PANTHERS 46 LAKESIDE 44

Sunday September 30, 2018
PETERBOROUGH must focus their attention on two trophies after going out of the Championship Shield at Alwalton on Sunday.

The T.Balfe Construction Panthers were seeking to overturn a 10-point margin against Lakeside, but had to be content with a narrow 46-44 second leg win at home on what was a less than ideal evening.

As in last week’s KO Cup tie between the sides, the Lakeside heat-leaders all gave impressive performances, and Panthers were unable to make up the difference lower down the order.

There was a window of opportunity in that department as visiting guest Kasper Andersen crashed heavily whilst leading Heat 2, which restricted his racing and handed the home side an early 5-1.

But despite a terrific, hard-working display from skipper Simon Lambert, who rode in six of the first eight races and ended up with a score of paid-14, Panthers were never able to make serious headway.

Their early four-point lead on the night was cancelled out in Heat 5 when Richard Lawson and Josh Pickering outpaced Ulrich Ostergaard and Emil Grondal, and matters weren’t helped when Michael Palm Toft broke the tapes in Heat 7 – the re-run being shared with Carl Wilkinson judged to have just held off a fast-finishing Kyle Newman for third place.

With the scores at 21-21 on the night, a Panthers 5-1 in Heat 8 looked likely until Pickering – guesting for the unavailable Ben Morley - produced a blockbuster of a ride to first move inside Lambert and then switch to the outside to get around Ostergaard.

Pickering’s score of paid-10 for the Hammers was, with all respect to Morley, almost certainly an upgrade, although it should also be said that it was partially balanced out by Andersen’s problems.

Grondal then fell in Heat 9 when trying to get on terms with youngster Jason Edwards as the Hammers went in front on the night with Nick Morris’s third race win.

There was an unfortunate hour-long delay after Heat 11 due to floodlight failure on the back straight, with temporary lighting brought in to ensure the meeting ran to a conclusion.

And Panthers were much-improved after the break with Grondal partnering Lambert to a 5-1 in Heat 12 over Adam Ellis which put them ahead on the night for the first time.

The remaining three races were shared, with plenty of competition in Heat 13 as Lawson fended off Palm Toft up-front whilst Thomas Jorgensen mounted a strong defence of third place over Morris.

Newman won Heat 14 to confirm the Hammers’ progression, and whilst Lawson took the final race, Jorgensen and Palm Toft combined to see off Pickering to at least give Panthers a win on the night.

Boss Carl Johnson said: “It’s disappointing to go out although I’m pleased that we ended up winning the meeting.

“Ten points was always going to be difficult if we didn’t start well, and we didn’t start well enough. We had too many riders off it at the beginning of the meeting.

“Fair play to the boys, they came back well in the second half of the meeting after we did a bit of track work to help them, and also fair play to Lakeside and good luck to them in the Final.

“We weren’t good enough over the two legs in this competition unfortunately, but I think next week it will be a different team for them.

“They still have to be beaten though, so we’ll plan ahead for the week to come, and fingers crossed we’ll get through in two other competitions.”

PETERBOROUGH 46: Simon Lambert 13+1, Thomas Jorgensen 10+2, Ulrich Ostergaard 8+1, Michael Palm Toft 7+2, Carl Wilkinson 4+3, Emil Grondal 4+1, Bradley Wilson-Dean r/r.
LAKESIDE 44: Richard Lawson 12+1, Nick Morris 9, Josh Pickering 8+2, Adam Ellis 8+1, Kyle Newman 5, Jason Edwards 2, Kasper Andersen 0.
Lakeside win 94-86 on aggregate.

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