Elite League Speedway: Peterborough lose at home again
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @graemebailey. Last Updated: 27/04/13 6:54pm
Peterborough Panthers suffered a third home loss of the season as Belle Vue Aces claimed a dramatic last heat win at the East of England Showground.
Going into the final heat and the scores were level, but then reserve Kauko Nieminen suffered bike problems which meant he was excluded under the two-minute rule, but he was able to go off a 15-metre handicap.
Score and scorers:
Kenni Larsen 11, Kenneth Bjerre 10+2, Linus Sundstrom 10, Ryan Fisher 7, Dakota North 3+1, Norbert Kosciuch 2+1, Patrick Hougaard 2+1
BELLE VUE 47
Ales Dryml 13+2, Matej Zagar 12, Kauko Nieminen 10+1, Kevin Wolbert 8+2, Magnus Zetterstrom 4+1, Artur Mroczka 0, Craig Cook r/r
The re-run saw GP ace Matej Zagar take the honours for Belle Vue, but Nieminen was the real hero as he managed to catch Linus Sundstrom for third which was enough to give Belle Vue a 47-45 win.
It was a result that the Aces deserved, given they were never behind after taking a 5-1 in the opening heat as Peterborough's poor season continued.
Kenni Larsen (11), Kenneth Bjerre (10+2) and Linus Sundstrom (10) all claimed double figures for the Panthers but their lower order let them down.
The Aces had number one Zagar fine form for 12 - but the real heroes were their reserves in captain Ales Dryml (13+2) and Nieminen (10+1)
Belle Vue were understandably delighted with the result, team manager Jason Attwood said: "It was a fantastic race which gave us a win we deserved.
"We set the team up to be strong at the bottom end and our reserves Nieminen and Ales Dryml scored 23 points between them."
Panthers boss Jan Staechmann was understandably far from happy, and said: "From a rider's perspective, you don't lose on purpose and everyone knows that pay is performance-based, so if you don't score any points you don't get paid.
"But at the end of the day, this is a business for the promotion, and we should be winning at home, so it's not good enough. Being twelve points down after three heats at home was mesmerising in itself, but we pulled it back and looking at the programme I don't think there's a lot I could have done differently.
"Everyone has had a fair crack of the whip and there have been a lot of improvements, but there have also been a few non-improvements, and we'll have to see what we can come up with."