PETERBOROUGH 43 LIONS 47

29/05/2023

PETERBOROUGH 43 LIONS 47

LEICESTER secured their first away win since returning to the top-flight with a thrilling 47-43 triumph at Peterborough.

The Watling JCB took all three points away from the East of England Arena with both match and aggregate points to move into third place in the Sports Insure Premiership table.

Lions No.1 Max Fricke was the hero in a dramatic last heat decider as he produced a sensational move to pass both Niels-Kristian Iversen and Michael Palm Toft to ensure the visitors took the win.

Fricke won four of his five races, and his combination with fellow countryman Justin Sedgmen once again proved crucial as the pair produced two 5-1s.

The Aussie duo got the Lions off to the perfect start with a maximum in Heat 1, a result which was replicated by Richard Lawson and guest Kyle Howarth in Heat 3 to put the Lions into an early eight-point lead.

The Panthers lost Benjamin Basso to a hand injury but they did fight back strongly, and a 5-1 from Ben Cook and Michael Palm Toft in Heat 6 cut the gap to just two points after Nick Morris lifted on turn two as Palm Toft took advantage.

A tense contest then developed with the unlucky Dan Thompson just missing out on the line for third place against Hans Andersen in Heat 8 and then coming to grief after the chequered flag.

Thompson, who had ridden strongly for a score of paid-four, was able to walk into the ambulance but unfortunately now faces a mandatory period of 12 days out due to concussion.

Lawson held off a hard charging Palm Toft to win Heat 10 before the Lions made what appeared a crucial move as Fricke and Sedgmen combined to squeeze out Sedgmen for a 5-1 in Heat 11.

The Panthers responded in Heat 12 as Iversen won a tactical substitute ride, but Richie Worrall was kept at the back by Lawson and Jake Allen.

Heat 13 produced plenty of drama with Morris holding his nerve superbly to defeat Iversen whilst Fricke crucially moved inside Palm Toft for third place to put the Lions eight points up.

But the Panthers charged back in Heat 14 with a big 5-1 from Worrall and Andersen, meaning a repeat performance in the decider would set up a Super Heat.

And for a time that looked like exactly what would happen as Palm Toft came through to join Iversen up front – only for Fricke to produce a wonderful ride to pass Palm Toft on the outside and then charge under Iversen to go from third to first and seal a Lions victory.

Team boss Stewart Dickson said: “Max will get the plaudits for winning Heat 15, and we knew gate three wasn’t great and Peterborough would go for two and four.

“The plan was to put our strongest rider off the inside gate and get the win, but for the first lap or so it looked rather interesting!

“But we got there in the end, and Richard scored well and got us paid 10 despite not being fully fit. All round it was a really good performance and a deserved win.

“Dan took a sore one after Heat 8 and suffered a bit of concussion, so we send him our best wishes but the rest of the boys pulled together and got us over the line for the three points.

“We had a big support here tonight, I was very pleased to see the backing we had, and the fans were rewarded with the Lions doing the business.”

PETERBOROUGH 43: Niels-Kristian Iversen 14, Richie Worrall 8, Hans Andersen 7+3, Michael Palm Toft 6+2, Ben Cook 4+1, Jordan Jenkins 3, Benjamin Basso 1.
LEICESTER 47: Max Fricke 13, Richard Lawson 9+1, Justin Sedgmen 7+2, Jake Allen 7, Nick Morris 5+1, Kyle Howarth 3+2, Dan Thompson 3+1.
Leicester win aggregate point

Photo credit: JEFF DAVIES

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