Panthers recover to see off Aces as Buczkowski crashes

Peterborough 47 Belle Vue 46

NEW-LOOK Peterborough had to mount a major recovery effort before getting the better of bottom club Belle Vue at the Showground.

In the end it was a solid rather than spectacular display which saw the Readypower Panthers edge to victory, although the Aces salvaged a point following a last-race crash from which Krzysztof Buczkowski thankfully emerged unscathed.

The visitors were well-served by recent Polish recruit Artur Mroczka, who displayed a real liking for the circuit, and their guest booking of King’s Lynn’s Mateusz Szczepaniak for their unavailable Premier League doubling-up riders also paid dividends.

The Readypower Panthers found themselves 6-18 down after four disastrous opening races, with both of their seasonal debutants failing to finish their first rides, Buczkowski retiring from Heat 1 when out in front.

An immediate response came with an 8-1 in Heat 5 headed up by Michael Jepsen Jensen, whose six points from that one race was his only score of the night.

Despite two further Panthers 4-2s, the Aces stubbornly held the lead until Buczkowski took his second win of the night in Heat 10 with skipper Kenneth Bjerre salvaging third place from Mark Lemon – but being ruled not to have overhauled Mroczka for second on the finish-line.

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A 5-1 from Bjerre and Olly Allen over a battling Rory Schlein in Heat 13 put Panthers within sight of victory, but they were frustrated by Szczepaniak’s win in the penultimate race which left them needing an advantage in Heat 15 for a maximum haul of league points.

Those hopes came to an end when Buczkowski clipped Schlein as the Aces skipper locked up on the third lap and was flung into the fence. The referee disqualified Buczkowski and awarded the Aces a 5-1 to leave them just one point adrift on the night, with the Panthers having to be content with two league points.

Co-boss Jan Staechmann said: “I’ve got mixed feelings really, we pulled it out of the fire but to be in the situation of having to use a tactical ride on our home track is a bit unusual to say the least. It could have been a lot worse, and at least we got a win out of it – it was damage limitation really.

“We just weren’t good enough out of the starts, but we did make a good fightback. Thankfully Michael won his one race when he had the black-and-white (double), but then he was uncharacteristically off-colour for the rest of the night.

“I thought the two Poles (Buczkowski and Norbert Kosciuch) did remarkably well, and I’m very glad that Krzysztof is okay after his Heat 15 crash.”

PANTHERS 47: Linus Sundstrom 8+1, Norbert Kosciuch 8+1, Olly Allen 7+1, Kenneth Bjerre 7, Krzysztof Buczkowski 7, Michael Jepsen Jensen 6, Richard Lawson 4+1.

BELLE VUE 46: Artur Mroczka 13+2, Mateusz Szczepaniak 10+1, Rory Schlein 8+2, Ales Dryml 8+2, Renat Gafurov 5, Mark Lemon 2+1, Patrick Hougaard r/r.

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