BAD BREAK FOR SIMON IN KO CUP EXIT

Sunday July 03, 2016
PETERBOROUGH saw their Premier League KO Cup exit become all the more painful when losing high-scoring star Simon Lambert to injury on Sunday.

The ‘T Balfe Construction’ Panthers slipped to a 38-52 reverse at the hands of Somerset in the second leg of a quarter-final tie at the East of England Showground. That completed a miserable 114-66 defeat on aggregate.

The meeting was delayed for just over an hour following a nasty heat three crash in which Lambert came to grief after clipping the machine of partner Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen.

Lincolnshire lad Lambert was treated by track paramedics before being taken to hospital where it was confirmed he suffered a broken left hand.

But team boss Jason Attwood refused to use the loss of an influential rider for a below-par performance and a third home defeat of the 2016 campaign.

Attwood said: “It was a massive shame to see Simon hurt in a really nasty crash.

“He has been in brilliant form lately with a stack of high scores and there is no doubt we will miss him.

“But losing Simon is not an excuse for the performance and result. I take a look at our scorecard and see far too many zeros because we carried too many passengers.

“We also provided only six heat winners and had just two advantages – those statistics speak for themselves.

“If a team doesn’t get wins and advantages, they are not going to win a speedway meeting and unfortunately that was the case for us again.

“I’m very disappointed as it is the first home defeat of my time in charge and I can assure everyone it is not a nice feeling.”

Number one Craig Cook, captain Ulrich Ostergaard and Busk Jakobsen provided two wins apiece to make up Panthers’ half-a-dozen successes.

Their two advantages came in back-to-back races as Ostergaard triumphed in heat four and Busk Jakobsen took the flag in heat five with an early four-point deficit being cancelled out.

But KO Cup holders Somerset quickly got themselves back in front and eased clear to complete their smooth passage into the semi-finals.

The Peterborough focus now shifts back to their mission to secure a play-off place in the Premier League.

They return to league action with two crucial home meetings in the space of four days – entertaining struggling Scunthorpe on Tuesday, July 12 before hosting Berwick on Friday, July 15.

Attwood added: “We’re not a bad team as we proved recently by winning six meetings in a row, but the two defeats against Somerset in the KO Cup tie have provided a huge wake-up call.

“The challenge now is to ensure we respond well and get back in the groove in the Premier League as we’re still in a very good position in the table.”

SCORES

PETERBOROUGH ‘T BALFE CONSTRUCTION’ PANTHERS: Craig Cook 12, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 9, Ulrich Ostergaard 7, Emil Grondal 6+1, Zdenek Holub 4+1, Tom Perry 0, Simon Lambert (withdrawn) 0.

SOMERSET: Rohan Tungate 12+1, Josh Grajczonek 11, Jake Allen 9+1, Charles Wright 8+1, Paul Starke 7+1, Bradley Wilson-Dean 4+1, Connor Mountain (guest) 1+1.

HEATS
1 - Grajczonek (59.2), Cook, Wilson-Dean, Perry. 2-4, 2-4.
2 - Allen (60.2), Grondal, Holub, Mountain. 3-3, 5-7.
3 - Wright (61.0), Busk Jakobsen, Starke, Lambert (fell/exc). 2-4, 7-11.
4 - Ostergaard (60.5), Tungate, Holub, Mountain. 4-2, 11-13.
5 - Busk Jakobsen (59.8), Grajczonek, Grondal, Wilson-Dean. 4-2, 15-15.
6 - Tungate (60.0), Cook, Allen, Perry. 2-4, 17-19.
7 - Ostergaard (61.6), Wright, Starke, Grondal. 3-3, 20-22.
8 - Allen (61.4), Grondal, Wilson-Dean, Holub. 2-4, 22-26.
9 - re-run Tungate (61.5), Allen, Busk Jakobsen, Grondal. 1-5, 23-31.
10 - re-run Cook (61.4), Starke, Wright, Perry. 3-3, 26-34.
11 - Grajczonek (61.9), Wilson-Dean, Ostergaard, Grondal. 1-5, 27-39.
12 - Busk Jakobsen (62.3), Wright, Mountain, Holub. 3-3, 30-42.
13 - Cook (61.9), Grajczonek, Tungate, Ostergaard. 3-3, 33-45.
14 - Starke (62.8), Holub, Grondal, Allen. 3-3, 36-48.
15 - Tungate (62.5), Cook, Grajczonek, Busk Jakobsen. 2-4, 38-52.

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