Mat shines in pol­ished Pan­thers fight­back

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport - by MARK PLUM­MER

(Elite League B – Pan­thers 3pts, Ip­swich 0pts) THE Show­ground was left com­pletely and ut­terly spell­bound last night.

It looked like the rock-bot­tom Witches would de­liver a nasty Bank Hol­i­day shock by swoop­ing for a sur­prise vic­tory, but the re­cently re­vamped Pan­thers weaved their magic dur­ing a swash­buck­ling fi­nale to snatch the spoils.

It was way too close for com­fort (just as it had been when a weak­ened Witches side went down here by nine points at the end of April) but it was one hell of a night of speedway that lit­er­ally had the lot.

Breath­tak­ing and nail-bit­ing in equal mea­sure, there was a tworider race, a three-rider race, an ill-timed with­drawal, an­other new track record from the blisteringly bril­liant Ken­neth Bjerre and most im­por­tantly of all, a price­less Pan­thers tri­umph to carry them back into the play-off places.

And plenty of credit for that has to go to new re­cruit Mat Tre­sar­rieu who went from zero to hero as the home side hit top gear in the fi­nal few races.

The Gal­lic re­serve was well off the pace in his open­ing two races but a change of ma­chin­ery pro­vided some much needed va va voom as he opened his ac­count with a classy over­tak­ing ma­noeu­vre in heat 11 and then played his part in cru­cial max­i­mums in heats 13 and 14.

Those re­turns helped pull Pan­thers out of a pickle and team man­ager Trevor Swales was quick to heap the praise on Tre­sar­rieu.

“Fair play to the lad,” said Swales. “The meet­ing didn’t start well for Mat but he changed his bike and looked like a man pos­sessed. He chipped in with big points at a big time and was a big fac­tor in our vic­tory.”

And the same ap­plies to stand-in skip­per and top dog Bjerre who an­nounced his ar­rival in the num­ber one race jacket by low­er­ing his own track record in the open­ing heat, clock­ing a scorch­ingly-fast 58.8-sec­ond time.

Bjerre went on to score 16+1 with his only de­feat com­ing at the hands of fel­low Hunt­ing­don res­i­dent and good pal Danny King in heat 10 at a time when Pan­thers found them­selves be­hind and star­ing at the very real pos­si­bil­ity of a home re­verse.

As usual Bjerre re­ceived plenty of spec­tac­u­lar sup­port from star re­serve Krzysztof Buczkowski, who put in an­other de­mand­ing sev­en­ride shift to fin­ish up with an iden­ti­cal paid 17 tally to his team-mate.

Buczkowski even man­aged two tapes-to-flag vic­to­ries dur­ing his hec­tic dis­play but there was plenty of his trade­mark ex­hil­a­rat­ing an­tics as well to sat­isfy an Al­wal­ton pub­lic who are now per­ma­nently perched on the edges of their seats.

Buczkowski could prob­a­bly do with giv­ing his good friend and new ar­rival Kamil Br­zo­zowski a tow.

The lat­est Pol­ish cap­ture failed to score for the sec­ond suc­ces­sive meet­ing, but Buczkowski might just have a part­ner at re­serve ca­pa­ble of shar­ing the scor­ing bur­den now.

Tre­sar­rieu showed his

first NOT SO GOOD: glimpse of class when col­lar­ing Olly Allen to en­sure heat 11 hon­ours were shared.

Fel­low new-boy Rory Sch­lein took the flag in the next as Pan­thers turned a nar­row deficit into a slen­der ad­van­tage, al­though it was rough jus­tice for Ip­swich as Danny King shed a chain when hold­ing third place on the fi­nal lap.

Pan­thers ap­peared to have been dealt a ma­jor blow when Troy Batch­e­lor was with­drawn ahead of heat 13 – a race in which he was set to be de­ployed as rider-re­place­ment, but Tre­sar­rieu stepped up to the plate in style.

He zoomed from last to sec­ond on the open­ing lap to fol­low home Bjerre for a 5-1 with more of the same soon on the way.

This time Tre­sar­rieu watched the back of Buczkowski as lo­cal lad Ritchie Hawkins was left trail­ing while on a solo mis­sion for the vis­i­tors.

Ip­swich were only able to field one rider af­ter Claus Viss­ing had charged into the tapes for the sec­ond time on the night and then missed the two-minute dead­line to re­turn to the start for the re-run. That com­pleted a mis­er­able and point­less night for the lanky Pan­thers as­set and he wasn’t the only one feel­ing glum in his side of the pits.

A con­so­la­tion point was prob­a­bly the least Ip­swich de­served and a last-heat fi­nale would have earned one, but Bjerre had other ideas when streak­ing clear be­fore Sch­lein nipped past Scott Ni­cholls for mi­nor hon­ours.

It was a fine fin­ish to a fine meet­ing – and de­spite the dif­fer­ence be­tween the clubs in the Elite League stand­ings, this has to go down as a fine re­sult for Pan­thers.

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