Crendon Peterborough Speedway – PANTHERS 46 KING’S LYNN 44
PETERBOROUGH climbed off the foot of the Premiership with a dramatic 46-44 win over A47 rivals King’s Lynn on Monday.
Chris Harris and Ulrich Ostergaard were the Heat 15 heroes for the Crendon Panthers, who fought back from six points down with six races remaining to pull off the victory despite the early withdrawal of Michael Palm Toft.
MPT managed just one lap in Heat 3 before having to give best to his shoulder trouble, but with reserve Benjamin Basso piling up the points from a seven-ride schedule and boss Rob Lyon expertly deploying his resources later in the meeting, Panthers had just enough to get over the line.
That was despite a cruel mechanical failure denying Harris a certain victory when he was clear by a distance in Heat 6 only to slow on the last bend – and without that, the Panthers’ new No.1 would have carded a faultless maximum.
Harris and Ostergaard got Panthers off to the perfect start with a 5-1 in Heat 1, but the Stars proved stubborn opponents and levelled with back-to-back 4-2s, and they might have led but for fine ride by Basso to defeat visiting skipper Josh Pickering in Heat 4.
The visitors did, however, move in front due to Harris’s misfortune two race later, and with the likes of Richard Lawson and Richie Worrall winning multiple races, Panthers appeared to be slipping out of contention.
The Stars took 4-2s in Heats 8 and 9, although Basso did his best in the latter to get on terms with Pickering after seeing off Thomas Jorgensen’s challenge.
At 24-30 down, Panthers needed a big response and got it in Heat 10 thanks to Harris and Ostergaard, who surged around Lewis Kerr going into turn three for a 5-1, but the gap remained at two points in the Stars’ favour with three successive shared races.
Basso and Scott Nicholls looked on for an advantage in Heat 12 only for Lawson to work his way through, but there was a crucial Heat 13 win for Harris to keep Panthers in the meeting with Lyon electing to use up reserve Jordan Jenkins’ compulsory third outing in that race.
That enabled Basso to ride in both Heats 12 and 14, and the value of that move became clear when he won the latter, with skipper Scott Nicholls third to level the scores with one race to go.
The prospect of another Super Heat loomed in some minds – but not to the Panthers duo, as Ostergaard got the start he wanted in Heat 15 whilst Harris did his work from gate three, with the home duo hitting the front on the back straight.
Pickering passed Ostergaard for second and then, knowing he had no chance of catching Harris, did his best to slow the Dane to bring Lawson back into play, but that tactic proved unsuccessful as Lawson dropped a chain on the third lap and retired from the race.
Harris and Ostergaard therefore came home with the crucial 4-2 to give Panthers victory from another terrific home encounter.
Lyon said: “It could have gone either way, it was tight, but we knew Heats 12 and 14 were critical for us, and we had to make the sacrifice and put Jordan in 13.
“I’m pleased, and it was a great team performance especially with Tofty pulling out.
“Heat 15 was a bit hectic and you could see what Josh was trying to do, fair play to him, but Ulrich managed to hold on, and with Bomber flying, it was enough.
“It was a good meeting, some good racing, another win, and we’ve just got to keep pushing now.”
PETERBOROUGH 46: Benjamin Basso 15+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 11+2, Chris Harris 11+1, Scott Nicholls 6+1, Hans Andersen 3+1, Jordan Jenkins 0, Michael Palm Toft 0.
KING’S LYNN 44: Josh Pickering 15, Richard Lawson 10, Richie Worrall 8+1, Thomas Jorgensen 7, Jason Edwards 3+1, Lewis Kerr 1, Niels-Kristian Iversen r/r.