Panthers so close to a point but Wolves prove too good

PETERBOROUGH came agonisingly close to their first away point of the season as they went down 51-43 at Elite League leaders Wolverhampton.

PETERBOROUGH came agonisingly close to their first away point of the season as they went down 51-43 at Elite League leaders Wolverhampton.

The Readypower Panthers battled hard after suffering a nightmare start at Monmore Green, and it was Wolves skipper Fredrik Lindgren’s Heat 15 win over Kenneth Bjerre and Kenni Larsen which secured maximum points for the home side.

Bjerre, though, had been magnificent for the Panthers, with a run of four straight wins after losing out to Lindgren in Heat 1, and both Larsen and Ryan Fisher also carried the fight to Wolves.

Fisher was the visitors’ sole race winner in the first four heats, by which time Panthers found themselves 17-7 down, and even though Bjerre banked a maximum six points from a Heat 5 tactical ride, a further 5-1 from Lindgren and the impressive Jacob Thorssell put Wolves back in full control.

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There seemed little hope of a Panthers comeback as they trailed 36-21 after Heat 9, but a super win for Larsen in Heat 10 over Lindgren saw belief come back into the Showground side – even though that result was tinged with a little frustration as they had used their second tactical ride in that race, but had elected to deploy third-placed Fisher in that position.

Even so, it reduced the gap to twelve and with Wolves’ Tai Woffinden only taking three rides due to his collarbone injury the door was slightly ajar, and even more so when Bjerre trapped in Heat 13 and Larsen went brilliantly between Lindgren and Thorssell off turn two to secure a big 5-1 for the Panthers.

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The penultimate race was an epic, and in the early stages it looked like a 5-1 was possible as Fisher led and was joined by reserve Dakota North – who was worth far more than his one point for effort.

North had earlier been forced out of the lead by a fine ride by Thorssell in Heat 8 which also took team-mate Adam Skornicki through for a 5-1, but on this occasion it was North who crucially lifted approaching the end of lap two, giving Skornicki and Ludvig Lindgren the chance to pass.

Fisher held off the closing Skornicki to win, meaning Panthers needed a 4-2 from the last race to take a point – but Fredrik Lindgren was in no mood to repeat his Heat 13 defeat, and he shot from the start with Bjerre’s strong chase coming to no avail.

Panthers coach Ryan Sullivan said: “We really battled through the meeting carrying too many guys, but the boys started to really perform, we had three guys on it and we came close.

“Kenneth Bjerre is riding very well, he’s certainly got some confidence now and he’s starting to come good. We just need a couple of other guys firing like that and the season might begin for Peterborough!”

WOLVERHAMPTON 51: Fredrik Lindgren 11+1, Jacob Thorssell 11+1, Adam Skornicki 10+2, Ricky Wells 7+1, Ludvig Lindgren 6+2, Tai Woffinden 6+1, Ty Proctor r/r.

PETERBOROUGH 43: Kenneth Bjerre 19, Ryan Fisher 11, Kenni Larsen 10+2, Patrick Hougaard 2+1, Dakota North 1, Nicolai Klindt 0, Linus Sundstrom r/r.

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