PANTHERS 46 POOLE 44

Monday April 15, 2019
PETERBOROUGH edged to a 46-44 win over Premiership champions Poole in another Alwalton thriller on Monday.

The Crendon Panthers are off the mark from their first league fixture which proved to be just as tight as expected, as there were never more than four points between the sides.

And when the Pirates took the lead for the first time with a 5-1 in Heat 12 as Bradley Wilson-Dean crashed heavily after a brutal battle with Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen, the signs looked ominous.

But with skipper Hans Andersen regaining his form after a nightmare meeting last Thursday, Panthers dug deep and turned the meeting back in their favour to hold on in a last-heat decider.

The East of England Arena track record was broken again in the early stages, this time by Poole’s Brady Kurtz who knocked a tenth of a second off the mark to 57.8 in Heat 4.

Kurtz and Nicolai Klindt displayed strong form for the visitors but Panthers eked out a four-point lead after Heat 9 thanks to Wright becoming the first man to defeat Kurtz whilst Wilson-Dean re-passed Nico Covatti for a 4-2.

But the first two races after the interval saw the Pirates turn the tables, and the events of Heat 12 put them 37-35 ahead.

Panthers hit back and Rohan Tungate, who had earlier forced Richie Worrall aside on turn four, repeated the move on Jack Holder to win a hotly-contested Heat 13 with Andersen surging under Kurtz for a match-levelling 3-3.

And the comeback was complete in Heat 14 as Aaron Summers and Wright got the better of Worrall and Busk Jakobsen on the first two turns and raced clear for a massive 5-1.

The Pirates could still have snatched a draw, and it looked on during the first lap of Heat 15 as Holder and Klindt hit the front – but Tungate and Andersen both dived inside Klindt on turn four, and although Tungate found himself squeezed out, Andersen repelled Klindt’s return challenge to ensure Panthers took the two points they needed.

Manager Carl Johnson said: “It was a tough team coming here and I knew it was going to be a hard meeting – it was down to Heat 15 again but it was a fantastic result for us, and everybody chipped in with points.

“It was good to have Hans back to form and he looked comfortable on the bike as well, which is a good thing for us, but everybody looked racy and it just shows what the boys can do.

“Poole are a tough team. They’re the reigning champions and have built a solid side again, they mean business – but thankfully we picked up the three points.”

Panthers return to action on Easter Monday, April 22, with a mouth-watering local derby at home to King’s Lynn (6.30pm).

PREMIERSHIP
PETERBOROUGH 46: Hans Andersen 10, Charles Wright 8+1, Lasse Bjerre 7+1, Rohan Tungate 7, Aaron Summers 7, Bradley Wilson-Dean 4, Ben Barker 3+1
POOLE 44: Nicolai Klindt 12, Jack Holder 11+1, Brady Kurtz 8, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 6+1, Josh Grajczonek 4+1, Richie Worrall 2, Nico Covatti 1
Premiership points: Peterborough 3 Poole 1

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