Panthers celebrate unexpected success
Elite League BEastbourne Eagles 44 Peterborough Panthers 46 PETERBOROUGH pulled off a stunning and unexpected victory at Eastbourne last night to give their play-off hopes a lift and seriously dent the Eagles chances.
Elite League B
Eastbourne Eagles 44 Peterborough Panthers 46
PETERBOROUGH pulled off a stunning and unexpected victory at Eastbourne last night to give their play-off hopes a lift and seriously dent the Eagles chances.
On an extremely dry and very dusty track it was the Eagles who got off to the slightly better start but once the Panthers had got their set ups dialled it was a different matter and two mid-meeting 5-1's from Ostergaard and Vissing set up the prospect of a shock.
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Claus Vissing is now visibly a refreshed and confident rider again after his earlier problems and another paid 13 from him gave the Panthers the edge and they covered for the loss of Kenneth Bjerre a lot better than the Eagles did for their missing heat leaders.
Skipper Iversen showed that things might be a bit different to what everyone expected by powering away to win the opener, although it was advantage Eagles in Heat 2 with Gustaffson passing Bager and Vissing falling whilst duelling with Kling for third spot.
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Panthers' hopes were immediately lifted by a Korneliussen heat victory in Heat 3 with Hansen soldiering on despite a visible shoulder injury and doing well to hold onto third place after being passed by Woodward early on.
Vissing and Bager trapped to initially lead the fourth but Bager quickly slipped back as the Eagles applied the pressure, Vissing however repealed all attempts and gamely hung on for a great win.
Eastbourne took the lead with a maximum in Heat 5 as they led from tapes to flag but any plans that Eagles had to stretch their lead received a set back in Heat 6 as Iversen trapped on Bridger with Bager holding off the four-lap challenge from Gustafsson for third place.
Eagles pulled out a four-point lead in Heat 7 as race winner Klindt held off a determined Hansen whilst Korneliussen was adrift at the back.
Ostergaard received from two pointless rides to jet away from the tapes in Heat 8 and he was joined at the front by Vissing and the pair did a great job in levelling the match at 24 points apiece.
They were at it again in the next with Ostergaard coming in as a replacement for Bjerre and they stunned the home crowd by outpacing home captain Woodward in a rerun when Skornicki had fallen on bend three of the opening lap.
Eastbourne levelled the match again with a maximum in a rerun heat 10 with Hansen taking a tumble on the first bend and being excluded. There was some concern for Hansen but he bravely battled on despite obvious discomfort.
It was advantage Panthers in Heat 11 as Iversen and Ostergaard got the better of the gate to lead, Gustafsson got past Ostergaard but never got near Iversen and Panthers took a narrow lead again.
Gustafsson came in for Skornicki who was obviously in discomfort from his earlier crash but it was honours even for the sides with Kling winning and the Panthers pairing holding off Gustafsson after Korneliussen had passed him early on.
Korneliussen was in again in 13 for Bjerre and the Panthers stunned the Eagles supporters by blasting away from the tapes and combining well for a 5-1 over Bridger, with the result visibly lifting the Panthers whilst deflating the home camp at the same time.
Woodward as expected made the start in Heat14 but Hansen and Vissing ensured their was no way past for Kling and he fell while trying to hard with the match points guaranteed to leave Arlington despite Woodward winning the rerun.
Nevertheless Panthers could get all 4 points if they took a heat advantage in the finale. However, Bridger and Woodward made the start with Iversen running out of room on the fourth bend as he attempted to pass Bridger, Eagles took an expected 5-1 in the rerun, but it didn't matter as Panthers were celebrating with a hard-fought three points in the bag.