Swindon 49 Peterborough 41
The Robins earn eight-point advantage - but only after protest
In a meeting that was tight from the outset, the Robins constructed an advantage in the latter stages and will have been satisfied with their overall eight-point victory.
That after Ronnie Russell officially protested at Troy Batchelor's absense had given Peterborough the opportunity to strengthen their team with a guest rider.
The former Robin had been given permission to miss the fixture due to a commitment in Hungary on Saturday - but Russell thought that unfair.
"It was an illegal line-up as far as we're concerned, and we've done the right thing by the club and our fans," Russell told SWTV - see interview above.
Polish youngster Grzegorz Zengota topped the Robins’ score-card as he notched an excellently acquired paid thirteen point haul. He was well supported by Swindon Captain Leigh Adams who carded paid twelve, whilst Simon Stead amassed paid nine from his four-ride schedule.
Peterborough’s score-card was headed by a fantastic thirteen point score from Danish International Kenneth Bjerre. The pint-sized racer showed lashings of speed throughout and utilised an array of Blunsdon’s racing lines throughout the evening.
A terrific opening encounter got proceedings underway as Swindon Captain Leigh Adams battled with Peterborough’s Kenneth Bjerre. The Panthers No.1 conjured a lightening fast start to lead the chasing pack and despite Adams best efforts he was unable to forge a route past the diminutive Dane.
A textbook Swindon 5-1 ensued in heat two as Thomas H. Jonasson and Jordan Frampton combined wonderfully. The Robins’ pairing lead in the early stages, and whilst Jonasson blazed a trail out-front, Frampton was able to successfully fend off the advances of the Peterborough duo.
Grzegorz Zengota collected a tapes-to-flag victory in the third and rode well to repel the advances of both Edward Kennett and Rory Schlein. The resultant 3-3 maintained Swindon’s early four point advantage.
Peterborough gained their first heat advantage in the ensuing encounter as the Panthers’ pairing of Adam Shields and Craig Cook combined. Robins’ No.5 Simon Stead challenged Adam Shields in the early stages but was unable to pass the super-quick Aussie.
A characteristically smooth victory for Kenneth Bjerre followed in race five, the Dane fended off pressure from Mads Korneliussen in the early stages.
Leigh Adams and Morten Risager notched a 4-2 in race six as Swindon moved into a four-point lead. Risager gathered momentum as the race progressed and tussled with Adam Shields in the latter stages but was ultimately unable to pass the guest rider.
Peterborough struck back with an excellently acquired 4-2 in heat seven as Edward Kennett blasted past Simon Stead on the second lap to gain victory. Rory Schlein’s third placed finish secured a Panthers’ 4-2.
Schlein took victory in heat eight and with the Swindon pairing of Morten Risager and Thomas H. Jonasson filling the minor placing, the Robins’ retained their two-point advantage.
Grzegorz Zengota’s solid night continued as he eased to a race nine win and a third place for Mads Korneliussen secured a Robins’ 4-2.
Rory Schlein out gated Leigh Adams in an absorbing heat ten.
The Peterborough heat-leader nipped underneath Adams on the back straight of the opening lap and rode shrewdly thereafter to fend of the advances of the Robins’ skipper. Meanwhile, Morten Risager came close to nipping past Edward Kennett in the final stages but the British rider held on third spot.
A jaw-dropping ride from Kenneth Bjerre and a third placed finish for Adam Shields saw Peterborough gain a 4-2 from heat eleven. Bjerre drove underneath Simon Stead in the mid stages to gain the ascendancy and displayed breathtaking speed.
Swindon’s youthful pairing of Thomas H. Jonasson and Grzegorz Zengota fired the Robins into a four-point lead with a fantastic 5-1 in the twelfth. Jonasson and Zengota lead in the early stages but rode sensibly for the duration as they successfully repelled a consistent charge from Rory Schlein.
A second successive Robins’ 5-1 in heat thirteen saw Ronnie Russell’s side move into an eight point lead. Leigh Adams and Simon Stead combined emphatically and halted the charge of Kenneth Bjerre
A Mads Korneliussen race win ensured a heat fourteen points point share as Swindon’s eight-point advantage remained untouched.
To conclude, a points share concluded proceedings as the Swindon duo of Adams and Zengota settled in behind a hard charging Kenneth Bjerre.
"Despite riding under protest, we went out on track and performed professionally throughout and I was very pleased with the way the boys rode," commented Swindon team-manager Ronnie Russell
"Our protest now goes to the BSPA who will decide what exactly the next stage well be. We feel that formally protesting is the right thing to have done for the club and our loyal supporters.
"Tonight the boys have done themselves proud and they’ve done the Swindon public proud.
"They were riding against a much different Peterborough side and against such a changed line-up I think we’ve done extremely well."
The Swindon promotion objected to the BSPA Management Committee decision to grant Peterborough a rider replacement facility for the absent Troy Batchelor.
Batchelor is due to ride in a Grand Prix Qualifying meeting at Miskolc, Hungary on Saturday. The Peterborough promotion having claimed that Batchelor would be unable to travel to the meeting in time for Friday practice if he took his place at Swindon on Thursday.
It is Swindon's contention that considering Mads Korneliussen and Morten Risager are due to ride in the same meeting and took their respective places at Blunsdon on Thursday disproves that theory.
A protest will now go the Speedway Control Board.
photos by Ian Lewis
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