POOLE 50 PANTHERS 40

Thursday August 01, 2019
PETERBOROUGH fell short of a league point despite a competitive showing in a 40-50 defeat at Poole on Thursday.

Former British Champion Scott Nicholls racked up paid-14 in an impressive showing, and Ryan Douglas also made a useful contribution as a guest at reserve, but the Crendon Panthers’ lack of race wins ultimately proved their undoing.

The Pirates won ten heats compared to Panthers’ five, although all of the Peterborough successes came in race advantages, which helped them maintain an interest for much of proceedings.

In fact, the visitors took an early lead thanks to Nicholls getting the better of home star Jack Holder in Heat 1, with Rohan Tungate in third place, but that advantage was overturned in Heat 3 when the powerful Nicolai Klindt/Josh Grajczonek combination collected the first Poole 5-1, Grajczonek doing it from the back against Charles Wright and Ty Proctor.

A trading of 4-2s followed and although Peterborough skipper Hans Andersen ran a last in his comeback race, he battled strongly with Holder in Heat 6 and then re-passed Ricky Wells for second place – whilst Nicholls had done well to overcome Klindt in the previous race.

Poole went six points up with another 4-2 in Heat 7 and then extended the margin to double figures in Heat 9 as Klindt and Grajczonek raced clear of Andersen and Aaron Summers.

Boss Carl Johnson elected to bring Nicholls into Heat 10 as a tactical substitute, but the move backfired as he was stuck at the back with Wright passing Nico Covatti to prevent a Poole 5-1 but Nicholls being unable to follow him through.

Nicholls, however, responded with a brilliant ride to out-muscle Brady Kurtz in Heat 11 and link up with Tungate for a 5-1, only for the Pirates to put the match to bed in the next two races.

A 4-2 and a 5-1 extended their lead to 14-points, Holder re-passing Andersen for second place in Heat 13, but Panthers did finish strongly and they at least put two advantages on the board in the final two races.

Guest Douglas took the flag in Heat 14 over Covatti with Proctor keeping Grajczonek at the back, and Douglas scored again in Heat 15 with third place over Holder, having been second for a time before Klindt moved through – with Nicholls taking his third win up-front.

Johnson said: “As a team we rode pretty well in a good, hard-fought meeting. I thought it was a very good meeting, it was competitive and it had a bit of everything.

“It was a good effort by us on the whole and we probably deserved something, but unfortunately we got nothing.

“We could have done with a few more heat winners in fairness, but it was better that we didn’t run as many last places as we have been doing. It was still an improved performance, and as I’ve said to the lads the only way is up – and whatever we do is better than what we have been doing!

“Scotty was superb, and Ryan came in at reserve and rode really well on his first time at Poole.

“Even though we lost I was quite pleased with what we did - everybody scored points, still not enough from some riders, but we’ve got people coming back from big injuries which have cost us, and then obviously we concentrate on riders who are slightly under-performing.”

Panthers’ next fixture sees them head back to Wolverhampton on Monday August 12.

POOLE 50: Nicolai Klindt 13, Jack Holder 10+1, Brady Kurtz 10, Josh Grajczonek 7+2, Ricky Wells 6, Nico Covatti 4, Richie Worrall r/r.
PETERBOROUGH 40: Scott Nicholls 13+1, Ryan Douglas 8+2, Charles Wright 6, Rohan Tungate 5, Hans Andersen 4, Ty Proctor 2, Aaron Summers 2.

Picture: MIKE HINVES

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