Speedway Report: Peterborough panthers 45 Sheffield Tigers 48

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Sensational Sheffield claimed arguably their most impressive win of the season with a 48-45 success over powerhouse Peterborough at the East of England Showground.

Inspirational No.1 Josh Grajczonek performed last heat heroics to ensure the tenacious Tigers emerged victorious despite a late Panthers’ onslaught.

The Aussie ace saw off former Grand Prix star Chris Harris and the previously unbeaten Jack Holder to prevail in a tense last-heat decider alongside partner Josh Bates.

It capped off a memorable afternoon for the Owlerton outfit who thrived in the sunshine to secure three SGB Championship points.

The fast-starting Grajczonek roared clear in heats one and five and was supported by Todd Kurtz on both occasions as the visitors got off to a breathtaking start.

With Bates brilliantly splitting Paul Starke and Ulrich Ostergaard to join partner Lasse Bjerre at the front for a 5-1 in heat three, the Tigers quickly moved 10 ahead.

A tactical ride success from big name Harris nonetheless put the home side right back in it – but Simon Stead’s determined side worked hard to keep their noses in front amidst some thrilling racing.

Yet Peterborough chipped away at the deficit – and when the flying Holder took the chequered flag in heat 13 to give them a slender lead the Tigers’ hopes were dashed.

They would not be deterred, however, with Bates blasting to the front in the penultimate race whilst guesting young gun James Shanes sliced underneath Richard Hall on the second lap for third to give them the upper hand heading into the final race.

Grajczonek and Bates duly capped off a magnificent performance by doing the business against the Panthers’ big hitters under significant pressure.

Bates was involved in some thrilling action throughout the afternoon, most notably when he went wheel to wheel with Harris in heat 10 before having to settle for second place.

Lasse Bjerre also put in another strong showing in the engine room of the side, whilst skipper Kyle Howarth made a solid contribution despite appearing to lack speed.

With Robert Branford winning heat two, Kurtz picking up some crucial points and Shanes impressing in the No.7 spot the Tigers had the edge.

They ran just five last places with an excellent all-around team performance which will give them plenty of confidence ahead of Thursday’s home clash with the Panthers at Owlerton (7.30).

PETERBOROUGH 45: Jack Holder 14, Chris Harris 10, Paul Starke 7, Bradley Wilson-Dean 5, Ulrich Ostergaard 5, Richard Hall 3, Tom Bacon 1.

SHEFFIELD 48: Josh Grajczonek 13, Josh Bates 10+1, Lasse Bjerre 7+2, James Shanes 6+1, Kyle Howarth 6, Todd Kurtz 3, Robert Branford 3.