UPBEAT IN DEFEAT

Friday August 28, 2015
PETERBOROUGH suffered defeat at the hands of fellow play-off challengers for the second successive night.

The Readypower Panthers were beaten 57-35 at Somerset last night (Friday) – but it wasn’t a meeting without positives.

Skipper Ulrich Ostergaard roared into double-figures in only his second meeting after several weeks out with a broken hand while recent recruit Ben Barker and guest Carl Wilkinson – in for the unavailable Michael Palm Toft - scored solidly.

Barker (heat four) and Ostergaard (heat 15) provided Panthers’ two race wins at the Oak Tree Arena while the captain’s triumph in the finale also secured their only heat advantage of the night.

But joint team boss Carl Johnson stressed his side’s performance was worthy of a closer scoreline than the eventual 22-point margin between the sides.

“The scoreline doesn’t reflect how well we did at a very tough place to go,” said Johnson.

“We kept things very close in the opening few heats before Somerset managed to build a lead.

“And while they proved too strong in the end, we gave a much better account of ourselves than we managed the previous night even though we didn't win enough races.

“It is obviously disappointing to lose heavily on successive nights given how good our away record has been this season, but it is a tough time for us with riders coming back from injury and another having call it a day.

“Ulrich felt much better on the bike than he did 24 hours earlier and that is a huge positive for us. He looked quick and that is encouraging.

“Simon Lambert is not 100 per cent either after his injury and I pulled him out of his last ride after two busy nights on the trot.

“We probably missed ‘Tofty’ in all honesty as he rode so well at Somerset in the Premier League Pairs, but we need to move on and focus on getting back on track.”

Reserve Paul Starke top-scored for the hosts with a paid 13 haul from a full seven-ride shift after bottom-end partner Ollie Greenwood - the former Panthers man - had crashed out in heat two.

Somerset’s success lifted them into second spot in the Premier League standings with Panthers’ hopes of grabbing that position also still alive.

The teams do battle again in a Bank Holiday Monday showdown at the East of England Showground (3pm) when new signing Anders Thomsen is set to make his Peterborough debut.

SCORES

SOMERSET: Paul Starke 11+2, Josh Grajczonek 10+1, Brady Kurtz 9+1, Rasmus Jensen 9+1, Charles Wright 9, Richie Worrall 9, Ollie Greenwood 0 (withdrawn).

READYPOWER PANTHERS: Ulrich Ostergaard 11+1, Ben Barker 8, Carl Wilkinson (guest) 7, Emil Grondal 4+2, Simon Lambert 4, Rafal Konopka 1+1, Rider replacement for Lewis Blackbird.

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