‘King Ken’ again the Ace in Pan­thers’ pack

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Classifieds - by MARK PLUM­MER

PAN­THERS ................. 54 BELLE VUE ................. 40

Elite League B, Pan­thers 3pts, Belle Vue 0pts) A STUN­NING start, a fab­u­lous fin­ish and a won­der­ful win - Pan­thers pro­duced their very own sum­mer siz­zler to storm back into the Elite League play-off places last night.

Star turn Ken­neth Bjerre was re­spon­si­ble for book-end­ing this meet­ing in quite bril­liant fashion. In be­tween the en­tire Pan­thers corps showed their class to see off a side packed with plenty of Show­ground prow­ess.

The Dan­ish dy­namo smashed the Al­wal­ton track record for the third time in a fairy­tale per­sonal sea­son by knock­ing a stag­ger­ing three-tenths-of-a-sec­ond off his own pre­vi­ous best with an open­ing heat ex­hi­bi­tion.

That 58.5 sec­ond show­ing was a stun­ning re­turn to ac­tion af­ter a three-week ab­sence from home shale and the high-class con­tri­bu­tions kept on com­ing right up un­til Bjerre signed off in fine style by zoom­ing past Aces star Peter Karls­son in a great fi­nal in­stal­ment.

The vet­eran Swede was the only man to claim the scalp of Bjerre - get­ting the ver­dict with a fine ride from the front when they met in heat six. But this was Pan­thers’ day as they leapfrogged their vic­tims to re­turn to fourth spot in the stand­ings.

“It was a great night and a great re­sult,” said team man­ager Trevor Swales. “I’m run­ning out of su­perla­tives for Ken­neth. When you think he can’t pos­si­bly go much quicker, he takes an­other huge chunk off the track record.

“He was ter­rific and the whole team per­formed very well against dan­ger­ous op­po­nents.”

Swales was right. Skip­per Niels Kris­tian Iversen re­turned from in­jury with a paid 11-point haul while there were solid scores right across the Pan­thers card.

Lat­est re­cruit Norbert Kosci­uch en­joyed an event­ful de­but lit up by play­ing his part in an im­por­tant eighth-heat max­i­mum along with Troy Batch­e­lor.

Kosci­uch opened his ac­count at the first at­tempt with third place in heat two when the Pole was briefly on the tail of part­ner Mat Tre­sar­rieu be­fore Aces man Josh Gra­jc­zonek forced his way down the in­side go­ing into the third bend of the open­ing lap.

Kosci­uch then dropped to the back in heat four af­ter get­ting rather too close for com­fort to the back wheel of Karls­son and that race sparked a quick turn­around in the meet­ing.

Pan­thers had pulled eight points clear af­ter the open­ing three in­stal­ments but that was soon eroded as Karls­son pro­vided the first Aces tri­umph of the night.

In the process the Swede en­sured there was no fairy­tale win­ning re­turn for Iversen af­ter his 10-meet­ing lay-off with a shoul­der in­jury.

And worse was to fol­low that 4-2 as for­mer Peter­bor­ough hero Hans Andersen and James Wright teamed up for a Belle Vue max­i­mum in the next af­ter Pan­thers duo Rory Sch­lein and Krzysztof Buczkowski tripped over each other through the first cou­ple of cor­ners. It was a rapid down­turn in for­tunes af­ter they had pro­duced a third-heat 5-1 of their own.

Karls­son con­tin­ued the Aces’ pur­ple patch by de­feat­ing Bjerre be­fore Iversen snapped the run of away win­ners as Pan­thers edged four points clear cour­tesy of a sev­en­thrace 4-2.

Then came that max­i­mum from Batch­e­lor and Kosci­uch as the Show­ground faith­ful willed their lat­est re­cruit home with Wright ap­ply­ing plenty of pres­sure.

Karls­son com­pleted his hat-trick in the next but Belle Vue were soon in need of the black and white hel- met for a tac­ti­cal ride.

A 5-1 pro­ces­sion from Bjerre and Batch­e­lor in heat 10 cast the vis­i­tors 10 points adrift and led to Andersen go­ing in pur­suit of dou­ble points.

But his bid was thwarted by a fine ride from the re­turn­ing Iversen who hit the front through the first cou­ple of bends and held onto his ad­van­tage through­out.

Sch­lein’s vic­tory in heat 12 kept the home cush­ion in­tact be­fore a mag­nif­i­cent out­ing from their main men had them home and hosed.

Bjerre made a fine start from the in­side trap and Iversen soon fol­lowed him past old Pan­thers pal Andersen while a dis­tant Karls­son saw his copy­book blot­ted for the first time.

Buczkowski claimed his first vic­tory in the main body of the Pan­thers fold with a trade­mark round-the-out­side surge to get the bet­ter of the dou­ble-points chas­ing Aces guest Ty Proc­tor in the penul­ti­mate con­test. Re­serve Tre­sar­rieu grabbed the mi­nor hon­ours to com­plete a six-point per­for­mance made up of scor­ing con­tri­bu­tions in all four out­ings.

The spot­light was soon back on Bjerre as he wore down Karls­son in a crack­ing fi­nale. De­spite his GP hic­cup last week­end, Bjerre con­tin­ues to shine on Pathers duty.

And now his team-mates are also start­ing to do that on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

EN ROUTE TO THE RECORD: Ken­neth Bjerre leads Troy Batch­e­lor (left), Hans Andersen (back) and James Wright (right) on his way to the track record in heat one.

Pic­ture: BEN DAVIS

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.