Depleted Peterborough Panthers fought hard against hungry Wolves before accepting the inevitable

Peterborough Panthers fought hard but went down to a 53-37 defeat in the Premiership at Wolverhampton on Monday.

Chris Harris top scored for Panthers at Wolves.
Chris Harris top scored for Panthers at Wolves.

Panthers were always likely to find life tough at the West Midlands venue being without two of their regular septet, but there was no questioning their effort at Monmore.Stand-in skipper Chris Harris raced to double figures, Ulrich Ostergaard put in a feisty display at No.2, and reserve Benjamin Basso won two races in an up-and-down evening.But Wolves’ all-round strength made the difference, and they took control of the meeting with back-to-back 5-1s in Heats 3 and 4 – the latter seeing Harris eclipsed by youngster Leon Flint who made a fast start.Panthers hit back with a 5-1 of their own from Ostergaard and Hans Andersen in Heat 5 after a spectacular incident in which Ryan Douglas lifted on the back straight which appeared to cause Luke Becker to fall as he took avoiding action – although Becker was the rider disqualified by the referee.Wolves then collected three 4-2s in the next four races, and the shared outcome of Heat 7 was not the result Panthers had been looking for as they had given Harris a tactical substitute ride, only for him to be thwarted by Nick Morris.The home side virtually ensured their victory when the prolific Sam Masters/Steve Worrall combination raced to a 5-1 in Heat 10, but Panthers took credit from their response in the closing stages of the meeting.Harris and Ostergaard took a 4-2 in Heat 11, split by Morris, and Basso was an excellent winner of Heat 12 ahead of Becker with Andersen supplying third place.Ostergaard and Harris then worked hard to relegate Morris to the back of Heat 13, and guest Richie Worrall popped up with a win in the penultimate race.But a 3-3 there confirmed Panthers could take nothing from the meeting, and Wolves made the final score more emphatic with a closing 5-1 from Morris and Becker.Panthers boss Rob Lyon said: “We always knew it would be a tough one, coming with rider replacement and a guest is not ideal, but we were beaten by the better team on the night.“It was a difficult track, it was slick and the inside was where you had to be as everyone saw, and fair play to Wolves – they were the better team on the night, and we have no complaints.”Panthers are back in action at the East of England Arena next Monday (July 4) with a big local derby against King’s Lynn.

WOLVERHAMPTON 53: Sam Masters 11+1, Nick Morris 11, Luke Becker 8+1, Steve Worrall 8, Ryan Douglas 7+2, Leon Flint 4+2, Drew Kemp 4.PETERBOROUGH 37: Chris Harris 11+2, Ulrich Ostergaard 9+1, Hans Andersen 7, Benjamin Basso 6, Richie Worrall 4, Jordan Palin 0, Michael Palm Toft R/R.