Friday April 24, 2015
PETERBOROUGH saw their slim hopes of Premier League Cup qualification come to an end on Friday – despite fine displays by two blasts from their past.

Guests Claus Vissing and Kenneth Hansen – who both represented the club in the 2009 season – roared into double-figures and won five races between them as the Readypower Panthers were beaten 53-40 in their final Southern Group outing at Somerset.

Panthers needed to pick up four league points at the Oaktree Arena to stand a slight chance of advancing to the latter stages, but they were never in contention to manage that despite the best efforts of their two borrowed Danes.

Berwick rider Vissing, replacing the unavailable Robert Lambert for the second successive night, topped the scorechart with a paid 14-point haul boosted by a successful tactical ride while Workington man Hansen, in at number one for injured Olly Allen, amassed 10 points in his first-ever visit to the tough West Country track.

But they were the only Peterborough riders able to take the chequered flag on a tough night which included only two heat advantages – a fifth heat 4-2 inspired by Hansen and a 10th heat 6-3 when Vissing completed his double-points mission.

The impact of his tactical ride was reduced though when he was left as Panthers’ sole representative in the re-run of that race after the club’s third guest, Nico Covatti, excluded for entering the pits after an unsatisfactory start – something now against the rules.

That summed up a tough night for the Argentinian ace who had only a second place in his final ride to show for his efforts – a far cry from the 14 points he had managed at the same venue for his own club, Ipswich, the previous week.

Second string Michael Palm Toft and Ollie Greenwood were also short of points although Simon Lambert scored solidly either side of a heat nine retirement and skipper Ulrich Ostergaard collected a hat-trick of second places.

Team boss Carl Johnson admitted: “Claus and Kenneth were particularly impressive, but we were beaten by a better team overall.

“I’ve got no complaints with the result although we are all disappointed to miss out on qualifying for the semi-finals.

“The poor start to the competition cost us dear, but the response was very pleasing and we can take plenty of positives out of it.

“Had we taken points at home against Somerset and Rye House, it would have been a different story.

“We have since proved we can either win or get competitive at all types of away tracks and I’m sure that will stand us in good stead for the league season which started so well with the win at Redcar on Thursday.”

One pleasing development for Panthers last night was the return to the track of Adam Roynon, who began his comeback from injury by getting in eight laps of the Oaktree Arena track following the completion of the main meeting.

Panthers swiftly turn their attention back to the league as they entertain Rye House at the East of England Showground on Sunday (5pm).

SOMERSET 53: Brady Kurtz 12+1, Josh Grajczonek 11+2, Richie Worrall 8, Charles Wright 7+1, Leigh Lanham 6+2, Paul Starke 5+1, Dan Greenwood 4

PETERBOROUGH 40: Claus Vissing 13+1, Kenneth Hansen 10, Ulrich Ostergaard 6, Simon Lambert 5+1, Michael Palm Toft 3+1, Nico Covatti 2, Ollie Greenwood 1+1.

League Cup points: Somerset 3 Peterborough 0


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