Panthers have it all to do after defeat at Poole
ELITE LEAGUE KO CUP SEMI-FINAL, 1st leg: Poole 51 Peterborough 39
PETERBOROUGH will have to pull-back a 12-point deficit in Thursday’s Knockout Cup semi-final 2nd leg at the Showground after a 51-39 defeat at Poole on Wednesday.
It was a very tight affair for most of the night with never more than four-points separating the two teams, until the Pirates mounted a strong finish and it now needs a big performance in the second leg if the Readypower Panthers are to progress.
At the top of the Peterborough scorechart guest duo Mads Korneliussen and Scott Nicholls led the way with 11 and 10 respectively, but with Michael Jepsen Jensen having an off-night with just 3+1 they had no consistent answer for the home side’s powerhouse top three – and that proved decisive!
Panthers edged ahead when Nicholls and Norbert Kosciuch raced to a 4-2 in Heat 1 over Niels-Kristian Iversen, but the scores were soon level following Heat 2.
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Poole then went into the lead for the first time with another 4-2 in Heat 5, but the early impressive Nicholls/ Kosciuch pairing quickly restored parity with a 4-2 of their own in race six against Krzysztof Kasprzak.
Peterborough stand-in man Korneliussen then won a shared Heat 6 from Iversen and Linus Eklof, but Pirates regained the lead with a 4-2 in Heat 7.
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Jepsen Jensen went through the tapes in Heat 10 and with Rene Bach coming in as reserve replacement it enabled Poole to sneak further ahead courtesy of another 4-2.
Recently crowned World Champion Chris Holder then gave them a share of the points in race eleven, only for an Iversen and Ricky Kling 4-2 in Heat 12 further increasing the home lead to 39-33.
But Poole’s familiar strength in the closing races was again evident as the first 5-1 of the night in Heat 13 stretched the advantage to ten-points.
A match race then took place before Heat 14 where Holder went up against Nicholls, but under this season’s cup rules with the Poole rider beating the Panthers guest it resulted in a 0-0 so the score remained at 44-34.
Bach and Jason Bunyan then reduced the deficit with a 4-2 in Heat 14, but a last race 5-1 from Kasprzak and Holder over Nicholls and Korneliussen leaves the Panthers with work to do on Thursday evening.
POOLE 51: Krzysztof Kasprzak 16+1, Chris Holder 14+1, Niels Kristian Iversen 10, Ludvig Lindren 6, Linus Eklof 4+1, Ricky Kling 1, Piotr Pawlicki R/R.
PETERBOROUGH 39: Mads Korneliussen 11, Scott Nicholls 10, Norbert Kosciuch 6+2, Rene Bach 6+1, Michael Jepsen Jensen 3+1, Jason Bunyan 3, Krzysztof Buczkowski R/R.
PETERBOROUGH and Poole are straight back in action on tonight at the Showground for the second leg of their Knockout Cup semi-final tie.
Panthers will have to make up twelve-points if they are to progress to the Final against Coventry.
If they do get past the Pirates on Thursday evening the first leg of the Final takes place at the Bees’ Brandon Stadium this Friday. The Panthers will then stage the second leg of the Final against Coventry at the Showground next Monday, October 29.
PETERBOROUGH: Hans Andersen, Norbert Kosciuch, Mads Korneliussen, Ryan Sullivan R/R, Michael Jepsen Jensen, Richard Lawson, Rene Bach.
POOLE: Niels Kristian Iversen, Piotr Pawlicki R/R, Chris Holder, Ricky Kling, Krzysztof Kasprzak, Sam Masters, Kyle Howarth.