RYE HOUSE 41 PANTHERS 52

Monday September 07, 2015
PETERBOROUGH joint boss Carl Johnson watched his side storm to victory at Rye House tonight (Monday) and then admitted: “We needed that!”

The Readypower Panthers snapped a three-meeting losing streak with a convincing 52-41 success in their final away outing of the regular Premier League season.

With a play-off spot already in the bag, it was a well-timed return to form courtesy of a powerful all-round performance spearheaded by Emil Grondal.

The Danish ace piled up a paid 16-point haul in his first-ever visit to the tight Hoddesdon track to earn plenty of plaudits.

Johnson said: “Emil’s efforts were nothing short of outstanding. To top-score from reserve when seeing a track for the first time is fantastic.

“He had a few mechanical problems when we lost at home to Somerset on Saturday, but he bounced back with a hell of a performance.

“It certainly wasn’t a one-man show though. This was a fine team effort up there with our best performances of the season – and it certainly ranks as one of the most important results as well.

“We really needed to win tonight after being so disappointing lately.

“We knew the last three meetings – going to Ipswich and Somerset, and then facing the Rebels at the Showground – would be extremely difficult.

“It was the manner in which we lost them that really hurt, but we have put those setbacks behind us now.

“And we need to build on this result by making sure we end the regular season with another win at our place on Sunday to go into the play-offs full of confidence.”

Grondal was one of three Panthers riders to roar into double-figures as they put a weakened Rye House side to the sword.

His close friend, latest signing Anders Thomsen, continued an accomplished start to his Panthers career with a paid 13-point haul. Just as during his debut on Saturday, he claimed a couple of races wins in the process.

Another recent recruit, Ben Barker, ensured he joined them by winning the finale and denying Rockets number one Edward Kennett a five-ride maximum in the process.

That was Kennett’s sole reverse on a night when he piled up a tactical ride-boosted 17 points, but he was woefully lacking in support.

The same certainly could not be said of Panthers who scored solidly in all areas. Michael Palm Toft bagged paid nine at a venue where he regularly excels and Premier League Riders’ Championship winner Ulrich Ostergaard added a valuable half-a-dozen points which included a triumph over former Peterborough rider Robert Lambert in heat five.

And Rafal Konopka was paid for five points at reserve with a couple of pleasing rides being split by back-to-back exclusions.

He followed in Grondal for a 5-1 in heat two which blasted Panthers ahead and they remained in the driving seat from then on.

Panthers’ high-scoring at the bottom-end of the team was in stark contrast to the struggles of their hosts. Rockets reserve pair of Dan Greenwood and guest Marc Owen could contribute only one points from 10 outings between them.

Panthers entertain Scunthorpe in the final meeting of the regular season on Sunday (September 13). The tapes go up at 3pm to avoid a fixture clash with the Peterborough Phantoms ice hockey team later in the day.

SCORES

RYE HOUSE 41: Edward Kennett 17, Robert Lambert 9+1, Nikolaj Jakobsen 8, Kasper Lykke 6+1, Dan Greenwood 1, Marc Owen (guest) 0, Rider replacement for Luke Bowen.

READYPOWER PANTHERS 52: Emil Grondal 15+1, Anders Thomsen 11+2, Ben Barker 10, Michael Palm Toft 7+2, Ulrich Ostergaard 6+1, Rafal Konopka 3+2, Rider replacement for Simon Lambert.

Picture: IAN BUSH

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