MICHAEL’S MAGIC NOT ENOUGH

Sunday June 28, 2015
A thrilling individual display from Michael Palm Toft couldn’t spare Peterborough from a Premier League home defeat today (Sunday).

The Readypower Panthers were pipped 47-43 by Plymouth despite the brilliant efforts of the Danish ace who treated the East of England faithful to a series of stunning blasts from the back.

Palm Toft reeled off four heat wins and all of them were achieved in swashbuckling style after he had started with a third place in heat three.

He produced brilliant darts down the inside of Kyle Newman and Jack Holder in heat five before taking to the outside to zoom past Morten Risager in heat nine.

And Palm Toft provided more heroics in the final two races when charging past Sam Simota and Todd Kurtz in the penultimate contest before leaving Holder and Newman again trailing in his wake in the finale.

But his efforts proved in vain as Panthers were beaten on their home shale for the second time in three meetings.

Palm Toft received solid support from guest number one Brady Kurtz, who racked up a hat-trick of heat wins of his own, but it was otherwise a frustrating afternoon as the Peterborough performance fell short of the standard expected.

Joint team boss Carl Johnson admitted: “The overall performance was not good enough and there are no excuses for it.

“We have to hold our hands up and accept we were beaten by the better team on the day. Plymouth got in front early on and were able to hold onto their lead.

“We missed the start on far too many occasions and it is not possible to keep coming through from the back.

“Granted the track is pretty inconsistent at the moment, but the guys are all professional riders and have to find a way to deal with it.

“We’ve bounced back from bad results before and I have every confidence we will do the same again.”

Plymouth had previously demonstrated their liking for the Alwalton circuit with a couple of narrow cup losses, but they made it third time lucky in league action.

They led from start to finish with two 5-1s in the opening four races opening up an eight-point advantage that Panthers were unable to claw back.

The hosts had to wait until heat six for their first advantage when Kurtz powered clear of Risager with Lewis Blackbird tucking into third spot.

Back-to-back 4-2s, inspired by successes from main men Palm Toft and Kurtz in heats nine and 10, then pulled Panthers back to within two points of the Devils.

But the momentum was lost when captain Ulrich Ostergaard was unable to prevent Holder and Newman grabbing a 5-1 in heat 11 after debutant Rafal Konopka had retired to complete a difficult first appearance in Panthers’ colours.

The deficit remained at six points despite a Robert Lambert triumph in heat 12 before Kurtz and Ostergaard ensured Panthers retained hope with a 4-2 in heat 13.

But they couldn’t make further inroads despite Palm Toft producing a pair of stunning successes in the final two races.

He and Kurtz required a 5-1 in the finale to dramatically snatch a draw, but the guest number one was unable to make an impression.

Panthers remain third in the Premier League table but have a seven-day wait for an opportunity to return to winning ways.

They entertain bottom side Redcar at the Showground next Sunday (July 5) in a meeting which will start at the earlier time of 3pm.

SCORES

READYPOWER PANTHERS: Michael Palm Toft 13+1, Brady Kurtz (guest) 9, Robert Lambert 6, Simon Lambert 5+1, Lewis Blackbird 5, Ulrich Ostergaard 5, Rafal Konopka 0.

PLYMOUTH: Jack Holder 11+2, Morten Risager 9, Kyle Newman 8+2, Sam Simota 7+3, Todd Kurtz 6, Ryan Fisher 5+2, Matt Williamson (guest) 1+1.

Picture: STEVE HONE

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