Wolves test for Panthers after getting back to winning ways

SKIPPER Kenneth Bjerre was at his very best as Peterborough finally got back to winning ways with a well-deserved 53-42 victory against Eastbourne at the Showground.

PETERBOROUGH are ready to welcome back Patrick Hougaard from injury for their trip to league leaders Wolverhampton on Monday.

The Dane missed the Readypower Panthers 53-42 home win against Eastbourne on Friday after being hospitalised earlier in the week with concussion following a heavy fall at Belle Vue, but came through a practice session after the Eagles meeting and has declared himself fit to line-up against Wolves.

Panthers, will, however, be without Linus Sundstrom who is still feeling the affects of a shoulder injury following his crashes in the Grand Prix qualifier last weekend and then again at Belle Vue. Rider-replacement will be in operation with everyone including Kenneth Bjerre eligible to take an additional ride.

Wolves, meanwhile, have an injury concern of their own with Ty Proctor sidelined with nerve and muscle damage in his back. Wolves will operate rider-replacement for the Australian, but are expected to have Tai Woffinden back in the side just two weeks after breaking his collarbone in the British Grand Prix at Cardiff. The Brit returned to track action on Saturday and incredibly finished in third place in the Polish GP and is ready to resume his domestic racing.

Despite the absence of Proctor the fixture is still one of the toughest the Panthers have faced this season with the Midland side two-points clear of Birmingham at the top of the Elite League table.

Unfortunately Peterborough find themselves at the other end of the table still four-points adrift of Poole, but go into the meeting boosted by Friday’s victory against Eastbourne.

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Co-promoter Trevor Swales said: “It was great to get a win on the board on Friday and one which was long overdue. We now need to build on that and also try and pick up some points on our travels.

“Wolverhampton is a tough place to go, but we’ll go there with a positive attitude and look to get something from the meeting.

“We have the riders to do that and hopefully we have a trump card in our side with Nicolai (Klindt) up against his old club. He rode for them for the best part of four years and like Kenneth (Bjerre), will have been boosted by his performance on Friday at the Showground.”

WOLVERHAMPTON: Freddie Lindgren, Ty Proctor R/R, Ricky Wells, Adam Skornicki, Tai Woffinden, Ludvig Lindgren, Jacob Thorssell.

PETERBOROUGH: Kenneth Bjerre, Nicolai Klindt, Ryan Fisher, Linus Sundström R/R, Kenni Larsen, Patrick Hougaard, Dakota North.

SKIPPER Kenneth Bjerre was at his very best as Peterborough finally got back to winning ways with a well-deserved 53-42 victory against Eastbourne at the Showground.

The Dane was the hero for the Readypower Panthers romping to an eighteen-point maximum and he also had great backup from Dakota North who bagged an impressive 13+1.

There was also a return to form for Nicolai Klindt who after failing to score from his opening two rides finished the meeting in style by being involved in three 5-1s, and his final score of 6+3 will help him restore some confidence after experiencing some poor scores since joining the club last month.

The well-prepared Showground track produced plenty of passing during the evening with Eastbourne more than playing their part in an entertaining meeting. Bjarne Pedersen (14) and guest Lewis Bridger (12+1) offered best resistance.

Things got off to an even start with Bjerre fighting his way through from third to first in the opening race past Pedersen and Simon Gustafsson to give the Panthers a share of the points.

A big 5-1 in the reserves race from guest Richard Lawson and North then put the home side ahead, and then North and Ryan Fisher repeated the feat in Heat 3 with a double pass on Gustafsson.

Heat 5 saw rider-replacement man Bjerre and Fisher increase the leading margin to ten-points with a 4-2 over Pedersen, and Bjerre was straight back out in race six where he forced his way past Cameron Woodward to reduce the impact of the Eagles tactical ride nomination. Bridger beat Klindt for third thus resulting in an Eastbourne 5-3.

The ten-point Peterborough advantage was immediately restored with a Kenni Larsen/ North 4-2 in Heat 7, and then in a re-started Heat 8 North and a resurgent Klindt shot from the gate and increased the home lead to 32-18 with another maximum.

Eagles responded with a 4-2 in Heat 9, and Bjerre raced to his fourth win of the evening in Heat 10 alongside team-mate Klindt as the Danish duo left Bridger in their wake who had impressively taken the chequered flag for Eastbourne a race earlier.

After the interval the visitors got themselves right back into the match with Pedersen (tactical ride) and Gustafsson coming from behind against North and Larsen with the ensuing 8-1 reducing the Panthers lead to 40-31.

And the nerves in the home pits increased further in Heat 12 with Woodward and Bridger racing to a 5-1, but Bjerre helped settle things down in Heat 13 by overcoming Pedersen following a titanic battle and Larsen also got the better of Woodward for third-place.

Leading by seven-points, victory on the night was finally confirmed when North and Klindt held on against a battling Bridger for a 5-1 that also gave them all three Elite League points.

All that was left now was for Bjerre to complete his full-house in the final race of the night and he did so by again beating Pedersen and Woodward to the chequered flag.

Co-promoter Trevor Swales said: “It’s great to get another win on the board although things did get a bit nervy after the interval as Eastbourne started to come back at us.

“We had a hiccup there but we held firm to take all three league points and we have to be happy with that.

“I was pleased to see Nicolai recover from a slow start to finish with three paid wins and the little man (Kenneth Bjerre) really came good tonight. Dak was also in great form with some big rides from the reserve berth.

“There was a good spirit in the pits with all the riders smiling and helping each other, plus also Ryan (Sullivan) was very busy providing plenty of support.

“There’s still some work to do of course as this victory doesn’t solve everything, but we’ll now go into our next meeting at Wolverhampton on Monday with a lot more confidence.”

PETERBOROUGH 53: Kenneth Bjerre 18, Dakota North 13+1, Kenni Larsen 7+1, Nicolai Klindt 6+3, Richard Lawson 6, Ryan Fisher 3+1, Linus Sundstrom R/R.

EASTBOURNE 42: Bjarne Pedersen 14, Lewis Bridger 12+1, Cameron Woodward 11+2, Simon Gustafsson 4+2, Denis Gizatullin 1, Timo Lahti 0, Lukas Dryml R/R.

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