Tuesday October 23, 2018
PETERBOROUGH make what has become a familiar trip to Rye House on Wednesday for another attempt at resolving their Championship play-off semi-final.

The T.Balfe Construction Panthers effectively have a second chance as they faced a 22-point aggregate deficit to Lakeside on Sunday before the meeting was prematurely brought to an end by floodlight failure at Hoddesdon.

The matter was considered by the BSPA and SCB on Monday, who came to the expected conclusion that the match has to be re-staged as the Hammers were not mathematically sure of progression.

The second leg scores are therefore re-set to 0-0 with Lakeside carrying the 46-44 aggregate advantage that they gained at the East of England Arena way back on October 7.

Of course, Panthers still have a hefty injury list to contend with, as Scott Nicholls, Michael Palm Toft, Bradley Wilson-Dean and Tom Bacon remain on the sidelines with season-ending issues.

However, Ulrich Ostergaard is set to return meaning Panthers are able to at least track three of their own riders.

Panthers’ guest strategy is severely limited by rider availability at this stage of the season, so a change of plan from Sunday sees the rider-replacement facility in operation for Nicholls at No.1.

Thomas Jorgensen and Carl Wilkinson line up again having competed for Panthers in the abandoned fixture, and they are joined by Newcastle’s Ashley Morris who comes into the middle-order.

Co-promoter Ged Rathbone said: “I understand it’s late in the season but it does surprise me that more riders don’t want to make themselves available to guest.

“Potentially they could have three additional meetings with us with a good chance to make a fair bit of money, but many of them have dismantled bikes for the winter and have equipment up for sale.

“If it was me, I’d be looking at my average, looking at the teams involved and thinking I could well get some more meetings – I’d actually be ‘phoning clubs to say I was available!

“We did ask about using Scunthorpe riders and that was a no-go because they have a Cup Final on Thursday which I do totally understand.

“Having said that, we’ve never stopped our own riders from guesting and we’ve ended up with a run of injuries from riders getting hurt when racing for other clubs, so maybe if I was to continue in future I’d take the same view, that I need to protect my own team.

“Certainly we know with the team we had for most of the season we’d be able to give Lakeside a massive battle.

“However, we’re grateful to the boys who are coming in, and in Ashley we have a rider who we know well, he can gate and he can ride this sort of circuit well.

“We also know that it’s very much a second opportunity and whatever happens we can’t be any worse than we were on Sunday.

“We have three of our own team racing, which is an improvement, and whilst we were virtually down and out last time, it’s a new meeting and as we’ve seen several times before anything can happen.”

Admission prices at Rye House on Wednesday are £10 with a free race-card for those who have re-admission tickets from Sunday. In all other cases normal admission prices apply. The meeting starts at 7.30pm.

LAKESIDE: Richard Lawson, Zach Wajtknecht, Adam Ellis, Kyle Newman, Nick Morris, Ben Morley, Alfie Bowtell.
PETERBOROUGH: Scott Nicholls r/r, Emil Grondal, Ashley Morris, Thomas Jorgensen, Ulrich Ostergaard, Carl Wilkinson, Simon Lambert.

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