PANTHERS 39 IPSWICH 51

Monday May 13, 2019
PETERBOROUGH were given a Premiership reality check with a 39-51 defeat at home to Ipswich in Monday’s local derby at the East of England Arena.

The Crendon Panthers were given a lesson in gating by an impressive Witches side, who also adapted quickly to grippy conditions with each of their riders taking at least one paid win – whilst home boss Carl Johnson branded his side’s display as “embarrassing.”

It was at reserve where the visitors were especially impressive, whilst for Panthers another terrific performance from Charles Wright prevented a far heavier loss.

Visiting skipper Danny King smashed the track record, lowering Brady Kurtz’s mark by 0.4s to 57.4 in Heat 3, and at the completion of that race the home side were 4-14 down after a nightmare start.

Ipswich reserves Jake Allen and Cameron Heeps were hugely influential in the result as they dominated in the lower order and also took points off Panthers’ big guns.

Allen summed up his display by winning a brutal scrap with Rohan Tungate in Heat 4 after earlier seeing off the challenge of Bradley Wilson-Dean, although Panthers’ first win was also a good one from Wright – who picked himself off the deck after a clash with Chris Harris to reel in and pass Richard Lawson in Heat 5.

Mid-meeting, Panthers appeared to be finding some set-ups but they were hampered by a 5-1 concession to Allen and Lawson in Heat 8, leaving them 14-points down.

A series of 4-2s did see them make some inroads, and Wright won a tactical substitute ride in Heat 12, but it never looked likely to be enough to turn the match completely.

Captain Hans Andersen received some tough treatment from Krystian Pieszczek in Heat 6 but did get a win on the board in Heat 13 with a strong move to get the better of Harris.

But Andersen’s night ended with a mechanical failure in Heat 15 just when he had made the start, as Harris and Lawson combined for a 5-1 to put a true reflection on the result.

Johnson said: “It was embarrassing. We didn’t start well enough, we didn’t ride well enough and we got what we deserved in the end.

“The riders who performed have been doing it in the last couple of meetings, and the riders that have struggled again are the same ones, and it’s getting too often.

“We’ve got to look at our options, certainly – we don’t want to be losing at home. I know we’re not going to go unbeaten at home, but we’re struggling.

“Charles at the moment is by far our best rider, he’s carrying the team and great credit to the lad, he’s really putting the effort in for us.”

Panthers’ next fixture is at home to Poole on May 23, but before that they host a packed schedule this Friday in the British Youth Championship, getting underway at 7pm.

PETERBOROUGH 39: Charles Wright 14, Rohan Tungate 7, Aaron Summers 6+1, Hans Andersen 6, Ben Barker 3, Lasse Bjerre 2+1, Bradley Wilson-Dean 1+1.
IPSWICH 51: Richard Lawson 9+2, Chris Harris 9, Jake Allen 9, Cameron Heeps 8+2, Danny King 8, David Bellego 4+1, Krystian Pieszczek 4+1.

Picture: TAYLOR LANNING

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