Pan­thers beaten but they push Poole hard

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sports -

POOLE ......................... 50 PAN­THERS .................. 39 (Elite League – Poole 3pts, Pan­thers 0pts)

LI­NUS Sund­strom pro­duced the finest ride of his ca­reer as patched-up Pan­thers re­turned from ti­tle favourites Poole with their heads held high last night.

A city side miss­ing the ill Michael Jepsen Jensen and in­jury vic­tim Olly Allen more than matched the reign­ing cham­pi­ons for two thirds of a tele­vised clash at Wim­borne Road.

They were con­demned to de­feat by a se­ries of six suc­ces­sive heat re­verses from the eighth race on­wards, but it was still no dis­grace against freak­ishly good op­po­si­tion who were set­ting a club record of 10 suc­ces­sive vic­to­ries in a sea­son.

And Sund­strom en­sured it was Pan­thers who signed off in style by claim­ing the scalp of Pi­rates top dogs Chris Holder and Darcy Ward in the final race.

The Aus­tralian aces have been chris­tened the ‘Turbo Twins’ due to their free-scor­ing fire­works but last night they be­came the ‘Swede’s Shad­ows’ as Sund­strom showed them the fastest way around their own back­yard.

Sund­strom said: “I knew the Poole boys were right up my ex­haust all the time, but I just tried to stay calm and for­get about that.

“Chris and Darcy are so good around their track and I’m re­ally pleased to have beaten them. It was a good team ef­fort from us con­sid­er­ing we missed a cou­ple of guys badly.”

Mo­ments ear­lier Sund­strom had played a part in a penul­ti­mate race 5-1 be­hind re­turn­ing Jesper B. Mon­berg who set­tled back into Pan­thers ac­tion with a top-scor­ing haul of 12+1 points from re­serve.

That race was awarded af­ter an­other Swede, the home side’s Lud­vig Lind­gren, had gone down when be­ing col­lared for sec­ond spot by Sund­strom on the last lap.

It was an in­spir­ing fin­ish from a team who had also be­gun the meet­ing in bat­tling fash­ion. They made a fine start with the Bjerre broth­ers Ken­neth and Lasse bag­ging a 4-2 in the opener, but both those riders went on to dis­ap­point.

Num­ber one Ken­neth failed to win an­other race while Lasse fin­ished up with just three points from his five rides. An­other man to have an off-night was re­serve Richard Law­son whose sole scor­ing con­tri­bu­tion came cour­tesy of a sec­ond place in heat six.

Pan­thers re­mained well in touch, trail­ing by just two points (22-20) af­ter seven races, but a Mon­berg tum­ble in the first at­tempt to stage heat eight trig­gered their nightmare run of re­sults.

That race was even­tu­ally awarded as a 3-2 to the hosts with Todd Kurtz beat­ing Lasse Bjerre when the sec­ond stag­ing was also halted early when Poole man Ricky Kling was thrown from his ma­chine.

Four suc­ces­sive 4-2s then fol­lowed although ad­mit­tedly Pan­thers did have their fair share of bad luck with Sund­strom suf­fer­ing a bike fail­ure and Law­son drop­ping to the back af­ter hit­ting a rogue hole in the track ei­ther side of some poor rid­ing from the Bjer­res in heat 11.

There was more mis­ery for Ken­neth Bjerre in heat 13 as he was left chas­ing the shad­ows of Miedzin­ski and Holder as Poole sealed their vic­tory with plenty to spare.

It was only the sec­ond time in eight Elite League out­ings this year that Pan­thers have failed to col­lect a point, but their dis­play still pleased joint team boss Jan Staech­mann.

He said: “It is not easy to go to Poole with a full-strength team, so to do it with a de­pleted side and hang in there so well for half the meet­ing is very pleas­ing.

“We had a few blips along the way and ran out of steam be­fore get­ting our­selves go­ing again in a great fin­ish.

“We showed a few glimpses of what we’re about and hope­fully we en­ter­tained the crowd and the tele­vi­sion au­di­ence along the way.”

DOU­BLE FIG­URES: Li­nus Sund­strom im­pressed, par­tic­u­larly in the final race of the night.

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