DERBY DISAPPOINTMENT

Thursday August 27, 2015
PETERBOROUGH suffered a night to forget as their hopes of snatching second place in the Premier League were dealt a blow.

The Readypower Panthers crashed to their heaviest defeat of the season – 61-29 - against an Ipswich side who strengthened their grip on the final play-off spot.

Panthers could manage only one race win and one heat advantage in testing conditions at Foxhall. They were both provided by former Witches man Ben Barker in heat four.

Panthers were never able to recover after conceding 5-1s in the opening two races to a home side led by maximum man Danny King, who ended Barker’s 100 per cent start to his Peterborough career in heat six.

Panthers found themselves 18-points adrift by the time Barker was deployed on a tactical ride in heat nine, but any faint hopes of a comeback disappeared when he was excluded following a spill also involving Witches top-scorer Rohan Tungate.

Referee Paul Carrington inspected the track following that collision in the company of both captains, but was happy for the meeting to continue.

Joint Panthers boss Dale Allitt said: “It is never nice to lose a meeting heavily and we are all hurting.

“We apologise to our supporters who parted with their money to watch it and we need to do better for them.

“We were second best all over the track and got thrashed. It’s not the end of the world though as it didn’t happen in the play-offs.

“We’re not going to use the track as an excuse. We didn’t attack it hard enough early on and made life had for ourselves.

“Hopefully it will be a kick up the backside we need at a vital part of the season and we will aim to respond in the right way.”

Panthers reserve Rafal Konopka endured a particularly tough night as he hit the deck four times at Foxhall and was excluded twice.

Emil Grondal was also on the floor a couple of times in his first visit to Ipswich – once after being hit by home rider Gino Manzares in heat three and again in heat five when getting out of shape while leading.

Captain Ulrich Ostergaard found the going tough on his return from injury. Ostergaard scored four points before being pulled out of his final programmed ride in heat 13.

Simon Lambert took his place in that contest during a hectic seven-ride shift in just his second meeting back from more than a month out with a broken shoulder blade.

Michael Palm Toft delivered a steady display to top score for Panthers with 9+1 while Barker managed 8+1 despite that exclusion.

SCORES

IPSWICH: Rohan Tungate 13, Danny King 12 (max), Stefan Nielsen 9+1, Nico Covatti 8, Gino Manzares 7+2, Cameron Heeps 6+2, Ashley Morris 6+1.

READYPOWER PANTHERS: Michael Palm Toft 9+1, Ben Barker 8+1, Simon Lambert 5+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 4, Emil Grondal 2, Rafal Konopka 1, Rider replacement for Lewis Blackbird.

PETERBOROUGH have an immediate opportunity to atone for their East Anglian derby defeat when travelling to Somerset tonight (7.30pm).

It is the first of two showdowns against the Rebels over the Bank Holiday weekend with a mouth-watering Monday return clash at the East of England Showground when latest signing Anders Thomsen makes his Readypower Panthers debut.

Picture: STEPHEN WALLER

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