leading after the first bend, with Iversen making no impression after a mistake on the first bend.

But the drama continued with a rerun heat 15 as Nicholls collided with Andersen on the first bend and fell heavily breaking his collarbone.
Sullivan then jetted away in the rerun and with Andersen alongside of him were on course for a maximum which would have given Panthers a draw on the night, but Harris chased Sullivan down and passed him to the delight of the home fans.

Coventry won the match but the bonus was Peterborough’s.

In retrospect the tactical ride situation again brought controversy to what initially looked one way traffic, but Coventry could feel very hard done by considering they nearly lost a match having led by 16 points after the first 10 heats.

Panthers are rapidly earning the title as comeback kings, but even this would have surpassed anything before it had it come off, but Sullivan & Iversen were very inconsistent with only 2 heat wins between them from 10 starts and ultimately this was what cost us the match.
Andersen had one fall apart; his now customary 17 point return and the lesser lights all shone at least once to play there parts.
Hopefully they won’t rue the match points lost here in the final analysis.

Meeting Report by Dick Butler

COVENTRY = 49 (90)

1. Scott Nicholls 2, 3, 3, 3, 2 = 13
2. Billy Janniro 1', 2, 2', 3, Fx = 8+2
3. Oliver Allen 2', R, 1', 0 = 3+2
4. Chris Harris 3, 3, 2, R, 2', 2 = 12+1
5. Rory Schlein R/R
6. Martin Smolinski 1', 2', 1, 3, 0 = 7+2
7. Jacek Rempala 2, 1', 2', 1, 0 = 6+2


1. Hans Andersen 3, 2, Fx, 6, 3, 3 = 17
2. Ulrich Ostergaard 0, 1', 1, 3, 2' = 7+2
3. Ryan Sullivan 1, 0, 1', 6, 1, 1 = 10+1
4. Niels Kristian Iversen Fx, 3, 1, 2, 0 = 6
5. Jesper B Jensen R/R
6. Richard Hall 0, 1, 0, 2' = 3+1
7. Piotr Swiderski 3, 0, 0, 1 = 4

Heat Results

Heat 01: Andersen, Nicholls, Janniro, Ostergaard 3-3
Heat 02: Swiderski, Rempala, Smolinski, Hall 3-3 6-6
Heat 03: (Re-Run x2) Harris, Allen, Sullivan 5-1 11-7
Heat 04: Iversen, Janniro, Rempala, Swiderski 3-3 14-10
Heat 05: Harris, Andersen, Ostergaard, Allen ef 3-3 17-13
Heat 06: Nicholls, Janniro, Hall, Andersen fx 5-1 22-14
Heat 07: Nicholls, Smolinski, Iversen, Sullivan 5-1 27-15
Heat 08: Janniro, Rempala, Ostergaard, Swiderski 5-1 32-16
Heat 09: Ostergaard, Harris, Allen, Hall 3-3 35-19
Heat 10: (Re-Run) Nicholls, Iversen, Sullivan, Janniro fx 3-3 38-22
Heat 11: Andersen (TR), Ostergaard, Smolinski, Harris ret 1-8 39-30
Heat 12: Sullivan (TR) , Hall, Rempala, Allen 1-8 40-38
Heat 13: Andersen, Nicholls, Sullivan, Rempala 2-4 42-42
Heat 14: Smolinski, Harris, Swiderski, Iversen 5-1 47-43
Heat 15: (Re-Run) Andersen, Harris, Sullivan, Smolinski 2-4 49-47

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