SPEEDWAY: Panthers bounce back to crush Scorpions
Peterborough Panthers team boss Carl Johnson praised the character and class of his riders after a high-pressure away success yesterday (April 10).
The city racers stormed to a 57-36 victory at Scunthorpe to catapult themselves back into contention to win the Midland Group and reach the latter stages of the Premier League Cup.
The triumph came complete with a host of high-scoring individual displays. Danish trio Nicklas Porsing, Ulrich Ostergaard and Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen and British reserve revelation Tom Perry all piled up double-figure hauls as Panthers made hay at the Eddie Wright Raceway.
It was a spectacular return to form for a team who had suffered a potentially costly home defeat at the hands of group leaders Sheffield only 48 hours earlier.
Johnson said: “It takes a lot of character and lot of class to go and pick up a big away win only a couple of days after losing at home.
“The riders didn’t need telling the performance against Sheffield was not good enough and they all knew the only way to put it right was by winning on the road.
“We were well aware of the fact that Scunthorpe had failed to win either of their two previous home meetings this season, but the main focus was on our own performance.
“We knew we could get a result if performing at our best and the four points will come in very handy.
“It was the sort of response I expected from them and it puts us right back on the tails of Sheffield. The group is far from over.”
Panthers probably wish they could ride against Scunthorpe in every meeting.
This 21-point romp on the road followed a 38-point drubbing of the Scorpions at the East of England Showground nine days earlier.
Scunthorpe may well prove to be this Premier League’s equivalent of Aston Villa, but the manner in which Panthers again put them to the sword was impressive nonetheless.
They provided a dozen of the 15 heat winners and also banked nine race advantages during a dominant display.
They hit the front when Perry, who was paid for 14 points during a fine six-ride shift, inspired a 4-2 in the second heat.
By the time he followed in Simon Lambert for a second 5-1 of the evening in heat eight, the advantage had grown to 14 points.
Ryan Douglas did successfully complete a tactical-ride mission in heat nine for Scunthorpe, but Perry and Porsing packed the minor places to minimise the damage.
Panthers still boasted an 11-point cushion at that stage and proceeded to almost double the margin of victory in the remaining six races.
Busk Jakobsen and Ostergaard both completed hat-tricks of heat wins along the way before seeing their hopes of maximums dashed in their fourth outings.
Busk Jakobsen was struck down by a throttle problem at the tapes ahead of heat 12 and had to be replaced by Perry, while Ostergaard could only come in third as partner Porsing took the chequered flag in heat 13.
Porsing ended his best Panthers meeting to date as their highest scorer with four successes in all contributing to a paid 14-point return – his sole defeat at the hands of an opponent arriving when Douglas doubled-up for six points in heat nine.
The resounding victory leaves Panthers two points adrift of Sheffield in the group standings.
Both teams have home and away clashes against Ipswich to come with Panthers heading to Foxhall on Thursday (April 14).
SCUNTHORPE: Ryan Douglas 14+1, Josh Auty 9, Alex Davies 7, Ashley Morris 4+1, Carl Wilkinson 1+1, Josh Bailey 1, Rider replacement for Zdenek Holub.
PANTHERS: Nicklas Porsing 13+1, Tom Perry 12+2, Ulrich Ostergaard 10, Nikolaj B Jakobsen 10, Michael Palm Toft 6+1, Simon Lambert 4, Emil Grondal 2+1.