Sunday October 21, 2018
PETERBOROUGH’S Championship play-off semi-final against Lakeside remains unresolved.

The second leg at Hoddesdon, which had previously been hit by weather-related postponements, was abandoned after Heat 8 due to a major floodlight failure.

The home side had dominated proceedings and led 34-14 on the night, extending their aggregate advantage to 22 points.

But the meeting was two races short of the Heat 10 cut-off and therefore the result will not stand, with the outcome of the tie still not mathematically certain, which could otherwise have provided an exceptional case for the Hammers.

Ironically it is just three weeks since the Championship Shield clash between the clubs at the East of England Arena was hit by lighting trouble, but temporary floodlights allowed the meeting to be concluded.

On this occasion, despite a number of attempted solutions including the use of van headlights on the stadium centre, that was not possible and referee Dave Robinson abandoned the meeting with rider safety the chief consideration.

Peterborough co-promoter Ged Rathbone said: “The first thing to say is that it shows how fantastic the Showground were when we suffered similar issues ourselves recently.

“Thankfully we had the facilities available to ensure that meeting to be run to a finish, but unfortunately it wasn’t possible here.

“We now fully expect the meeting to be re-staged although we can’t say when at the moment. The rulebook is very clear on that, as the result wasn’t mathematically certain.

“We will be prepared to return to Rye House on whatever night Lakeside can offer us, and if there are no available dates at Hoddesdon then we would speak to the Showground to see if they could accommodate a re-staging there.

“We sympathise with the position Lakeside were left in, but at the end of the day it’s not Peterborough’s fault that the meeting couldn’t be completed, and we weren’t mathematically out of it.

“Yes, it’s true that things weren’t looking good, although I will say that we had made massive changes to all of our bikes and what we were seeing in Heat 9 from (Nico) Covatti and (Carl) Wilkinson before it was stopped twice was more encouraging.

“So whilst we all know it’s late in the season and there is a fixture pile-up, that’s not down to us and we expect to come back and do it all again, which is what the rules clearly state.

“I’d also like to thank all of the Peterborough, Lakeside and Rye House fans for their patience.

“Everyone tried hard to find the solution to the problem but this was a major fault, there were 12 floodlights out, and as Richard Lawson said the bikes are very fast and rider safety is paramount.

“From our perspective we weren’t pushing for an abandonment - there were no games from us. We were hoping for a resumption and we were happy to carry on if the problems could be solved – sadly they couldn’t, so we go again.”

Lakeside took control of the meeting with a whirlwind start which saw them take advantages in each of the first seven races.

Three of those were 5-1s, including a hat-trick between Heats 4-6, before Panthers finally shared Heat 8 after home man Alfie Bowtell crashed out.

Wilkinson tumbled in the first staging of Heat 9 on the second lap before Adam Ellis came off in the first turn of the re-run – but that proved to be the last action before the lights went out.

LAKESIDE 34: Zach Wajtknecht 6+1, Richard Lawson 6, Adam Ellis 6, Nick Morris 6, Ben Morley 4, Kyle Newman 3+1, Alfie Bowtell 3+1.
PETERBOROUGH 14: Simon Lambert 4+1, Emil Grondal 4, Thomas Jorgensen 2+1, Tero Aarnio 2, Nico Covatti 1, Carl Wilkinson 0, Bradley Wilson-Dean r/r.
Abandoned after Heat 8 (floodlight failure) – Result does not stand.

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