Friday April 08, 2021
PETERBOROUGH were brought back down to earth with a thud tonight.

The ‘T Balfe Construction Panthers’ suffered a 49-44 defeat at the hands of Midland Group pacesetters Sheffield in a Premier League Cup clash at the East of England Showground.

And it was a display which drew an angry reaction from disappointed promoter Ged Rathbone.

He said: “We had a team meeting beforehand and stressed that we couldn’t afford to be complacent, but that’s exactly what happened.

“We’ve built a team that is being tipped as title contenders and people part with their hard-earned cash to watch us race. What they saw tonight was not acceptable and it can’t happen again.

“The track might not have been perfect, but it is the same for everyone and I’m not going to let that be used as an excuse.”

“One or two of the lads need to have a look at themselves and the set-ups they are using. They have to make some dramatic changes otherwise we will have to make dramatic changes as a club."

The performance of Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen was one of few positives for Peterborough on a disappointing night as they appeared to struggle to master a grippy track surface.

The Dane recovered from a retirement in his opening outing to pile up a 14-point haul which included a successful tactical ride in heat 12, but he lacked support on a night when five members of the team scored five points or fewer.

Peterborough were behind for almost the entirety of the meeting. They did briefly hit the front following a 5-1 from Tom Perry, who again impressed, and fellow reserve Emil Grondal in a second heat eventually completed at the third attempt.

But their deficit had grown to eight points by the time Nicklas Porsing tumbled out of the initial staging of heat seven with Sheffield’s star duo Kyle Howarth and Josh Bates taking full advantage in the re-run to slam in the second of their three successive 5-1s.

The next of those came in heat 10 to halt Panthers’ progress just as they had begun to eat into their arrears with back-to-back 4-2s.

Another Sheffield maximum courtesy of Simon Stead and Dimitri Berge quickly followed to put them 12 points to the good, but Busk Jakobsen’s successful double-points mission in heat 12 did at least kept Peterborough’s hopes alive.

A 5-1 from captain Ulrich Ostergaard and Porsing in heat 13 clawed them back to within five points, but any thoughts of a miraculous recovery were dashed when Sheffield reserve Richard Hall scooted clear to inspire a penultimate heat 4-2 that earned victory for the visitors.

But Peterborough did at least manage to deny them all four available points in a re-run finale after Bates had crashed early in the initial staging. Busk Jakobsen powered to victory with Ostergaard set to follow him home until being collared by Howarth leaving the final bend.

Peterborough have a quick opportunity to bounce back to winning ways when they travel to Scunthorpe on Sunday (6.30pm).


PETERBOROUGH ‘T BALFE CONSTRUCTION’ PANTHERS: Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 14, Ulrich Ostergaard 8, Tom Perry 5+1, Michael Palm Toft 5+1, Nicklas Porsing 5+1, Simon Lambert 4, Emil Grondal 3+1.

SHEFFIELD: Kyle Howarth 12+1, Jason Garrity 9, Josh Bates 8+2, Dimitri Berge 7+1, Simon Stead 7, Richard Hall 6+1, Nathan Greaves 0.

1 - re-run Berge (59.2), Ostergaard, Stead, Lambert. 2-4, 2-4.
2 - re-run x2 Perry (61.4), Grondal, Hall, Greaves (fell). 5-1, 7-5.
3 - Bates (60.8), Howarth, Palm Toft, Busk Jakobsen (ret). 1-5, 8-10.
4 - re-run Garrity (60.6), Porsing, Perry, Greaves (ret). 3-3, 11-13.
5 - Stead (60.8), Busk Jakobsen, Palm Toft, Berge. 3-3, 14-16.
6 - Garrity (62.0), Ostergaard, Hall, Lambert. 2-4, 16-20.
7 - re-run Howarth (63.0), Bates, Grondal, Porsing (fell/exc). 1-5, 17-25.
8 - Lambert (62.5), Berge, Perry, Greaves. 4-2, 21-27.
9 - Busk Jakobsen (61.9), Garrity, Palm Toft, Hall. 4-2, 25-29.
10 - Howarth (63.0), Bates, Lambert, Ostergaard. 1-5, 26-34.
11 - Stead (60.9), Berge, Porsing, Grondal. 1-5, 27-39.
12 - Busk Jakobsen (t/r, 63.0), Howarth, Hall, Perry. 6-3, 33-42.
13 - Ostergaard (63.1), Porsing, Garrity, Stead (ret). 5-1, 38-43.
14 - Hall (63.4), Palm Toft, Bates, Grondal. 2-4, 40-47.
15 - re-run Busk Jakobsen (63.1), Howarth, Ostergaard, Bates (fell/exc). 4-2, 44-49.

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