AN EIGHT-point lead was thrown away by Swindon Robins this evening as they slipped to a 50-40 loss against Peterborough Panthers at the East of England Showground.

The Robins made a flying start to tonight’s Premiership showdown in Cambridgeshire, but conceded 29 points in the concluding seven heats – gifting the hosts a deserved three points.

Swindon remain outside of the play-off frame as a result of tonight’s loss, and now face a 10-day break until their next Premiership meeting – away at King’s Lynn on July 1.

One change was made to the team that defeated Belle Vue Aces 55-35 at the Abbey Stadium on Monday, with David Bellego making his seasonal debut following his re-signing confirmation on Wednesday.

And the Frenchman made a dream start to his 2019 Robins campaign, pairing up with Jason Doyle for a Swindon 5-1 in heat one.

Home fans would’ve presumed that a Panthers 4-2 in the following race would settle any potential early nerves. But a second maximum for Rossiter’s Robins – courtesy of the inspired Rasmus Jensen and Adam Ellis – stretched the visitors’ lead to six points.

Ricky Wells upset the odds to claim heat four as Swindon led 15-9 by the first track break.

Panthers again made a step forward when Nicholls triumphed over Doyle and Wright in heat six. But several steps back were made when Batchelor and Perks paired up for Swindon’s third 5-1 of the evening a race later – Andersen nursed the bike around for a point after suffering from mechanical gremlins.

Trailing by eight points, Peterborough clawed two back as Rohan Tungate Panthers’ third heat win of the night. Jensen battled past Summers to restrict the hosts to a 4-2.

Few would’ve predicted the hosts’ charge that followed Bellego’s heat seven win, though. A 5-1 and a 4-2 brought the meeting level at 30 apiece following 10 heats – Charles Wright and Ricky Wells taking the flag in heats nine and 10 respectively.

Both teams remained deadlocked after heat 11 – largely thanks to Rohan Tungate’s spectacular blast around the outside of Doyle to earn his second win of the night.

But a determined ride from seven-times British Champion Scott Nicholls in heat 12 put the Panthers ahead for the first time. His move on Jensen was backed up by Wells’ third race win of the evening – putting the Panthers 38-34 ahead.

A second maximum followed, Andersen and Tungate getting the better of Batchelor and Doyle – who fell – in a blockbuster heat 13, before Wright’s daredevil ride in the following heat saw him go from fourth to first in the space of a lap.

Trailing by 10 points with a race to go, Robins boss Rossiter knew a 5-1 was required to poach a point from what had been a disappointing evening.

But pocket rocket Rohan Tungate denied the visitors any points, as Peterborough secured a final race 3-3 to confirm a 50-40 win.

Reaction to follow.