Speedway: Panthers primed to win Premier League Fours

Michael Palm Toft is in the Panthers team for the Premier League Fours.
Michael Palm Toft is in the Panthers team for the Premier League Fours.
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Peterborough Panthers captain Ulrich Ostergaard hopes the club’s eight-and-a-half year wait for honours can end tomorrow (August 2, 2pm).

Ostergaard leads the city side’s quartet into battle in the annual Premier League Fours event at the East of England Showground.

He is joined by Robert Lambert, Lewis Blackbird and Michael Palm Toft as Panthers bid to battle their way through a group of Edinburgh, Workington and Ipswich to earn a spot in the final.

And Ostergaard reckons lifting a major trophy would be the perfect way to pay back supporters and promoter Ged Rathbone for the parts they played in keeping the club alive last winter.

He said: “I’m very proud to be captain of this club and I would love to help us win some silverware. I was very lucky to be part of the team that won the Elite League title many years ago and it would be a great feeling to get another trophy as a Panthers rider.

“I know how much time, effort and money Ged has put into Panthers and I would love to be successful for him.

“The fans have also played a big part in the club surviving and they definitely deserve some success as well.

Ostergaard is also keen to rid himself of an unwanted 100 per cent record.

The Danish ace has made three previous appearances in the Premier League Fours and gone out at the semi-final stage in all of them.

The last of those was in 2014 when a Panthers quartet also featuring Blackbird, Lasse Bjerre and Ales Dryml failed to shine on home shale.

Ostergaard added: “It has not been a good event for me at all, but hopefully that can change on Sunday.

“We are the home team and we need to put on a show on our track. That’s something we didn’t do last year when we were rubbish.

“It is a very tough meeting though because you only get two rides each in the semi-final. A couple of mistakes or a crash can wreck your chances of getting through.

“There are so many good riders in it as well. You only have to look at all the line-ups to see how strong the Premier League is nowadays.”

Teams

GROUP A

EDINBURGH: Craig Cook, Kevin Wolbert, Justin Sedgmen, Erik Riss. Reserve: Robert Branford.

WORKINGTON: Rene Bach, Rusty Harrison, Kyle Howarth, Ricky Wells. Reserve: Kenneth Hansen.

IPSWICH: Gino Manzares, Danny King, Cameron Heeps, Nico Covatti. Reserve: Stefan Nielsen.

PANTHERS: Robert Lambert, Ulrich Ostergaard, Lewis Blackbird, Michael Palm Toft. Reserve: Emil Grondal.

GROUP B

SOMERSET: Josh Grajczonek, Brady Kurtz, Richie Worrall, Charles Wright. Reserve: Leigh Lanham.

GLASGOW: Victor Palovaara, James Sarjeant, Aaron Summers, Richard Lawson, Reserve: to be confirmed.

RYE HOUSE: Anders Mellgren, Kasper Lykke, Edward Kennett, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen. Reserve: Luke Bowen.

NEWCASTLE: Steve Worrall, Ludvig Lindgren, Lewis Kerr, Anton Rosen. Reserve: Simon Nielsen.