KO CUP PREVIEW: City side chase a miracle comeback

Craig Cook dashed back from Italy to race for Panthers. Photo: David Lowndes.

Craig Cook dashed back from Italy to race for Panthers. Photo: David Lowndes.

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Peterborough Panthers promoter Ged Rathbone insists his team will not roll over in their Premier League KO Cup quarter-final, second leg today (July 3).

The city side are staring at elimination as they entertain Somerset at the East of England Showground (5pm) following a 62-28 drubbing in the opening leg last Tuesday (June 28).

Panthers star Simon Lambert is promoted from reserve. Photo: David Lowndes.

Panthers star Simon Lambert is promoted from reserve. Photo: David Lowndes.

But that scoreline, and Somerset’s fine record in recent visits to Alwalton, have not stopped Rathbone dreaming of a miraculous turnaround.

He said: “It was men against boys in the first leg and I’ve made no secret of my disappointment with the outcome.

“But that meeting is in the past now and we have to focus on trying to turn the tie around in front of our own fans.

“Miracles do happen in sport and we need to produce one by getting off to a good start and trying to put Somerset under pressure.

“Winning the meeting is the absolute minimum requirement to restore some pride. I definitely do not want to see Somerset leaving the Showground with another win here.”

Panthers are at full strength with number one Craig Cook making a dash across Europe to spearhead the team.

Cook came up short in a World Championship semi-final qualifier at Lonigo in Italy last night (July 2), missing out on the required top-seven finish to advance to the next stage.

He recorded four points from his three rides before heavy rain forced the abandonment of the meeting. As 12 heats had been completed, the result stands.

Emil Grondal drops to reserve for Panthers following the introduction of the new July averages with high-scoring Simon Lambert climbing back into the main body of the team.

Somerset also make one change with Connor Mountain called up to guest at reserve due to Zach Watjknecht being in a European grasstrack event.

TEAMS:

PANTHERS: Craig Cook, Tom Perry, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen, Simon Lambert, Ulrich Ostergaard, Emil Grondal, Zdenek Holub.

SOMERSET: Josh Grajczonek, Bradley Wilson-Dean, Charles Wright, Paul Starke, Rohan Tungate, Jake Allen, Connor Mountain (guest).