POOLE 43 PANTHERS 47

Thursday May 30, 2019
PETERBOROUGH pulled off their first away win since moving back into the top flight with a stunning 47-43 victory at Poole on Thursday.

Crendon Panthers skipper Hans Andersen rolled back the years with a vintage performance on his old home track, with the Dane and recent signing Scott Nicholls combining in last-heat decider to get the visitors over the line.

The win moves the Alwalton outfit up to second position in the Premiership table, and it rapidly cancels out the home defeat they suffered against Ipswich before their recent team changes.

It was a meeting where Panthers made the best of things with both sides below full-strength, as Rohan Tungate was ruled out having struggled for fitness in recent meetings, whilst Josh Bates remained on the sidelines at reserve.

But the combination of Andersen and in-form Bradley Wilson-Dean caused the Pirates numerous problems, and they got the visitors off to a flyer with a 5-1 over Jack Holder in the opening race.

A series of shared heats followed, including race wins for Aaron Summers and then Wilson-Dean in his rider-replacement outing, before the New Zealander took third place with Andersen out-front in Heat 5 to put Panthers six-up.

Nicholls held off the considerable passing attempts of Holder in Heat 6, and Panthers were in dreamland two races later when Summers and Wilson-Dean combined for another 5-1 to move the score to 29-19 in the visitors’ favour.

Poole, though, have demonstrated their recovery powers on several occasions this season, and Holder’s tactical substitute ride saw him record a 5-1 with Holder over Andersen in Heat 9 – and a further 4-2 in the next cut the gap to four points.

A Panthers 4-2 in Heat 11 from Andersen and Wilson-Dean as Paul Starke went to the back appeared to regain control, especially as two shared races followed with the Pirates unable to make progress.

But a shock 5-1 from Grajczonek and the hitherto struggling Nico Covatti in Heat put matters right back in the melting pot with Panthers’ lead reduced to two points, and facing Holder along with Grajczonek who had dropped just one point in the decider.

However, the Panthers’ hugely experienced heat-leader pair got the job done as they gated on a 5-1 and Andersen secured his fourth win in six rides, whilst Nicholls held up Holder for two laps and added the insurance of third place ahead of Grajczonek.

Manager Carl Johnson said: “Before the meeting we did feel that if there was going to be a opportunity to win here, this could be it.

“We’re really pleased with the result, and in the end I think it was well deserved and another solid team performance with our regular riders all chipping in with points, whereas Poole really were a two-man team.

“We probably should have wrapped it up sooner, but I went with my most experienced riders in Heat 15, obviously Hans with the way he’s been going, and really it was perfect because Scott did a job for a couple of laps which allowed Hans to get away.

“It was a good win, a great three points for us, and I also have to congratulate the Poole supporters who were fantastic, and we also had brilliant travelling support ourselves.”

The result gets Panthers’ busy away programme off to an excellent start, and next-up they visit Ipswich on Thursday June 6.

PREMIERSHIP
POOLE 43: Jack Holder 14+1, Josh Grajczonek 14, Richie Worrall 6+1, Nico Covatti 3+2, Paul Starke 3+1, Adam Ellis 3, Brady Kurtz r/r
PETERBOROUGH 47: Hans Andersen 14+1, Bradley Wilson-Dean 9+2, Charles Wright 9, Aaron Summers 8+2, Scott Nicholls 7+1, Kasper Andersen 0, Rohan Tungate r/r
Premiership points: Poole 0 Peterborough 3

Picture: DAVE FAIRBROTHER

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