Allen inspires Somerset to victory as Panthers head into big double-header clash at East of England Showground
Peterborough 43 Somerset 50
Peterborough saw their losing run continue despite a battling display against Premier League leaders Somerset.
The table-topping reigning champions eventually claimed a 50-43 success at the East of England Showground after being inspired by a maximum from a rider who helped ‘TC Harrison’ Panthers to title glory when they last rode at this level some 16 years ago.
Olly Allen, an emerging teenager back in the Peterborough championship-winning season of 1998, and now regarded as an Alwalton specialist, went through the card with five successive victories to keep his current club’s honours bid on track.
It was a run which included teaming up for 5-1s with Nick Morris in two of the final three races as the Rebels claimed all four available league points hot on the heels of winning the Premier League Fours crown at the Showground earlier this month.
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Panthers had also gone into heat 15 with hopes of a 5-1 to snatch victory with a 5-1, but they were all but ended when Ales Dryml rolled into the tapes.
And they fared no better in the re-run as Ulrich Ostergaard crashed to the deck after lifting awkwardly leaving the start - an incident which left Allen and Morris clear to claim a comfortable triumph over Dryml who was racing from a 15-metre handicap.
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Panthers had earlier produced an explosive start with two 5-1s and a 4-2 in the opening three races to open up a 10-point advantage.
But a successful tactical ride from Morris in a fifth heat 8-1 turned the contest. Somerset were soon ahead after a 5-1 from high-scoring reserve Todd Kurtz and Charles Wright in heat eight and, although the lead briefly change hands again, the visitors’ potent finishing kick earned them the points.
Panthers team boss Carl Johnson said: “It is a meeting we wanted to win and a second successive home defeat is obviously a big disappointment.
“We put ourselves in a great position early in the meeting, but let it slip. The tactical ride changed the meeting and our gating from then on was not good enough.”
There were improved contributions from recent Panthers signings Max Dilger and Richard Hall.
Dilger claimed his first heat success as a Panthers rider when winning heat two – the highlight of an eventful meeting in which he was left on the deck on three occasions.
Dilger went down in first-bend incidents in heats two, seven and 11 with referee Jim Lawrence ruling that all four riders could restart on each occasion.
Fellow recent arrival Adam Roynon claimed two victories in his seven-point haul and also received an unfortunate exclusion in heat six after inadvertently clattering into partner Lasse Bjerre leaving the final bend on the last lap.
Roynon hit an unexpected rut and was unable to avoid a collision with Bjerre who left the track in an ambulance but later completed his programmed rides despite experience chest, rib and wrist pain.
Team boss Johnson added: “Adam couldn’t apologise enough for causing the crash, but Lasse is a tough cookie and kept going for the cause.”
Panthers continue a hectic spell of racing when entertaining Berwick and Plymouth in a double-header at the Showground on Tuesday (7pm start).
‘TC HARRISON’ PANTHERS: Ales Dryml 10, Ulrich Ostergaard 8, Adam Roynon 7, Richard Hall 5+2, Lasse Bjerre 5+1, Max Dilger 5+1, Nicki Barrett 3+2.
SOMERSET: Olly Allen 15 (maximum), Todd Kurtz 14+1, Nick Morris 12+2, Charles Wright 5+2, Pontus Aspgren 3, Paul Starke 1, Rider replacement for Brady Kurtz.
1 – Roynon (59.5), Bjerre, Wright, Morris. 5-1, 5-1.
2 – re-run Dilger (60.9), Kurtz, Barrett, Starke. 4-2, 9-3.
3 - Ostergaard (60.2), Hall, Aspgren, Wright. 5-1, 14-4.
4 - Allen (59.9), Dryml, Barrett, Starke. 3-3, 17-7.
5 - Morris (t/r, 60.1), Wright, Ostergaard, Hall. 1-8, 18-15.
6 - Allen (awarded), Bjerre, Starke, Roynon (exc). 2-4, 20-19.
7 – re-run Dryml (60.7), Aspgren, Kurtz, Dilger. 3-3, 23-22.
8 - Kurtz (60.7), Wright, Roynon, Barrett. 1-5, 24-27.
9 - Allen (62.0), Ostergaard, Hall, Starke. 3-3, 27-30.
10 - Roynon (61.9), Kurtz, Bjerre, Aspgren (ret). 4-2, 31-32.
11 – re-run Dryml (61.1), Morris, Dilger, Wright. 4-2, 35-34.
12 - Kurtz (61.9), Hall, Barrett, Aspgren. 3-3, 38-37.
13 - Allen (61.3), Morris, Dryml, Bjerre (ret). 1-5, 39-42.
14 - Kurtz (61.6), Ostergaard, Dilger, Aspgren. 3-3, 42-45.
15 - re-run Allen (61.8), Morris, Dryml (15m), Ostergaard (fell). 1-5, 43-50.