Peterborough Panthers suffer their first away defeat of the season in a top-of-the-table clash
Peterborough Panthers slipped to their first away defeat of the Premiership season in a cliffhanger at Wolverhampton last night (August 2), but they still claimed a consolation league point.
Trump card Hans Andersen produced some stunning form as Panthers slipped to a 47-43 reversal in a battle of the top two.
Andersen, riding at reserve for the first time in 20 years, notched 15 points to keep Panthers in contention against one of the favourites for league title glory.
Panthers team boss Rob Lyon said: “It was disappointing to lose the meeting, but at least we claimed a consolation point and were very competitive.
We knew our unbeaten away run we had would come to an end at some point. There’s too much quality in this league for us to go away all season and be unbeaten.
“It would be a hell of a record if we did so that’s now broken, but with King’s Lynn at home on Thursday (August 5), the boys will be looking to put another three points on the board to keep us up the top end of the league.”
Wolves took an early advantage in Heat 2 with Ryan Douglas and Leon Flint securing a 4-2.
They kept that advantage until Heat 4 when Andersen and Chris Harris, who loves the Monmore track, got the Panthers first 4-2 heat advantage to bring the scores level 12-12.
The home side then hit back with back-to-back heat advantages to put them six points up. Luke Becker and Nick Morris secured a 4-2 in Heat 5.
And then in Heat 6 Sam Masters and Broc Nicol secured a 5-1 over Harris and Jordan Palin.
Brave Peterborough cut the deficit to two points with two heat advantages of their own in Heats 7 and 8.
First Danish duo Bjarne Pedersen and Michael Palm Toft recorded a 4-2 and then Andersen and Scott Nicholls looked set for a 5-1 in the next race until reserve replacement Ryan Douglas managed to pass Nicholls for second.
Wolves began to pull away with two heat advantages on the trot in Heats 10 and 11 putting them eight points up – but still they couldn’t relax.
Masters and Bjarne Pedersen were involved in the race of the night in Heat 10, passing and re-passing each other while Nicol rode the boards to secure third place.
The visitors weren’t finished, though, as Andersen secured back-to-back wins in Heats 12 and 13 with a 4-2 and 5-1 to put them within two points of the hosts with two to go.
Wolves proved their strength in the penultimate Heat with a 5-1 to secure the victory, but the Panthers secured 4-2 in the final race to claim a deserved point.
In-form Ulrich Ostergaard missed the meeting because of injury with Panthers operating rider replacement in his absence.
Wolverhampton 47: Sam Masters 11, Ryan Douglas 10+1, Luke Becker 9+1, Rory Schlein 8, Nick Morris 5+2, Broc Nicol 3+1, Leon Flint 1.
Peterborough 43: Hans Andersen 15, Michael Palm Toft 10, Chris Harris 9+2, Scott Nicholls 5, Bjarne Pedersen 4, Jordan Palin 0, Ulrich Østergaard R/R.