Blackbird the last-heat hero as Panthers snatch a draw when defeat looked on the cards against the Redcar Bears
Peterborough 45 Redcar 45
Lewis Blackbird was the last-heat hero as Peterborough held on for a hard-fought draw against Redcar tonight (Tuesday).
Top-scorer Blackbird delivered a flawless tapes-to-flag ride when left on a solo mission in the re-run of heat 15, keeping high-scoring visitors Richard Lawson and Hugh Skidmore at bay after his partner Lasse Bjerre had been excluded in the initial staging of the race.
Bjerre received his marching orders from referee Tony Steele for a hard third-bend move which left Skidmore on the deck even though the ‘TC Harrison’ Panthers rider was adamant there had been no contact.
But Blackbird ensured all was not lost and his exploits earned the bumps from his team-mates.
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Blackbird said: “I’m so happy with my performance in heat 15. It seemed a really long four laps, but I was just glad to come home in front and do the job for the team.
“I did have a few nerves, but you can’t turn back. I just focused on making a good start and then put my head down!”
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Panthers were earlier left cursing a setting sun which forced a lengthy delay to proceedings after six races.
The home side had powered into a 10-point lead by then thanks to four heat advantages in the space of five races, but they were not in the same form when the action resumed.
And they found themselves trailing by two points after Ales Dryml had suffered a cruel mechanical failure when a clear leader of heat 12. His bike problems turned a 3-3 into a 5-1 with the previously pointless Jan Graversen and Redcar debutant Mark Lemon the beneficiaries.
Bjerre immediately inspired a 4-2 with a stunning defeat of Lawson in heat 13 to level the scores and that remained the case following a titanic penultimate heat in which visiting rider Carl Wilkinson emerged victorious.
And Blackbird ensured Panthers emerged with a point to close in on the play-off places in the finale.
Panthers are back in action next Tuesday (July 8) when they entertain Rye House.
‘TC HARRISON’ PANTHERS: Lewis Blackbird 12+1, Lasse Bjerre 9, Ulrich Ostergaard 6+1, Nicki Barrett 6+1, Ales Dryml 4+1, Joe Jacobs 4+1, Rohan Tungate (guest) 4.
REDCAR: Richard Lawson 10+1, Hugh Skidmore 10, Mark Lemon 8+1, Carl Wilkinson 6+2, Aaron Summers 6, Jan Graversen 3, Rafal Konopka 2.
1 - Lawson (61.3), Blackbird, Skidmore, Tungate. 2-4, 2-4.
2 - Barrett (62.3), Jacobs, Konopka, Graversen. 5-1, 7-5.
3 - re-run Ostergaard (62.0), Dryml, Lemon, Wilkinson. 5-1, 12-6.
4 - re-run Bjerre (62.6), Summers, Barrett, Konopka. 4-2, 16-8.
5 - Skidmore (62.3), Dryml, Lawson, Ostergaard. 2-4, 18-12.
6 - re-run Tungate (62.5), Blackbird, Summers, Graversen. 5-1, 23-13.
7 – re-run Lemon (63.1), Wilkinson, Bjerre, Jacobs. 1-5, 24-18.
8 - Skidmore (62.4), Blackbird, Barrett, Graversen. 3-3, 27-21.
9 - Summers (63.1), Ostergaard, Konopka, Dryml. 2-4, 29-25.
10 - Blackbird (62.4), Lemon, Wilkinson, Tungate. 3-3, 32-28.
11 - Lawson (62.5), Bjerre, Skidmore, Jacobs. 2-4, 34-42.
12 - Graversen (63.9), Lemon, Barrett, Dryml (ret). 1-5, 35-37.
13 - Bjerre (62.5), Lawson, Tungate, Summers. 4-2, 37-37.
14 - Wilkinson (63.8), Jacobs, Ostergaard, Graversen. 3-3, 42-42.
15 - re-run Blackbird (63.8), Skidmore, Lawson, Bjerre (exc). 3-3, 45-45.