Defeat is a wake-up call

Lewis Blackbird.

Lewis Blackbird.

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Fans’ favourite Lewis Blackbird admits Panthers received a wake-up call last Sunday.

Riders and club chiefs have talked up their chances of success in the 2015 season after a successful winter fight for survival. But a 47-43 loss at the hands of perennial challengers Somerset demonstrated that will be far from easy.

Blackbird said: “Maybe we were guilty of thinking we were the golden boys and indestructible around our own track. Losing to Somerset was a reality check and we need to regroup.”

Blackbird, back after a broken leg and ankle ended his 2014 season early, was heartened with his own performance which was completed by back-to-back wins.

He added: “I need to be back at the front and winning races so the last two heats were very pleasing.

“The injury is not in my head and I feel ready to mix it with other riders. I’m a little bit rusty and that is just down to it being the start of a new season, rather than coming back from a long injury lay-off.

Blackbird continued his pleasing return to action at the start of this season on Monday night when riding in the Olympique individual meeting at his Elite League track, Wolverhampton. He scored seven points and claimed a heat victory over former GP star and current Wolves number one Freddie Lindgren.

DICKIE GREER

Panthers legend Dick Greer has been made president of the World Speedway Riders’ Association.

It is a huge honour to the 68 year-old who was a member of the original Peterborough side in 1970.

Greer enjoyed a distinguished 15-year career in the saddle and has retained close links with the club ever since. He still holds the role of meeting co-ordinator.

Speaking of his appointment, Greer said: “I had missed out by one vote the previous year, so I was delighted to become President for 2015/2016. It is a great honour for me personally and also for Peterborough Speedway.

“It is so much more than just a title. It will involve me attending functions and representing the Association throughout the year.”