Speedway: Panthers make a point to edge closer to the play-offs

Rafal Konopka led home a Panthers 5-1 in Glasgow.
Rafal Konopka led home a Panthers 5-1 in Glasgow.
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Another day, another away point and another step closer to the Premier League play-offs for Peterborough Panthers.

The city side’s latest small gain on the road came north of the border at Glasgow yesterday (July 26) as they were pipped 31-29 in a rain-shortened clash of two sets of top-six near certainties.

The Scottish side leapfrogged them into second place courtesy of this result which stood after Graham Flint halted the action with 10 heats completed at a soggy Ashfield Stadium.

It followed on from a consolation point picked up the previous evening courtesy of a 49-44 loss at Workington to complete a more-than-respectable weekend’s work for a heavily depleted team relying on guest riders.

Captain Ulrich Ostergaard admitted: “The referee did the right thing because it would have been too dangerous to carry on.

“There was only one line and every rider had to go for it. It was okay for the man in front, but not good at all for those in behind.

“It was a shame the rain came because the track was great early on, but I don’t think the meeting could have gone any further.

“It was good to push a top team so hard and leave with an away point for the second day running. We felt we could have won at Workington had we been at full-strength, but we are really suffering with injuries again.

“We are looking good for the play-offs though, but we can’t afford to take it easy. There is lots of hard work still to do and many tough meetings ahead.”

Ostergaard handed Panthers the perfect start at Glasgow by winning the opener with rain already falling. Guest Matej Kus’ third place secured a 4-2 which was swiftly followed by a 5-1 from the reserve duo of Rafal Konopka and guest Matty Wethers.

Glasgow replied with a 5-1 of their own in heat three before drawing level when the unbeaten Glasgow skipper Aaron Summers got the better of rival captain Ostergaard to inspire a 4-2 in heat five.

The hosts edged ahead with another 4-2 as reserve replacement Victor Palovaara was a surprise winner of heat eight – the previously pointless Swede proving too strong for Ostergaard as conditions really began to deteriorate.

And the sides were still separated by that two-point margin when official Flint ruled conditions had become too treacherous for the meeting to continue.

Panthers are now out of league action until Friday, August 7 when they return to Scotland to take on table-topping Edinburgh ahead of a return clash at the East of England Showground 48 hours later.

The Alwalton venue is the stage for a big meeting this weekend as Panthers host the Premier League Fours on Sunday (August 2, 2pm). They are one of eight competing clubs.

SCORES

GLASGOW: Aaron Summers 9, Richard Lawson 8+1, Nick Morris 7, Victor Palovaara 4+1, Justin Sedgmen 2, Adam Roynon (guest) 1, Rider replacement for David Howe.

READYPOWER PANTHERS: Ulrich Ostergaard 7, Matej Kus (guest) 7, Matthew Wethers (guest) 5+2, Michael Palm Toft 5+1, Rafal Konopka 4+1, Emil Grondal 1+1, Rider replacement for Robert Lambert.