Panthers win in Midland League opener

Midland LeagueCoventry 43 Peterborough 47PETERBOROUGH Panthers stunned their hosts with a late meeting charge to take the points in the opening Midland League encounter.

Midland League

Coventry 43 Peterborough 47

PETERBOROUGH Panthers stunned their hosts with a late meeting charge to take the points in the opening Midland League encounter.

Peterborough was good value for their win achieved with the help of some free scoring guests and consistent scoring down the order.

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It was certainly interesting as the match swung one and then the other but a late surge by the Panthers after the interval put them in the driving seat and they gamely hung on to clinch the points.

Iversen got the Panthers off to a goods start by taking heat one over Harris with Vissing clinching third place over a disappointing Schlein.

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Initially it looked like a shared heat two with Ward blitzing away to win and the Bees content to take the minor places but Bager somehow got up on Haines on the last bend and pinched it on the line to double the Panthers lead.

Barker and Kennett trapped to an easy maximum in heat three to level the scores with Batchelor surprisingly passing Ward for third place late on.

Heats four and five were shared but Coventry took a four point lead through a Schlein and Harris 5-1 in heat six with the action all over by the first bend.

Batchelor stormed away to win the seventh and early on it looked even better for the Panthers as Ward briefly held second place but Allen passed him at the end of lap one and Panthers had to settle for a 4-2.

Wells surprised all with a tapes to flag win in the eighth with Ward and Vissing ensuring a share of the points by pegging Schlein at the rear again.

Following the interval Coventry came out all guns blazing and opened up a six point lead for the first time through a Kennett and Barker maximum during which they led from start to finish.

It initially looked like the Bees were taking some control at this point but if the Panthers were rattled they didn't show it with Batchelor and Vissing immediately restoring the balance with a superb maximum over Harris and Schlein despite a near coming together on the first lap.

Iversen moved Allen over on the first bend of heat 11 which resulted in Allen careering into Vissing and Vissing having a close encounter with the air fence, despite some protests referee Barbara Horley called for an all 4 rerun which resulted in a Panthers 5-1 as they led from the gate.

Panthers promptly extended a two point advantage into four as Batchelor outpaced the otherwise impressive Barker whilst Ward held off Wells.

Coventry needed an advantage in heat 13 but initially didn't look like getting one as Iversen controlled the race from the front for three laps, but Harris didn't give up and grabbed a big handful around the first and second bends of the last lap to ensure a Bee's 4-2 much to the delight of the fans.

Heat 14 looked like a banker for the Bees with Kennett up to that point unbeaten but Korneliussen who up till then hadn't really shone produced a trap and first corner of quality and despite pressure form Kennett for four laps hung on gamely to win, as did Wells in third place despite the best efforts from Ward.

Panthers won the toss and took the outside gates in what was a last heat decider, some early confusion with Batchelor and Iversen appearing in the opposite colours to what was revealed but it didn't matter as Kennett shot away with the Panthers holding the minor places.

Batchelor wound it on and got the better of Kennett late on and with Iversen holding off Bomber Harris the points went the way of the Panthers.

This was a good performance from the team and special mention must go to Claus Vissing who hasn't enjoyed the best of things since moving up into the team, but as previously stated this was a good all round team effort which will undoubtedly help with a tough match at Manchester to come in three days time.

Coventry: Harris 8+1, Schlein 3, Barker 7+1, Kennett 12+1, Allen 7, Haines 0, Wells 6+1.

Peterborough: Iversen 11, Vissing 7+4, Batchelor 13, Hansen R/R, Korneliussen 7, Bager 1, Ward 8+1.

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