WORKINGTON 52 PANTHERS 38

Friday September 14, 2018
PETERBOROUGH’S efforts to finish top of the Championship ahead of the play-offs will go down to the wire – after a 52-38 defeat at Workington on Friday.

The T.Balfe Construction Panthers lost out in wet conditions to a Comets side who secured their own place in the top-four shootout with the result.

Danish duo Rene Bach and Rasmus Jensen dominated the race wins for the home side, Jensen scoring a 12-point maximum and former Panther Bach racking up 17 from six rides.

It all meant Panthers were limited to just four heat wins – two each for guest duo Ben Barker and Jordan Stewart, although both ended their nights with falls.

Stewart, who had impressed with seven from three rides, came to grief in a first-bend collision with Comets reserve Kyle Bickley in Heat 13 and was unable to take his place in the re-run due to a dead leg.

Panthers’ third guest Coty Garcia came in and promptly partnered Barker to a 5-1 in the re-run, which at that stage gave them hope of salvaging an unlikely league point.

But Bach and Mason Campton wrapped things up with maximum points in Heat 14, and Barker was disqualified from the last race after coming off when looking to pass Bach.

The meeting had turned against Panthers with two early 5-1s for the home side in Heats 4 and 6 as skipper for the night Ulrich Ostergaard suffered serious mechanical problems.

The visitors found themselves 14 points down and a tactical substitute win for Barker in Heat 9 was negated by Ostergaard’s last place.

Panthers had to wait until Heat 12 for their first race advantage as Stewart and Bradley Wilson-Dean got out in front, although they were quickly split by Tero Aarnio.

A 12-point gap with three heats to go was too much to bridge for Panthers to take any reward, as they head into their final league match against Lakeside at Rye House on Saturday.

Manager Carl Johnson said: “It’s a disappointing result in difficult conditions. The track wasn’t ideal after a massive downpour – the track was flooded before the meeting, and fair play to the lads for going out there.

“We’re just lacking that little something at the minute. We’re in a little slump and we need to pull ourselves out of it quickly. We’re carrying too many passengers.

“Ulrich had bike issues in his first two and he still felt his bike wasn’t right in his third ride, but you can see that his confidence isn’t there. Whether he’s come back too soon, only he knows, but it’s obviously something that’s got to change pretty fast.

“We can’t have someone of Ulrich’s scoring ability not scoring, and I can’t remember a meeting before when he hasn’t scored a point. But even with him not scoring, you expect others to step up, and unfortunately we’re just not doing that as a team.

“At this stage of the season we don’t need the odd rider putting in a performance, we need everyone coming together. We’ve worked so hard to be where we are, and I don’t want us to throw it away when we’ve still got a lot to play for.”

CHAMPIONSHIP:
WORKINGTON 52: Rene Bach 17, Rasmus Jensen 12, Mason Campton 10+2, Nicolai Klindt 6+1, Tero Aarnio 6+1, Kyle Bickley 1+1, Ty Proctor r/r
PETERBOROUGH 38: Ben Barker 10+2, Bradley Wilson-Dean 7, Jordan Stewart 7, Michael Palm Toft 5+2, Fernando Garcia 5+1, Emil Grondal 4, Ulrich Ostergaard 0

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