ANOTHER SHOWGROUND SETBACK

Friday August 26, 2016
PETERBOROUGH suffered a sixth home defeat of 2016 on Friday night.

The ‘T Balfe Construction’ Panthers had no answer to play-off rivals Newcastle, who swept to a 54-38 victory at the East of England Showground.

The visiting team slammed in five 5-1s in the space of seven races to take command and complete a six-day double over Peterborough. They also triumphed 59-34 when the two sides met in the North-East last Sunday.

The hosts could provide only five race victories and two heat advantages on another sorry night on their own track as major investment in new shale, to create a grippier surface, did not have the desired effect.

Four of those successes were provided by number one Craig Cook, who delivered a sparkling personal display while powering to 17 points – almost half of the team’s total – while captain Ulrich Ostergaard also got in on the act in heat 11.

Cook also clocked the fastest time of the season when roaring to victory in the opening race in 58.9 seconds – a feat matched by visiting rider and fellow British finalist Steve Worrall a few minutes later in the fourth heat.

Panthers collected a 4-2 in that first contest as Emil Grondal held off Victor Palovaara for third spot, and they looked on course for another advantage with Ashley Morris leading the way when heat two was halted.

Newcastle reserve Danny Phillips hit the deck – the first of three crashes he suffered on the night – and referee Stuart Wilson slapped on the red lights even though the rider, who is a Peterborough asset, was in the process of clearing the track.

It was a different story in the re-run as Diamonds man Lewis Rose went tapes to flag to ensure the spoils were shared and the visitors soon hit the front as Matej Kus and Ludvig Lindgren slammed in the first of their salvo of 5-1s in heat three.

Panthers were 18 points adrift by the time they deployed Cook on a successful tactical ride in heat 10, but they could only claim a 6-3 in that race as Grondal was stuck at the rear in what proved to be his final race for the club.

The release of Grondal and Tom Perry was announced by promoter Ged Rathbone during the interval, and with the blessing of both outgoing riders.

Perry did have a final ride to complete in heat 12 and produced his best effort of the night to take second spot, but the 3-3 outcome in that race won by Kus confirmed Newcastle’s victory overall.

It also left Peterborough in urgent need of an immediate upturn in form as they did to preserve their status inside the top six with the play-offs looming large.

A new-look Panthers septet, containing Anders Thomsen and Danny Halsey, will be back in action on Bank Holiday Monday when entertaining Redcar at the East of England Showground, 7pm.

SCORES

PETERBOROUGH ‘T BALFE CONSTRUCTION’ PANTHERS: Craig Cook 17, Ulrich Ostergaard 7, Zdenek Holub 4+2, Ashley Morris 4+1, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 3, Tom Perry 2, Emil Grondal 1.

NEWCASTLE: Ludvig Lindgren 12, Matej Kus 10+1, Steve Worrall 10, Lewis Rose 8+2, Robert Lambert 7+2, Victor Palovaara 7+1, Danny Phillips 0.

HEATS
1 - Cook (58.9), Lambert, Grondal, Palovaara. 4-2, 4-2.
2 - re-run Rose (60.8), Holub, Morris, Phillips (fell/exc). 3-3, 7-5.
3 - Kus (59.4), Lindgren, Busk Jakobsen, Perry (ret). 1-5, 8-10.
4 - Worrall (58.9), Ostergaard, Holub, Phillips (fell). 3-3, 11-13.
5 - Palovaara (59.8), Lambert, Busk Jakobsen, Perry. 1-5, 12-18.
6 - Cook (59.1), Worrall, Rose, Grondal. 3-3, 15-21.
7 - Kus (60.6), Lindgren, Ostergaard, Holub (ret). 1-5, 16-26.
8 - Palovaara (59.9), Rose, Morris, Grondal. 1-5, 17-31.
9 - Worrall (59.7), Rose, Busk Jakobsen, Perry. 1-5, 18-36.
10 - Cook (t/r, 59.8), Lindgren, Kus, Grondal. 6-3, 24-39.
11 - re-run Ostergaard (60.3), Lambert, Palovaara, Morris (ret). 3-3, 27-42.
12 - Kus (61.0), Perry, Holub, Rose. 3-3, 30-45.
13 - Cook (59.9), Worrall, Lambert, Ostergaard. 3-3, 33-48.
14 - re-run Lindgren (62.3), Morris, Busk Jakobsen (fell/exc), Phillips (fell/exc). 2-3, 35-51.
15 - Lindgren (60.5), Cook, Ostergaard, Worrall (fell). 3-3, 38-54.

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