Fantastic Panthers down the Monarchs who lose for the first time in 2014 as the lightning flies round Alwalton
- Credit: Archant
Peterborough Panthers 50 Edinburgh Monarchs 43
The finest unbeaten record in British speedway is no more – thanks to a fantastic performance and a famous success for Peterborough.
The ‘TC Harrison’ Panthers succeeded where all before them had failed during 2014 by becoming the first team to sink Premier League top dogs Edinburgh.
Their seven-point success, against a team who had not previously tasted defeat in 24 outings this year, capped a memorable afternoon of racing.
In fact the action on the track was often as electric as the skies around the East of England Showground as a storm circled the venue.
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Thankfully the rain held off until Panthers had already been assured of victory with a race to spare thanks to captain Ulrich Ostergaard’s heat 14 triumph – and they went on to pocket maximum points after avoiding being on the receiving end of a 5-1 in the finale when leading scorer Ales Dryml came home in second spot.
“It was a great result in front of a great crowd,” said Peterborough supremo Mick Horton. “I’m delighted with the response to our first Sunday meeting and if that doesn’t bring the fans flooding back, nothing will.
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“Edinburgh are having a brilliant season, but this win shows we can beat any team at this level.”
Alarm bells were ringing after Panthers made their customary slow start at home with the league’s top rider, Craig Cook, and Justin Sedgmen breezing to a 5-1 for Edinburgh in the opener.
But Panthers quickly found their feet as a series of 4-2s edged them ahead. Joe Jacobs inspired the first in heat two before the action was towards the rear in the next race as Dryml picked the pocket of Max Fricke to snatch third in the final metres of heat three.
The impressive Nicki Barrett (he and bottom-end partner Jacobs contribute a valuable dozen points) then won heat four as Panthers hit the front for the first time, but it wasn’t until slamming in back-to-back 5-1s that they really took control.
Lewis Blackbird and Nicki Barrett both flew past Derek Sneddon in heat eight before Ostergaard and Dryml dived either side of Masters in heat nine.
Fricke fluffed the visitors’ first tactical ride mission when rolling into the tapes at the start of heat 10 and being unable to make any impression from a 15-metre handicap.
Dryml inspired a 4-2 in the re-run but that allowed the Monarchs to deploy Cook on another double-points mission in the next instalment.
And he had considerably more success than Fricke by working his way past Panthers guest Aaron Summers to secure a 6-3.
Fricke redeemed himself with victory as Edinburgh claimed a 4-2 in heat 12 to reduce their arrears to seven points, but Panthers were not about to lose their grip on the contest.
They packed the minor places behind Cook in heat 13 before Ostergaard sealed victory after emerging victorious from a brilliant battle with Steve Worrall in heat 14.
Ostergaard retired from the finale after being left with no vision but Dryml ensured Edinburgh left empty-handed.
‘TC HARRISON’ PANTHERS: Ales Dryml 13+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 9, Lewis Blackbird 8+1, Aaron Summers (guest) 8, Nicki Barrett 7+2, Joe Jacobs 5+1, Rider replacement for Ryan Fisher.
EDINBURGH: Craig Cook 16+1, Steve Worrall 7+1, Sam Masters 7, Max Fricke 5, Justin Sedgmen 4, Derek Sneddon 4, Aaron Fox 0.
1 - Cook (59.9), Sedgmen, Blackbird, Ostergaard. 1-5, 1-5.
2 - Jacobs (60.7), Sneddon, Barrett, Fox. 4-2, 5-7.
3 - Ostergaard (60.2), Worrall, Dryml, Fricke. 4-2, 9-9.
4 - Barrett (60.9), Masters, Summers, Sneddon. 4-2, 13-11.
5 - Dryml (59.9), Sedgmen, Cook, Ostergaard. 3-3, 16-14.
6 - Masters (61.3), Blackbird, Barrett, Fox. 3-3, 19-17.
7 - Summers (61.9), Fricke, Worrall, Jacobs. 3-3, 22-20.
8 - Blackbird (62.2), Barrett, Sneddon, Sedgmen. 5-1, 27-21.
9 - Ostergaard (62.1), Dryml, Masters, Fox. 5-1, 32-22.
10 - re-run Dryml (62.3), Worrall, Blackbird, Fricke (15m, t/r). 4-2, 36-24.
11 - Cook (t/r, 61.0), Summers, Jacobs, Sedgmen. 3-6, 39-30.
12 - Fricke (62.1), Dryml, Sneddon, Barrett. 2-4, 41-34.
13 - Cook (62.2), Summers, Blackbird, Masters. 3-3, 44-37.
14 - Ostergaard (63.7), Worrall, Jacobs, Sneddon. 4-2, 48-39.
15 - Cook (65.9), Dryml, Masters, Ostergaard (ret). 2-4, 50-43.