Panthers secure win in final heat

ELITE LEAGUE APETERBOROUGH 46 SWINDON 44IT was billed as likely to be a difficult match and so it proved, with the Panthers only settling the destiny of the match points with a 3-3 in heat 15.



IT was billed as likely to be a difficult match and so it proved, with the Panthers only settling the destiny of the match points with a 3-3 in heat 15.

Swindon probably think they deserved something out of this fixture and will probably feel it was two points dropped rather than one gained, but in all honesty the Panthers generally always held the upper hand and but for some mechanical problems and a disputed decision by referee Christina Turnbull would likely have collected all three points on offer.

Leigh Adams and Travis McGowan certainly livened up proceedings by shooting away in heat one and but for a mistake by Adams on the last bend which allowed Bager to pinch second place on the line would have started with a maximum.

Nevertheless after four laps of heat two, Panthers had the lead back with a comfortable 5-1 of their own from Claus Vissing and Kenneth Hansen.

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The next two heats were shared but Swindon squared the match off at 15 points apiece in heat five with Adams claiming his first win of the night over Korneliussen.

Kenneth Bjerre made amends for his first race duck with a comfortable win over Swindon's newest team member Matej Zagar, and Panthers then doubled that advantage with another 4-2 courtesy of skipper Niels Kristian Iversen and Vissing.

McGowan and Cory Gathercole leapt away from the tapes to lead the eighth but Hansen somehow found a gap and squeezed up the inside of the pair of them, Bager however was unable to get on terms after a slow start, but kept up the pressure for the entire race.

Zagar won the ninth with a classy start and first corner and the Robins closed the gap to two points with a 4-2 in heat 10 as Pavlic held off Bjerre whilst Gathercole held onto third place.

Iversen made a great cut back to pass Adams in heat 11 but the race was stopped as Vissing piled into the third bend air fence as he attempted a pass on McGowan, with referee Turnbull excluding Vissing much to his disgust, but no harm was done as Iversen easily outpaced Adams in the rerun.

Hansen completed his second race win of the night with an absolute brilliant pass on Gathercole and although Korneliussen was unable to join him up front the resulting 4-2 opened up a four point lead yet again, and Panthers took a six point lead for the first time as Bjerre lowered Adams colours again with a superb start in 13 whilst Iversen ensured Zagar was kept at the rear.

Vissing completed another night of misadventure by somehow getting his helmet caught up in the tapes at the first attempt to run heat 14 and although starting the rerun off 15 metres, clipped the back of his partner in the rerun and fell as Swindon got themselves right back into the match with a match saving 5-1.

Despite losing the toss for gate positions it was the Panthers who made the start in the all important heat 15 decider and they briefly held a 5-1 position until Adams burst past on the top bend and took up the running. Iversen and Bjerre kept hold of the all important minor places however with Pavlic unable to make any impression on the home pair and the Panthers had got home by the narrowest of margins.

Andrew Tully got scant reward for his endeavours having completed a mad dash to make the fixture, whilst captain Niels Kristian Iversen celebrated his promotion to the No.1 race jacket for next month with three classy wins and solid 12 points contribution.

Team manager Trevor Swales announced at the press conference after the match that they had re-declared the team today and Ales Dryml returns to the team for Thursday's match against Eastbourne. This move will ensure the team track a solid 1-5 and ensures star reserves Hansen and Vissing remain in that position for the next month.

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