Friday March 27, 2015
PETERBOROUGH suffered a second successive home defeat after losing number one Olly Allen to a suspected broken right leg and ankle last night (March 27).

The Readypower Panthers were beaten 51-40 by Rye House at the East of England Showground in a meeting marred by Allen's heat six exit following a heavy crash.

He was taken to Peterborough City Hospital after coming down when attempting to dart around the outside of visiting rider Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen in the opening bend of the second lap.

The Rockets held a narrow advantage at the time and went on to take command to earn four away points.

Panthers were cursed by further bad luck as skipper Ulrich Ostergaard and guest reserve Simon Nielsen both suffered broken chains – Ostergaard being thrown to the deck in heat 13 – while Robert Lambert also came down when out in front on a heat nine tactical ride.

“The luck we are having is laughable,” said Panthers team manager Carl Johnson. “I’ve never experienced anything like it and hopefully it will change.

“Losing Olly was a massive blow for everyone. I spoke to the referee Jim Lawrence about what happened as I felt the Rye House rider ran him into the fence, but he didn’t agree.

“Olly was in a lot of pain and sadly it looks like he will be out long-term so we will have to consider the options open to us going forward.

“We have to address our home form because being beaten twice at the Showground in the space of a few days is unacceptable despite the problems we’ve had.

“We owe it to the management who worked so hard during the winter and to our supporters to be getting results on our own track.”

The writing was on the wall from a relatively early stage last night as Panthers were behind from start to finish. A catalogue of last places – 12 in all including crashes and retirements – proved extremely costly.

The meeting wasn’t without positives though as Ostergaard reled off a hat-trick of heat wins in his opening three riders before seeing his hopes of a maximum ended by that heat 13 crash when battling with Rockets guest number one Sam Masters.

Fortunately the skipper was able to walk away and return to the track to sign off with a flourish when watching the back of the excellent Lambert in a heat 15 maximum.

That was also a third victory of the night for the 16 year-old sensation who top-scored with 12+1 - and it would than likely have been four successes had he not tumbled when out in front in his tactical ride.

Panthers were on an 8-1 at the time which would have reduced their deficit to just three points, but they had to settle for a 5-2 as Lewis Blackbird held off Luke Bowen with Lambert remounting to take a distant third. Busk Jakobsen retired after taking evasive action to avoid Lambert.

That was the first of back-to-back heat wins from Blackbird in his final two rides as he continued his encouraging return to action, but it was a tough night for second string Michael Palm Toft and the reserve duo of Ollie Greenwood and guest Simon Nielsen.

Palm Toft was unable to beat an opponent while collecting three points from four rides although he did earn a big cheer from the Showground limping round for a lap-and-a-half with a puncture in the re-run of heat six.

Greenwood roared to victory in heat two, but they proved to be his only points in a six-ride shift while Nielsen, in for Simon Lambert who was on Elite League duty with Leicester, was gifted his only point when heat 13 was awarded after Ostergaard’s spill. The Dane had earlier suffered bad fortune in heat when retiring from second place due to a broken chain.

Readypower Panthers return to action on Good Friday with an afternoon visit to Ipswich followed by an evening return clash at the Showground.

READYPOWER PANTHERS: Robert Lambert 12+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 11+1, Lewis Blackbird 8, Michael Palm Toft 3, Ollie Greenwood 3, Olly Allen 2 (withdrawn) Simon Nielsen (guest) 1.

RYE HOUSE ROCKETS: Robin Aspegren 8+2, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 8+1, Sam Masters (guest) 8, Steve Boxall 8, Kasper Lykke 7+4, Luke Bowen 7+2, Anders Mellgren 5+2.

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