Peterborough Panthers predict a classic clash with Ipswich

Paul Starke rides for Panthers against Ipswich.
Paul Starke rides for Panthers against Ipswich.
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Peterborough Panthers team boss Carl Johnson is predicting an East Anglian derby classic tonight (July 1).

The city side take on Ipswich in a crucial SGB Premiership clash in the race for play-off places (7.30pm).

Panthers, who sit fourth, are gunning for revenge after being beaten 51-39 on home shale by the second-placed Witches earlier in the season and Johnson is confident of a much better showing on this occasion as an important run of home meetings continued.

“We obviously have to do a lot better this time against Ipswich and I’m sure we will do that,” said Johnson.

“It’s a big derby meeting which will no doubt attract a big crowd . . . and we intend to produce a big performance as well.

“This is the second of four consecutive home meetings for us and this run is going to have a big impact on our season.

“We started it off with a good result against Swindon and now need to follow that up to keep ourselves in the play-off places.

“We’re loving life back in the top league and I’m sure Ipswich feel the same after also coming up from the SGB Championship for this season.

“They have a very strong side and boast a lot of riders who love our track, while we showed with our comeback against King’s Lynn that we are prepared to battle for every single point

“It’s going to be a cracking meeting.”

Panthers hand a debut to new signing Ty Proctor. The experienced Australian racer has been drafted in as short-term cover for broken collar-bone victim Bradley Wilson-Dean.

But the city side are still unable to track their own complete line-up after Josh Bates was hurt in a crash while riding for his SGB Championship club, Leicester, on Saturday night.

Bates suffered concussion which carries an automatic absence of nine days and he is replaced tonight by former Panthers favourite Paul Starke.

Ipswich boast East of England Arena track-record holder Danny King in their high-flying septet.

King posted the new Alwalton best when helping the Witches triumph in their previous visit back in May and then lowered it again eight days ago when riding in the SGB Championship Fours.

The high-scoring form of reserve Cameron Heeps has been a major factor in Ipswich’s fine form this season but he now climbs into the main body of their team following the release of new averages for July.

Recent signing Eddie Kennett, a man who interested Panthers bosses earlier in the campaign, now lines up at reserve for the Suffolk side.

TEAMS

PANTHERS: Hans Andersen, Ty Proctor, Scott Nicholls, Charles Wright, Rohan Tungate, Aaron Summers, Paul Starke (guest).

IPSWICH: Chris Harris, Richard Lawson, Danny King, Cameron Heeps, Krystian Pieszczek, Edward Kennett, Jake Allen.