PANTHERS BOW OUT

Friday October 09, 2015
PETERBOROUGH saw their Premier League adventure come to an end tonight (Friday).

The Readypower Panthers went down 58-32 in the second leg of their play-offs semi-final showdown against reigning champions Edinburgh to bow out 102-78 on aggregate.

They were unable to repeat the heroics of their August triumph at Armadale as they could provide only two race-winners and collect two heat advantages.

Promoter Ged Rathbone was left disappointed by the manner of the club’s exit and insists the work will immediately begin on making 2016 an even better year.

“It certainly wasn’t the way we wanted the season to end,” said Rathbone.

“We were beaten by the better team, who will probably go on to win the title, and sometimes in sport you have to accept that.

“But we didn’t turn up and we didn’t make our presence felt - a massive shame on such an important night.

“A lot of people will feel we have done fantastically well to get so far after overcoming so many obstacles, but I’ve never been happy after a defeat and I’m certainly not going to start now.

“The job now is to regroup and think about how we can make next season better by getting ourselves into a position to win the league rather than bow out in the semi-finals.”

Peterborough went into battle in Scotland in possession of a two-point aggregate lead, but that was wiped out in the opening race as Monarchs maximum man Craig Cook claimed the first of his five victories.

A 5-1 for the hosts’ German pairing of fit-again Kevin Wolbert and Erik Riss then put Panthers behind overall.

They did briefly stem the tide with a 4-2 in heat five courtesy of guest number one Rohan Tungate’s triumph and a third place for top-scorer Michael Palm Toft.

But they were well adrift by the time the same duo combined for another 4-2 in heat 11 – this time MPT taking the flag with his Australian partner back in third.

And, when Wolbert got the better of Anders Thomsen, to earn Edinburgh a 4-2 in heat 12, Panthers’ fate was sealed.

Rathbone added: “Michael put in a good performance and Ben Barker gave his all as he always does, but they were lacking support from the rest of the team.

“One or two riders looked like they were concentrating on doing four laps rather than winning races.

“We have had to deal with so many injury problems during the course of the season and we have always kept on fighting, but I felt we really missed Ulrich Ostergaard on and off the track tonight.”

The next event for Panthers is a fans’ forum at the East of England Showground on Tuesday (8pm start) at which all members of the club's management will be in attendance.

Rathbone is also looking into the possibility of staging another home meeting with next Friday (October 16) or next Sunday (October 18) suggested as possible dates.

Further details will be announced when possible.

SCORES

EDINBURGH: Craig Cook 15 (max), Kevin Wolbert 12+2, Sam Masters 9, Justin Sedgmen 7+1, Erik Riss 7, Max Clegg 6+1, Rob Branford 2.

READYPOWER PANTHERS: Michael Palm Toft 9, Ben Barker 8, Rohan Tungate (guest) 4, Simon Lambert 4, Anders Thomsen 3, Emil Grondal 2+1, Rafal Konopka 2.
Picture: RON MacNEILL

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