PANTHERS SORRY AFTER HOME SLUMP

Saturday September 05, 2015
PETERBOROUGH saw their hopes of snatching second place in the Premier League ended by a heavy home defeat tonight.

The Readypower Panthers went down to 53-39 reverse at the hands of a Somerset side whose success ensured they clinched a runners-up finish behind table-toppers Edinburgh and a direct route in the play-off semi-finals.

Despite a promising debut from new signing Anders Thomsen, who won two races in his first outing for the club, and another all-action display from recent recruit Ben Barker, Peterborough slipped up on home shale for a sixth home time this season.

The latest loss was one which provoked an angry response and public apology from team boss Carl Johnson.

He said: “The performance we produced tonight was simply not good enough.

“I apologise on behalf of the management and riders to all our supporters and we will do everything we can to put it right.

“Fair play to Somerset, who are always superb at the Showground, and who really wanted the four league points, but we have to look at ourselves.

“To have only two heat advantages on our home track is unacceptable and we have been beaten here too many times this year.

“We spoke to the riders during the meeting and again afterwards . . . and we have made our feelings very clear.

“We have got to pick ourselves up and get the season going again.”

Panthers conceded 5-1s in two of the opening three races before Barker and Emil Grondal teamed up for a maximum of their own in the fourth contest as both men scythed past high-scoring Rebels reserve Paul Starke.

But three further Rebels 5-1s in the space of four heats left Panthers 16 points adrift at two-thirds distance.

Barker’s tactical ride attempt in heat 11 was thwarted by the fast-starting Brady Kurtz. The young Aussie has so often been a valuable asset to Panthers in a season where they have relied heavily on guests, but tonight he helped to put them to the sword.

Panthers had to settle for a 4-4 in that race which triggered a run of four successive shared heats as they sought to salvage some pride.

A second Thomsen triumph in heat 12 and a Michael Palm Toft success in heat 14 were among the highlights for the hosts before they signed off with just their second advantage of the night in the finale.

Top-scorer Barker brilliantly blazed around Charles Wright to triumph and Thomsen twice battled past Worrall to grab third and secure a 4-2.

Panthers are back in action when travelling to Rye House for their final away meeting of the regular season on Monday.

SCORES

READYPOWER PANTHERS: Ben Barker 11+1, Anders Thomsen 9, Michael Palm Toft 5+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 5, Emil Grondal 3+2, Simon Lambert 3+1, Rafal Konopka 3.

SOMERSET: Charles Wright 12+1, Paul Starke 11+3, Brady Kurtz 10+1, Rasmus Jensen 7+2, Richie Worrall 7+1, Josh Grajczonek 6, Luke Chessell (guest) 0.

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