Chris Harris brilliant again, but Peterborough Panthers beaten heavily again

Chris Harris was brilliant for Panthers in a heavy defeat at Wolverhampton.Chris Harris was brilliant for Panthers in a heavy defeat at Wolverhampton.
Chris Harris was brilliant for Panthers in a heavy defeat at Wolverhampton.
Peterborough Panthers’ weakened team was predictably no match for Wolverhampton at Monmore Green on Monday – despite a virtuoso show from stand-in skipper Chris Harris.

Panthers travelled to the West Midlands missing three of their senior riders on a night where equivalent guest replacements were non-existent, and the outcome was a 62-28 defeat.

Harris’s sterling efforts saw him contribute 17 of those 28 points on his own in another remarkable performance, ironically after he conceded a 5-1 in Heat 1.

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That was one of four opening maximums for the home side who were looking at a landslide victory when they led 20-4, before Harris passed Ryan Douglas on the last lap Heat 5 and also split Luke Becker and Steve Worrall from the back in Heat 6 to record a pair of second places.

He was then unbeaten for the remainder of the meeting, producing the move of the night to brilliantly switch inside Nick Morris to win Heat 11 going into the last lap, and he produced fast starts to also win Heats 9, 13 and 15.

Elsewhere for Panthers there were slim pickings although Hans Andersen was unfortunate not to score more than 6, coming off worst after some tough treatment from Worrall and Becker in Heat 15 especially.

Benjamin Basso endured a night to forget, working hard to pass Worrall in Heat 8 only to lose out on the last lap – and former Wolves man Broc Nicol also found the going tough.

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The American looked set for one inspired ride in Heat 9 when he held a 5-1 with Harris, only for his steel shoe to work loose and both Douglas and Becker came through.

Panthers manager Rob Lyon said: “I think the situation we’re in is okay if it doesn’t happen to you. Once it happens to you, then all of a sudden you realise it’s a problem, and I’m sure teams at the top who haven’t suffered yet are fully aware of that.

“We’ve been struggling with injuries and struggling with form, and it’s all come at once really. It’s a tad embarrassing if I’m honest, but the boys are putting the effort in, and you can’t fault them for that.

“Bomber (Harris) tonight was absolutely supreme again, and whilst the result isn’t satisfactory by any means, given the side we had to put out with all due respect, we weren’t expecting much more than 30 points if I’m brutally honest.

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“We got 28, which is pretty much what I expected, and I know it’s difficult for our fans. I’m sure they’re all frustrated as I am, but I can only put out what I can put out.

“Hopefully we can put out a more recognisable one-to-seven next Monday at home to Sheffield and turn in a home win, because we badly need it.”

WOLVERHAMPTON 62: Luke Becker 13+3, Steve Worrall 13+1, Nick Morris 11+2, Leon Flint 9+3, Ryan Douglas 8+1, Drew Kemp 8+1, Sam Masters r/r.

PETERBOROUGH 28: Chris Harris 17, Hans Andersen 6, Broc Nicol 2, Jordan Jenkins 1+1, Benjamin Basso 1, Jake Mulford 1, Michael Palm Toft r/r.