Rock­ing Robins brush Pan­thers aside

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - SPORT -

SWIN­DON .................... 56 PAN­THERS .................. 37 (Elite League – Swin­don 3pts, Pan­thers 0pts) RED-HOT Li­nus Sund­strom and skip­per Ken­neth Bjerre fought a fu­tile bat­tle as Pan­thers were brushed aside at Swin­don.

Sund­strom shone for the sec­ond suc­ces­sive night, reel­ing off a hat­trick of heat wins be­fore hav­ing to be con­tent with a 12-point haul while Bjerre started and ended the meet­ing on the re­ceiv­ing end of 5-1s but caught the eye in be­tween.

Guest Ryan Fisher – in for the in­jured Olly Allen - also made the most of a dou­ble-points op­por­tu­nity just af­ter the mid-point of the con­test, but Pan­thers col­lapsed in the clos­ing stages.

And they were re­ally found want­ing at re­serve where Jesper B. Mon­berg and Richard Law­son con­trib­uted just five points be­tween them from 12 rides.

It was a par­tic­u­larly dis­ap­point­ing re­turn from Mon­berg who spent much of last sea­son in Swin­don colours and marked a rapid down­turn in form af­ter a handy dozen points at Poole 24 hours ear­lier.

Their strug­gles were made all the more telling by a 16-point haul from Swin­don’s own bot­tom-end star Peter Kilde­mand who sin­gle-hand­edly equalled the com­bined tally of four Peter­bor­ough riders - Fisher, Mon­berg, Law­son and sec­ond-string Rene Bach.

And with so many men fail­ing to de­liver the goods, Pan­thers found the rider re­place­ment fa­cil­ity (in use to cover for the ill Michael Jepsen Jensen again) too big a bur­den to carry. Jepsen Jensen’s four pro­grammed rides yielded just two points.

If only Pan­thers had been able to track a full one-to-seven on each of the last two nights, they could eas­ily have added to their Elite League points tally, but the cards dealt to them by the speed­way gods have not proved kind.

It also meant an un­happy re­turn to Wilt­shire for Pan­thers co-boss Jan Staech­mann who spent the sec­ond half of last sea­son in charge of the Robins.

They were al­ready well on the way to the wooden spoon by the time he took the reins but they’re clearly a very dif­fer­ent propo­si­tion this time around.

Staech­mann said: “Swin­don showed the im­por­tance of hav­ing a high-scor­ing re­serve. Our team was also built to have a strong rider in that po­si­tion so our weak­ness will al­ways be ex­posed if peo­ple there have off-nights.

“It would be wrong to point the fin­ger at any par­tic­u­lar in­di­vid­u­als though. We just need to re-group, get Michael and Olly back and move on to Wolver­hamp­ton on Mon­day.”

Pan­thers got off to the worst pos­si­ble start as Bjerre and Bach sur­ren­dered to a tame 5-1 at the hands of young gun Nick Mor­ris and their own as­set Hans An­der­sen, but they soon re­sponded.

A shared re­serves’ race stead­ied the ship be­fore Sund­strom launched his siz­zling show­ing with vic­tory in a third heat 4-2.

The teams then traded fur­ther 4-2s be­fore an­other Mor­ris and An­der­sen max­i­mum in heat six saw Pan­thers fall half-a-dozen points adrift.

A sec­ond Sund­strom suc­cess briefly stemmed the tide but the vis­i­tors’ hopes of eat­ing into their deficit were dashed when Mon­berg lost out on third place to Si­mon Stead leav­ing the final bend of the third lap.

There was more mis­ery for Mon­berg when on the re­ceiv­ing end of a 51 in the next as the classy Mor­ris this time teamed up with re­serve wizard Kilde­mand to great ef­fect. The city men did pro­vide half-a-dozen heat win­ners on the night - in­clud­ing in the next three races - but a lack of sup­port for those ac­tu­ally do­ing the busi­ness meant it was only limited re­sis­tance to the ram­pant Robins.

Fisher (when on a tac­ti­cal ride for dou­ble points), the im­pe­ri­ous Sund­strom and Bjerre all shone out front but all had part­ners bring­ing up the rear.

Sund­strom grad­u­ally reeled in An­der­sen be­fore nail­ing a pass on the final lap of heat 10 and Bjerre dropped a hint of his qual­ity when pow­er­ing past Si­mon Stead and Robin Aspe­gren to get the ver­dict in the next con­test.

But a streak of four suc­ces­sive Swin­don ad­van­tages to bring the cur­tain down left Pan­thers thor­oughly beaten.

Even Sund­strom lost his magic touch in the clos­ing stages but it was the form of those around him that will pro­vide a big con­cern to Pan­thers bosses.

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