MEETING REPORT: Workington 42, Panthers 48: Best winning run of the season continues

Chris Harris scored 12 points for Panthers in Workington.
Chris Harris scored 12 points for Panthers in Workington.
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Peterborough Panthers’ end-of-season excellence continued with a fifth successive SGB Championship victory last night (September 30).

British star Chris Harris, skipper Ulrich Ostergaard and busy reserve Simon Lambert all contributed paid 12-point hauls as the city racers triumphed 48-42 at Workington in their final away fixture of the league campaign.

Simon Lambert scored 12 points for Panthers in Workington.

Simon Lambert scored 12 points for Panthers in Workington.

The Derwent Park display drew high praise from team manager Carl Johnson as his men bettered the four-meeting winning streak they managed in mid-summer.

Johnson said: “Workington is a big, fast track with plenty of grip – and that’s exactly what our boys like.

“We knew we would have a chance of getting a result - even more so as they were weakened by Thomas Jorgensen being out injured.

“It’s our best run of the season and the lads deserve plenty of credit for they way they have performed even though we fell short in terms of reaching the play-offs.

Tom Bacon of Panthers picked up an injury in Workington.

Tom Bacon of Panthers picked up an injury in Workington.

“They could have been forgiven for just going through the motions, but they’ve knuckled down and showed their desire to be successful.”

But the success in Cumbria came at a cost as Panthers lost reserve Tom Bacon to injury after a spill in the second heat.

He complained of neck, arm and stomach pain after being left on the deck in an incident with Comets man James Sarjeant, who was excluded.

Panthers were awarded a 5-1 which cancelled out a full house from the home side in the opener.

That was the first of three successive race advantages which allowed them to move into the driving seat - and they stayed ahead for the remainder of the meeting.

Panthers’ victory was sealed in heat 14 when skipper Ulrich Ostergaard triumphed in a 4-2 to leave his side six points clear and in an unassailable position.

Workington number one Craig Cook, who rode for the city side last season, then took victory in a shared finale to prevent Panthers from bagging all four available league points - but it was still a pleasing night.

Panthers remain sixth in the SGB Championship standings, but they have closed to within five points of fifth-placed Redcar with two home meetings to go.

The first of those is today (Sunday, October 1) when they entertain Edinburgh at the East of England Arena (5pm).

They are again without Jack Holder as he is required to ride for Polish club Torun in a relegation/promotion play-off meeting.

Panthers do not qualify for a facility so must draft in a National League rider to fill the number one berth. They have turned to Cradley Heathens rider Joe Lawlor, who also guested for the club at short notice in a defeat at Workington last month.

Edinburgh also have a man missing due to Polish commitments. Erik Riss is in action in Eastern Europe so another Cradley man, Luke Harris, steps in.

SCORES:

WORKINGTON: Craig Cook 14, Mason Campton 8+1, Ty Proctor 8, Matt Williamson 7+1, James Sarjeant 3+2, Tom Woolley (guest) 2, Rider replacement for Thomas Jorgensen.

PETERBOROUGH: Chris Harris 11+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 11, Simon Lambert 10+2, Paul Starke 8+1, Charles Wright (guest) 4, Bradley Wilson-Dean 2+1, Tom Bacon 2+1 (withdrawn).