PANTHERS GET STUNG

Tuesday July 12, 2016
PETERBOROUGH suffered a miserable return to Premier League action when being beaten by struggling Scunthorpe tonight (July 12).

The ‘T Balfe Construction’ Panthers missed the chance to go back to the top of the table when going down 46-44 to a Scorpions side, who climbed off the bottom thanks to their success at the East of England Showground.

Peterborough’s top performers, captain Ulrich Ostergaard and number one Craig Cook, came agonisingly close to claiming the 5-1 required in the final race to salvage a draw.

Ostergaard took victory, but Cook couldn’t get the necessary drive during a race-long charge around the boards to get the better of Scunthorpe skipper Josh Auty, who held on for second spot with Panthers having to settle for a 4-2.

Peterborough team boss Jason Attwood admitted: “We always knew it was going to be a difficult night and we were struggling from the word go.

“We were behind almost all night and although we got level at one point, we could never quite get control of the meeting.

“Speedway is one of those sport’s that is full of what ifs and maybes, but I’m not going to start pointing the finger at any individuals.

“We win as a team and we lose as a team, and now the challenge is to put it right.”

Cook and Ostergaard both contributed 11 points to the Peterborough cause while Emil Grondal climbed back into the main body of the side with paid eight.

Short-term signing Ashley Morris made an encouraging debut at reserve with paid seven while his partner, Tom Stokes, also added a couple of points from his three outings.

But the middle-order pairing of Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen and Tom Perry both had tough nights as they managed just eight points between them from eight rides.

The key man on show was Scunthorpe reserve Michael Palm Toft, who returned to haunt his old club.

The former Peterborough rider roared to four wins in a 15+1 haul as the visitors led for the vast majority of the meeting.

Attwood added: “We knew Michael would be a danger and we knew he would probably end up getting seven rides – both of those things proved to be true.

“We’ve been spoilt ourselves with having riders at reserve who are capable of hitting double-figures, and it certainly made a big difference for Scunthorpe.”

Peterborough have a quick chance to redeem themselves when hosting title-chasing Berwick on Friday (7.30pm).

Sheffield star Simon Stead has been called up as a guest for number one Craig Cook, who is on Elite League duty.

Attwood thanked Tigers promoter Damian Bates for granting permission to speak to Stead, who started his career by emerging from the Peterborough junior system of the late 1990s.

Club bosses are still considering their options at reserve to cover for Holub.

SCORES

PETERBOROUGH ‘T BALFE CONSTRUCTION’ PANTHERS: Craig Cook 11+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 11, Emil Grondal 7+1, Ashley Morris 5+2, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 5, Tom Perry 3, Tom Stokes 2+1.

SCUNTHORPE: Michael Palm Toft 15+1, Josh Auty 10+1, Carl Wilkinson 9, Ryan Douglas 8, Lewis Kerr 2+1, Josh Bailey 2, Rider replacement for Alex Davies.

HEATS
1 - re-run Wilkinson (61.3), Cook, Grondal, Douglas (fell/exc). 3-3, 3-3.
2 - Palm Toft (62.0), Morris, Bailey, Stokes. 2-4, 5-7.
3 - Wilkinson (62.1), Kerr, Perry, Busk Jakobsen. 1-5, 6-12.
4 - Ostergaard (62.0), Auty, Stokes, Bailey. 4-2, 10-14.
5 - re-run Douglas (62.6), Busk Jakobsen, Wilkinson, Perry. 2-4, 12-18.
6 - re-run x2 Cook (60.5), Auty, Grondal, Palm Toft. 4-2, 16-20.
7 - Ostergaard (62.3), Morris, Bailey, Kerr (ret). 5-1, 21-21.
8 - Palm Toft (62.2), Grondal, Wilkinson, Morris. 2-4, 23-25.
9 - Auty (62.6), Palm Toft, Busk Jakobsen, Perry. 1-5, 24-30.
10 - Grondal (62.7), Cook, Palm Toft, Kerr. 5-1, 29-31.
11 - Douglas (63.0), Ostergaard, Wilkinson, Morris. 2-4, 31-35.
12 - re-run Palm Toft (63.5), Busk Jakobsen, Stokes, Kerr (15m). 3-3, 34-38.
13 - Cook (62.7), Douglas, Auty, Ostergaard. 3-3, 37-41.
14 - Palm Toft (63.6), Perry, Morris, Kerr. 3-3, 40-44.
15 - Ostergaard (62.6), Auty, Cook, Douglas. 4-2, 44-46.

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