Traumatic night for Panthers and Parsons

TITLE favourites Poole grabbed the bragging rights after the first instalment of a season-long battle with Peterborough.

TITLE favourites Poole grabbed the bragging rights after the first instalment of a season-long battle with Peterborough.

The two teams widely tipped to fight it out for the Elite League crown face four crunch matches against each other.

And it was the Pirates who came out on top of their own track – and they’ll arrive at the East of England Showground on Friday night (April 9) seeking a quick back-to-back double.

The Readypower Panthers were overwhelmed by a rampant home side who justified all the pre-season predictions that they will be the team to beat this season.

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But Peterborough will look at a poor overall team performance – and hope the majority of the team can’t do as poorly as they did at Wimborne Road.

Only two riders – in-form Troy Batchelor and Grand Prix star Kenneth Bjerre – won races, picking up five heat wins between them.

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The only other Panther to leave the South Coast with his reputation enhances was new Pole Krzysztof Buczkowski who again figured in at least one heat maximum.

Joel Parsons, a star of Panthers’ opening home win against Coventry, had a traumatic night after he’d been given permission to have his mobile phone with him in the pits in case his partner Zoe went into labour with their first child.

He bent the frame in his best machine in a freak pre-meeting incident in which his clutch cable snapped, launching the bike into the solid brick pits wall.

He had to switch to his second machine – and ended up crashing in his third and final ride.

He admitted: “It’s the first time I’ve ever been to Poole – and it’s a night I want to forget.

“I suppose these things happen but this isn’t the way I wanted it to go.”

Panthers’ only real salvation came from the dual efforts of Batchelor, unbeaten in his first three rides but then pegged to the back when he had the dreadful gate four in Heat 13, and Bjerre.

POOLE 54 (Chris Holder 14 (3-2-3-3-3), Davey Watt 9:1 (2-2:1-2-3), Bjarne Pedersen 8:1 (0-3-3-2:1-0), Gary Havelock 7:2 (2:1-2-1-2:1), Darcy Ward 6:2 (1:1-3-1:1-1), Jason Doyle 6:1 (1-1:1-3-1), Leon Madsen 4 (3-1-0-F).

PETERBOROUGH 39 (Troy Batchelor 14 (3-3-6-0-2), Kenneth Bjerre 11:1 (3-2-2-3-1:1), Krzysztof Buczkowski 5:1 (0-1-2-0-F-2:1), Niels-Kristian Iversen 4 (F-1-2-1), Lewis Bridger 3:1 (2-0-0-1:1), Ulrich �stergaard 1 (0-0-1), Joel Parsons 1 (1-0-FX).

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