MEETING REPORT: It’s a seventh win on the spin for Panthers

Jack Holder.
Jack Holder.
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It was all smiles for Peterborough Panthers at the end of the most cursed day in the calendar.

There was certainly no bad luck and very few poor pieces of riding on Friday the 13th as the city side collected a seventh successive league victory in their last SGB Championship outing of 2017.

Chris Harris.

Chris Harris.

The final 16-point margin in a 54-38 outcome against third-placed Edinburgh was a fair reflection of a meeting that Panthers controlled throughout.

It was considerably more emphatic than might have been expected against a strong Monarchs side and allowed Carl Johnson’s side to climb into fifth position in the standings – one place outside the already-completed play-offs.

Back-to-back 5-1s in the opening two races – both starring reserve Simon Lambert – laid the foundations for a victory put beyond any doubt when the same man followed in skipper Ulrich Ostergaard for a full house in heat 14.

Lambert and Ostergaard, who signed off by winning the finale for good measure, were two of the four double-figures scorers for the city side.

Simon Lambert.

Simon Lambert.

Chris Harris also achieved that feat after squeezing his way into third place in the closing race by getting round Edinburgh man Erik Riss.

That was a tiny slice of revenge after the visiting German rider ended the unbeaten records of Harris and Jack Holder with the move of the meeting to hit the front in heat 13.

The home pair had both reeled off hat-tricks of wins in the opening three outings, a run matched by their captain, Ostergaard, in his last three appearances on track during a night when Panthers claimed advantages in eight of the 15 races.

“It’s good to see the boys enjoying their racing,” said team boss Johnson. “Happy riders are good riders and we haven’t won seven meetings in a row by fluke.

Ulrich Ostergaard.

Ulrich Ostergaard.

“I’m sure some people will try to crab the achievement by claiming they were meaningless meetings, but that is not how we have treated them.

“We have been picking up results home and away and the riders have done everything we asked of them.

“This run has obviously come too late in terms of trying to reach the play-offs, but we have showed everyone how good we can be.

“It’s just a shame we lost so many riders during the middle part of the season when our form dipped.”

Now Panthers will swiftly turn their attention towards collecting another Scottish scalp when facing holders Glasgow in a KO Cup semi-final.

The teams do battle in the first leg at Alwalton tomorrow (October 15) ahead of a Tuesday return clash at Peugeot Ashfield Stadium.

They hope to have New Zealand champion Bradley Wilson-Dean back for those clashes after he cried off yesterday with a chest infection, but reserve Tom Bacon’s season is over due to a shoulder problem which will be operated on early next week. Teenager Jack Parkinson-Blackburn guested last night, when scoring 3+1, and will do the same tomorrow.

Glasgow is also the destination for three Panthers riders today (October 14) for the SGB Championship Riders’ Individual (7pm).

Top men Holder and Harris are joined in the line-up by team-mate Starke, who was a late call-up yesterday due to injuries to riders previously set to take part.

SCORES

PETERBOROUGH: Ulrich Ostergaard 12, Simon Lambert 11+3, Jack Holder 11, Chris Harris 10, Paul Starke 7+1, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn (guest) 3+1, Rider replacement for Bradley Wilson-Dean.

EDINBURGH: Sam Masters 11+1, Erik Riss 11, Ricky Wells 7, Mark Riss 5+1, Mitchell Davey 2+1, Max Clegg 2, Rider replacement for Josh Pickering.

HEATS

1 - Holder (60.5), Lambert, Wells, Clegg. 5-1, 5-1.

2 - Lambert (61.3), Parkinson-Blackburn, Clegg, Davey. 5-1, 10-2.

3 - Masters (60.8), M.Riss, Ostergaard, Starke (ret). 1-5, 11-7.

4 - Harris (60.9), E. Riss, Davey, Parkinson-Blackburn. 3-3, 14-10.

5 - Wells (60.9), Ostergaard, Starke, Davey. 3-3, 17-13.

6 - re-run Holder (61.9), E. Riss, Lambert, Clegg (ret). 4-2, 21-15.

7 - re-run Harris (62.0), Masters, Parkinson-Blackburn, M. Riss (fell/exc). 4-2, 25-17.

8 - Starke (61.8), Lambert, Davey, M. Riss. 5-1, 30-18.

9 - Ostergaard (62.0), E. Riss (t/r), Starke, Clegg. 4-4, 34-22.

10 - re-run Holder (62.2), M. Riss, Masters, Parkinson-Blackburn. 3-3, 37-25.

11 - Harris (62.2), Wells, Lambert, Davey. 4-2, 41-27.

12 - Masters (62.1), Starke, Clegg, Parkinson-Blackburn. 2-4, 43-31.

13 - E. Riss (62.6), Holder, Wells, Harris. 2-4, 45-35.

14 - Ostergaard (62.9), Lambert, M. Riss, Davey. 5-1, 50-36.

15 - Ostergaard (62.4), Masters, Harris, E. Riss. 4-2, 54-38.