Peterborough Panthers suffered East Anglian derby disappointment last night (August 24) despite double-figure displays from their top two riders.
Number one Chris Harris (12+1) and Jack Holder (12) impressed as the city side went down 52-41 at high-flying Ipswich in the SGB Championship.
Their exploits were not enough to prevent a fifth successive defeat for Panthers on their travels – a miserable streak which means mid-table mediocrity is about the best they can hope for in the second-tier standings.
“It’s been a difficult run,” admitted team boss Carl Johnson. “We certainly haven’t managed to pick up the results we hoped to get, but we’ve not had a full team for any of the five recent away meetings.
“It was a good effort at Ipswich - certainly much better than we produced when losing by 28 points there earlier in the season - considering we had two men missing. We wanted to be competitive and keep them honest, and we managed that.
“We lost the meeting with a poor start. It got away from us early on and it is very hard to play catch-up against a team with such a big home advantage.
“Ipswich are in great form at the moment, but we battled away and kept ourselves in contention.”
Panthers provided four race wins and each of them inspired a heat advantage.
Harris was the first away rider to take the chequered flag when cashing in a heat five tactical ride to full effect.
Holder took victories in the ninth and final contests, while Paul Starke capped another solid shift in the middle order with success in heat 12.
Captain Ulrich Ostergaard endured another frustrating night at a Foxhall track where he typically tends to struggle, while the reserve combination of guest James Sarjeant and Tom Bacon also found the going tough – the latter hitting the deck on a couple of occasions.
Ipswich had a more impressive guest as Mason Campton – a team-mate of Sarjeant at Workington – top-scored with paid 13.
Rory Schlein added a four-ride maximum for Ipswich although Johnson felt the Australian could have been excluded following a first-bend spill in his opening ride.
Panthers are back in action on Wednesday (August 30) when they entertain Newcastle Diamonds at the East of England Arena (7.30pm).
IPSWICH: Mason Campton (guest) 12+1, Rory Schlein 12, Danny King 11, Nathan Greaves 7, Cameron Heeps 6+2, Connor Mountain 4, Rider replacement for Justin Sedgmen.
PANTHERS: Chris Harris 12+1, Jack Holder 12, Paul Starke 8+1, James Sarjeant (guest) 4+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 4, Tom Bacon 1, Rider replacement for Bradley Wilson-Dean.