Play-off hopes dented by Wolves

Elite League APeterborough Panthers 41 Wolverhampton Wolves 49WOLVES cemented their position at the top-of-the-league table and dented the Panthers' play-off hopes with this well-deserved victory at the Showground.

Elite League A

Peterborough Panthers 41 Wolverhampton Wolves 49

WOLVES cemented their position at the top-of-the-league table and dented the Panthers' play-off hopes with this well-deserved victory at the Showground.

Despite picking up the majority of the minor places the Panthers lost due to a lack of overall heat winners and the fact that the Wolves had enough firepower when it mattered most, in the final few heats.

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It always looked like Freddie Lindgren and Peter Karlsson would hold to many aces in heats 13 and 15 but it was first Hynek Stichauer and then Adam Skornicki who turned the knife with vital and important heats victories in heats 12 and 14 that turned this match Wolves' way and saw them claim their second away victory in two days.

On a difficult track early on it was the Wolves who got off to an early advantage with Klindt and Lindgren leaping away from the start in heat one with Iversen unable to get on terms.

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Admittedly that advantage was quickly wiped out by a Panthers maximum in heat two, but Woffinden was an impressive winner of the third whilst Korneliussen snatched third place on the line and then tumbled awkwardly into the first bend fence when running out of room on the slow down.

Kenneth Bjerre got the Panthers noses in front with a determined win in heat four with Karlsson chasing down and passing Vissing early on to restrict the advantage.

Lindgren and Karlsson won the next two heats to keep it close and a Woffinden led 4-2 in heat seven saw the Wolves level the match again at 21 all.

Klindt always appeared to have to much speed for Vissing in heat eight whilst Karlsson kept up the pressure with a good pass of Korneliussen on the fourth bend after the Dane had led early on.

Panthers however went into the interval with another two points advantage courtesy of a Bjerre and Vissing 4-2 over Woffinden and Skornicki.

Wolves hit back immediately with their own heat advantage in heat 11 with Lindgren making it three wins from three starts and then Stichauer surprised everyone by popping out of the start to win the 12th despite having Korneliussen all over him for four laps.

It was advantage Wolverhampton in heat 13 as Lindgren won his fourth consecutive race with Karlsson ensuring the heat success by pegging Bjerre at the back.

Heat 14 was always an important heat with Panthers badly needing a heat success, Skornicki made the start and led at the end of lap one but Bager cut under Stichauer coming out of the fourth bend and going wide clipped the Wolves reserve causing him to fall and collect Hansen who was left with nowhere to go but into the fence.

Despite protesting his innocence it must have come to no surprise to the Panthers supporters when the red exclusion light came on and with Hansen clearly battered by the fall he was replaced by Vissing.

Skornicki again made a good start and although Vissing chased hard he never really looked like catching him with the resulting Wolves 4-2 putting them 4 points up with one race to go.

Pulling a 5-1 out of race 15 to snatch a draw always looked a long shot and so it proved as Lindgren and Karlsson combined to force a 5-1 of their own to snatch a four point win having won the toss and took the favoured gates one and three.

The Panthers can have no complaints as they were beaten by the better side for the second time at home this year, with the only real high spot being the return to form of Claus Vissing who topped a good night's work of nine paid 11 with the man of the match award from the match sponsors TCH Ford.

Peterborough: Iversen 8+1, Dryml 3+1, Kornelivssen 7+1, Bager 4+2, Bjerre 7, Hansen 3, Vissing 9+2.

Wolves: Lindgren 15, Klindt 6+1, Woffinden 8, Skornicki 4, Karlsson 11+1, Stichauer 4, Complin 1.

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