Foxhall spells disaster as Panthers lose

Ipswich 48 Peterborough 45Elite League APANTHERS let slip a commanding lead to lose their second match of the bank holiday weekend in a close encounter at Foxhall they could and should have won convincingly.

Ipswich 48 Peterborough 45

Elite League A

PANTHERS let slip a commanding lead to lose their second match of the bank holiday weekend in a close encounter at Foxhall they could and should have won convincingly.

The Witches led just twice in the match, after the first heat and at the end of heat 15 when it mattered most.

After losing the first heat 4-2 the Panthers rammed in three consecutive 5-1's, after taking advantage of some problems in the home side, and followed that with another 4-2 to lead 21-9 after the first 5 heats.

The Witches expected tactical from Jarek Hampel in heat 6 was expected and his win reduced the Panthers advantage to just 9 points, but two more drawn heats in which the Peterborough riders filled the minor places ensured the Panthers lead was maintained to the interval taken at the end of heat 8.

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It was clear from the early heats that the home camp were not entirely happy with the circuit and after much grading the match restarted, Danny King who hadn't up to that point finished a race blasted away to win comfortably but a fall by Vissing and a mistake by Iversen allowed Kroner to join him at the front and suddenly the Panthers lead didn't look quite as solid.

Nevertheless Korneliussen restored the status quo with a storming gate in heat 10 to beat the previously undefeated Hampel whilst Hansen sent the Panthers fans in raptures with a storming finish which saw him snatch third place of Lanham on the run in to the line.

Heat 11 was drawn after Stachrya surprised everyone by heading home Bjerre and Bager but Stachrya showed that was no one off with another electric start in the next heat and with Kroner following him home the Panthers leads was reduced to just 3.

Hampel took the 13th although Bjerre and Iversen did a lovely containing job on Swiderski, who fell on bend 3 after getting out of shape whilst chasing.

The 14th heat was clearly very important to both sides with the Witches cause not helped by the fact that Wilkinson had to replace the fast starting Stachrya to ensure he completed his minimum 3 rides, King as expected shot away to lead with the Panthers reserves dropping in behind him, Vissing for some reason felt compelled to pass his team mate and without any undue pressure on him at all got out of shape and fell on bend 2 to gift the Witches yet another point and reduce the Panthers advantage to just 1 point overall.

With Panthers needing a 3-3 to ensure the match points came back to Peterborough, the supporters could only look on in anguish as the Witches Pairing of Hampel and King trapped ahead of Bjerre and Korneliussen to save the Witches from defeat.

This was an extremely disappointing result to the considerable Panthers following that had swelled the normal Ipswich crowd to bank holiday proportions and yet again the Panthers reserves were let down by their own heat leaders who managed just 3 race wins between them from 14 starts.

Claus Vissing although at fault for his heat 14 spill nevertheless got his season well underway with his score of 11 points, by far and away his best score of the season and with Hansen adding another cracking return the duo returned 20 and 2 bonus between them.

Although the Panthers picked up another point courtesy of a second consecutive narrow defeat, this was definitely a case of 3 points lost rather than one gained.