Comets 47 Peterborough 43 (PL) - match report
Photo by Dave PayneSun 31 Jul 2016
The Comets maintained their unbeaten home league record with this thrilling 47 - 43 victory over the Peterborough Panthers at Derwent Park that went down to the last heat.
With three former Comets in the Panthers line-up including Craig Cook; fresh from picking up a silver medal in Saturday's World Cup Final at Belle Vue this was always going to be a tough fixture, which was made even tougher when news came through of Adam Roynon's non-availability due to the imminent arrival of his baby.
But, with no guest available, local rider Ryan Blacklock was pressed into service at number six at short notice as Adam's replacement.
The Comets led 43-41 going into the last heat and needed at least a 3-3 to clinch victory but a super start from skipper Ricky Wells (see photo above) from gate 2 saw him lead into the first corner and he then rode four superb laps to keep Craig Cook behind him and in doing so deny Cookie a five-ride maximum.
With Kenneth holding on to third place ahead of fellow-Dane and former Comet Ulrich Ostergaard the 4-2 gave the Comets a crucial 47-43 victory, which had looked in some doubt following a shock 5-1 from the Panthers in heat 14 through Emil Grondal and former Comet Ashley Morris.
Although the Comets came out on top they only provided the first across the finish line on five out of fifteen occasions. But by packing the minor places and only having four last places all night they were able to pick up points where it mattered due to their overall strength in depth.
The meeting got underway with Craig Cook once again showing his love for Derwent Park with a tape to flag victory in the opening heat to record the fastest time of the season so far, with his 61.8 seconds time being just 0.1 of a second outside Richard Lawson's 26-month old track record.
After two shared heats the Comets got their noses in front with a 4-2 in heat 3 after Kenneth had driven under Ostergaard as they entered the back straight for the first time.
A second heat advantage from Claus and Matt in heat 4 doubled the Comets lead before a shared heat 5, which Cook won in yet another fast time.
Ricky and Mason led from the gate to record the Comets first 5-1 of the night in heat 6 and after Ostergaard had passed Claus towards the end of lap 1 to win heat 7, with Emil Grondal taking third place' the Panthers had clawed two points back.
However an excellent heat 8 saw Mason and Matt combine to register another Comets 5-1 in a contender for race of the night and put the Comets 10 points ahead, but the Panthers management resisted the urge to use a tactical ride in the next and afterwards no doubt regretted it as while Rasmus and Kenneth picked off Ashley Morris on turn four of the opening lap of heat 9 to fill the minor places, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen led from tape to flag!
The shared heat again meant that the Panthers were still ten points behind, but again their management resisted the temptation to use the black and white helmet cover and again no doubt regretted it as Ostergaard led from tape to flag. Behind him Mason and Grondal traded places for second and third positions until on lap two Ricky powered through from last to second while the last lap saw Grondal hold off Mason to secure third place.
This resulting 4-2 for the Panthers meant that they now only trailed by eight points and could not give Cook the TR ride in heat 11, which he again won in a quick time, while a third place for Morris cut the Comets lead to just six points.
The next two heats were won by Ostergaard and Cook respectively, but with the Comets filling the minor spots their advantage remained at six points.
However, a surprise 'from the tapes' 5-1 for Grondal and Morris in heat 14 put the pressure back on the Comets as it meant that their lead was just two points going into heat 15 and there was still everything to play for.
Nevertheless, the Comets fans need not have worried as Ricky and Kenneth secured a match-winning 4-2 to send the bumper crowd home more than satisfied with their evening's entertainment.
WORKINGTON 47 PETERBOROUGH 43
Sunday, July 31, Premier League
Match points: Workington 3 Peterborough 1
WORKINGTON 'Thomas Armstrong' COMETS 47
Ricky Wells 2 3 2 2 3 - - 12
Mason Campton 1* 2* 3 0 - - - 6+2
Kenneth Hansen 3 2 1* 2 1 - - 9+1
Rasmus Jensen 1 1* 2 1 - - - 5+1
Claus Vissing 3 2 2 1* - - - 8+1
Ryan Blacklock 1* R 0 - - - - 1+1
Matt Williamson 2 1 2* 1* 0 - - 6+2
PETERBOROUGH 'T. Balfe Construction' PANTHERS 43
Craig Cook 3 3 3 3 2 - - 14
Tom Perry 0 0 0 - - - - 0
Ulrich Ostergaard 2 3 3 3 0 - - 11
Emil Grondal 0 1 1 3 - - - 5
Nikolaj Jakobsen 2 1 3 0 - - - 6
Ashley Morris 3 1 0 1 0 2* - 7+1
Zdenek Holub 0 0 0 - - - - 0
Referee: Craig Ackroyd
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Last Updated : Mon 01 Aug 2016, 18:24 UK