Saturday March 31, 2018
PETERBOROUGH are building up to a big Easter Sunday clash with local rivals Ipswich at the East of England Arena (7pm).

It’s a repeat of last season’s KO Cup Final in which the T.Balfe Construction Panthers pulled off a dramatic four-point aggregate win whilst the Witches cursed their misfortune with injuries.

This time, Championship Shield points are on the line and Panthers will be desperate to add three more to last week’s win over Lakeside, before they hit the road for the away fixtures in the group next week.

Ipswich track a familiar-looking side with six of their 2017 starters returning to Foxhall this season, although that side was hit by injuries as the campaign progressed.

Former British Champion Danny King and fellow heat-leader Rory Schlein are both former Panthers riders, whilst Nico Covatti and reserve Danyon Hume are back in the fold after seeing their seasons come to an early end last year.

The only genuine newcomer is German rider Michael Haertel, who is tipped for a bright future as he makes his debut in UK speedway this season.

The Witches were frustrated by the weather on Good Friday, with their home and away clashes with Lakeside both washed out, so this will be their first outing as a team in 2018.

Panthers track an unchanged line-up from the 46-44 win against the Hammers, and boss Carl Johnson expects the competitive group action to continue.

He said: “We’re in a group with three very different tracks, including Lakeside, and we need to put ourselves in a position where we’re going into the away matches with confidence.

“It was important to get a win last week and we’ve got to be confident we can do the same again on Sunday, although Ipswich are a tough side with riders who know our track very well.

“There’s still plenty of improvement to come from us, and it will take a few meetings to find out exactly where we are, but certainly the early signs were encouraging.

“Sunday is another important one for us, and we’ll be making sure we are well prepared for it.”

The meeting is followed by a Midland Development League clash between the Thundercats and Belle Vue.

Teams from:

PETERBOROUGH: Tom Bacon, Emil Grondal, Simon Lambert, Nike Lunna, Scott Nicholls, Ulrich Ostergaard, Michael Palm Toft.
IPSWICH: Nico Covatti, Michael Haertel, Cameron Heeps, Danyon Hume, Danny King, Connor Mountain, Rory Schlein.

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