Panthers beat Hammers in last heat

Elite League BPeterborough Panthers 51 Lakeside Hammers 39THIS was a thoroughly absorbing clash which saw Panthers clinch all three points on offer in a thrilling last race decider.

Elite League B

Peterborough Panthers 51 Lakeside Hammers 39

THIS was a thoroughly absorbing clash which saw Panthers clinch all three points on offer in a thrilling last race decider.

Peterborough made hard work of it early on but gradually took control from the middle of the match, but credit to Lakeside as they battled away and ended up with nothing to show for it as they simply did not have enough riders scoring to match a solid looking home team.

On a very heavy circuit early on it was the Hammers who looked the better side with Peterborough yet again conceded an opening race maximum, but a reserves 4-2 steadied the ship and although Davidsson took the third, Panthers got their noses in front with a 4th heat maximum courtesy of hot reserve Kenneth Hansen and Kenneth Bjerre.

Richardson and Sheilds won the next two drawn heats to ensure the Hammers stayed in touch, with the Panthers pairing doing well to avoid Kylmakorpi in 5 as he pulled a near 360 locker on the fourth bend.

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Heat 7 was two races in one with Davidsson beating Bjerre and Nieminen doing likewise to Vissing as the Hammers pulled it all square.

Heat 8 was a clear turning point as Ales Dryml powered clear off the first turn hotly pursued by Hansen leaving Robson and Kylmakorpi trailing.

Shields won the ninth to keep it tight but Panthers then applied the pressure with Iversen and Bjerre led 4-2s in heats 10 and 11.

Surprisingly just when it looked like Peterborough were about to extend their lead, out popped Nieminen and Robson to lead the 12th, Hansen dived up the inside on the top bend to pass Nieminen but the bunching up of all four left very little room and Korneliussen fell bringing the race to a halt.

Referee Paul Carrington ordered a rerun without the excluded Korneliussen and again both Hammers riders trapped. Hansen disposed of Nieminen early on but found Robson a somewhat more difficult opponent, and it looked like a Hammers 4-2 as Robson led going into the last bend, in an amazing manoeuvre in what was easily the ride of the season Hansen found some extra grip on the final bend and swooped around Robson to clinch the win on line sending the fans wild.

Iversen shot away to win the 13th with Shields and Richardson content to peg Bjerre at the back, and heat 14 ended up all square as well as Vissing and Bager were content to follow home race winner Davidsson which ensured Panthers of overall victory.

Iversen streaked away to lead the all important heat 15 whilst Bjerre passed both the Hammers paring to join him and finish the match of in style.

Hansen was awarded man of the match for yet another paid maximum his second off the season, and he surely would have received another outing but for the fact he fell ill shortly after completing his fourth ride and needed treatment in the pits.

Nevertheless this was an excellent team effort against quality opposition and sets the team up nicely for the visit of the Coventry Bees on Monday.

Peterborough: Niels Kristian Iverson 12, Ales Dryml 5+1, Mads Komeliussen 6, Henning Bager 4+4, Kenneth Bjerre 9+2, Claus Vissing 4, Kenneth Hansen 11+1.

Lakeside: Lee Richardson 10+1m Joonas Kylmakorpi 2+1, Kauko Nieminen 2+1, Jonas Davidsson 11, Adam Shields 9, Phil Morrris 0, Stuart Robson 0.