Jack Holder produced a brilliant performance to lead Peterborough to East Anglian derby success yesterday.
The Panthers number one capped a superb 14-point display with victory in a vital final race at the East of England Showground as Ipswich were seen off 46-44.
Holder zoomed back past Witches man Rory Schlein in a closing thriller to an engrossing SGB Championship clash as Peterborough collected the 3-3 that preserved their two-point cushion.
It meant they were able to claim revenge for a heavy defeat in the reverse fixture at Ipswich last Saturday night.
Holder said: “I knew I had to get the win in the final race and it’s great to have got the job done.
“The track was a bit more slick than usual, but we managed to deal with it and get the win we needed.
“It was brilliant to put on a show in front of such a big crowd.”
A good start was essential and that’s exactly what Panthers got thanks to a fine Holder ride in the opening race.
The Australian ace kept British champion Danny King at bay on the first lap before easing clear to inspire a 4-2 with Simon Lambert back in third spot.
High-scoring reserve Bradley Wilson-Dean continued his fine form with victory in a shared heat two after swooping round the outside on the opening lap.
Another blast around the wide line proved effective as Cameron Heeps became the first Witches race-winner in a re-run third instalment, but Panthers duo Ulrich Ostergaard and guest Lasse Bjerre packed the minor places.
The visitors restored parity as Schlein took victory in a 4-2 in heat four, but it didn’t stay that way for long as Panthers responded with the first 5-1 of the meeting.
Ostergaard and Bjerre, who was having a third ride on the trot, both sped round early leader James Sarjeant to roar clear with King left in a distant third spot.
Another gain quickly followed as Holder hunted down Schlein before scything down the inside of his fellow Aussie in the opening bend of the final lap, but Panthers were soon stopped in their tracks by a 5-1 from Heeps and Nico Covatti in heat seven.
The hosts looked set to reply in kind until visiting reserve Connor Mountain darted past Lambert for second place in heat eight. That move meant Panthers had to settle for a 4-2 with Wilson-Dean rocketing clear to his second success of the day.
Another one briefly looked on the cards in the next race as Bjerre blasted round Schlein to hit the front, but the visiting rider hit back to regain the lead and ensure a shared contest.
The spoils were also shared in heat 10 although Holder claimed victory in the battle of two unbeaten Aussies by scorching clear to inflict a first defeat of the afternoon on Heeps.
Two more deadlocks followed with Ipswich providing both race-winners in the form of King and Covatti.
But the run was broken in heat 13 when King inflicted a first and only defeat on rival number one Holder. The Panthers man did succeed in keeping Schlein in behind to reduce the damage to a 4-2 which brought the Witches back to within two points overall.
That was still the case following a Heeps success in the penultimate race and Holder’s brilliance in the finale ensured Peterborough were victorious.
A busy spell of racing continues with a trip to Sheffield on Thursday (April 20).
PETERBOROUGH PANTHERS: Jack Holder 14, Ulrich Ostergaard 10, Bradley Wilson-Dean 9+3, Lasse Bjerre (guest) 8+3, Simon Lambert 5, Tom Bacon 0, Rider replacement for Kenneth Hansen.
IPSWICH: Cameron Heeps 11, Rory Schlein 11, Danny King 10+1, Nico Covatti 6+2, Connor Mountain 4+1, Danyon Hume 2, James Sarjeant 0.
1 – Holder (61.4), King, Lambert, Sarjeant. 4-2, 4-2.
2 – Wilson-Dean (62.6), Hume, Mountain, Bacon. 3-3, 7-5.
3 – re-run Heeps (61.1), Ostergaard, Bjerre, Covatti. 3-3, 10-8.
4 – Schlein (61.5), Bjerre, Mountain, Bacon. 2-4, 12-12.
5 – Ostergaard (61.7), Bjerre, King, Sarjeant. 5-1, 17-13
6 – Holder (61.8), Schlein, Lambert, Hume. 4-2, 21-15.
7 – Heeps (62.7), Covatti, Ostergaard, Wilson-Dean. 1-5, 22-20.
8 – re-run Wilson-Dean (63.3), Mountain, Lambert, Sarjeant. 4-2, 26-22.
9 – Schlein (61.3), Ostergaard, Bjerre, Hume. 3-3, 29-25.
10 – Holder (62.8), Heeps, Covatti, Lambert. 3-3, 32-28.
11 – King (62.2), Lambert, Wilson-Dean, Mountain. 3-3, 35-31.
12 – Covatti (63.2), Bjerre, Wilson-Dean, Hume. 3-3, 38-34.
13 – King (62.6), Holder, Schlein, Bacon. 2-4, 40-38.
14 – Heeps (63.1), Ostergaard, Wilson-Dean, Mountain. 3-3, 43-41.
15 – Holder (63.3), Schlein, King, Bjerre. 3-3, 46-44.