Depleted Peterborough Panthers trumped badly by the Aces again

Depleted Peterborough Panthers were overpowered at Belle Vue on Monday as the Aces roared to a 63-27 victory.

By Alan Swann
Tuesday, 26th July 2022, 7:17 am
Benjamin Basso rode well for Panthers in Belle Vue.
Benjamin Basso rode well for Panthers in Belle Vue.

The Crendon Panthers had shipped 64 points at the National Speedway Stadium earlier in the season and only marginally bettered their return from that meeting with the Manchester side showing real dominance on their own track.

Panthers, without both Michael Palm Toft and Hans Andersen, were blown away in the early stages as they conceded three 5-1s and a 4-2 in the first four races – and whilst the visitors contributed to some fine racing in mid-meeting, the Aces surged clear with four 5-1s in the last four.

Race of the night from a Panthers perspective unquestionably came from Danish youngster Benjamin Basso in Heat 6, shortly after he had taken an awkward first-bend fall after contact with guest Justin Sedgmen.

Basso picked himself up for the re-run and produced a brilliant ride to switch inside home No.1 Matej Zagar off the fourth bend for a superb victory.

But that was one of just two Panthers race wins, the other coming from Chris Harris, who worked hard to split Tom Brennan and Norick Blodorn in Heat 8 and then took a tactical substitute ride in Heat 9 and won from the gate, whilst Basso was swallowed up by first Brady Kurtz and then Charles Wright before falling on turn two.

Skipper Scott Nicholls was left frustrated in Heat 10 having mounted a terrific defence of the lead, repassing Zagar at one stage, before the Slovenian and Brennan both stormed inside him going into the last lap.

Harris and Basso shared Heat 11 behind Fricke, but then it was all one-way traffic in Belle Vue’s favour in the closing stages.

Panthers boss Rob Lyon said: “It’s frustrating because we don’t have a full side, we haven’t had a full side for quite a while now, and we’re battling to try and get more points on the board with a full team, let alone half a team.

“The boys put the effort in, you can’t fault them for that, but it was a bit one-sided and Belle Vue are pretty dialled-in here now.

“It was a difficult night. We lost the coin toss for gate positions and clearly one and three are better here, certainly early doors, and that set us off on the wrong tone unfortunately. The boys battled hard, but it’s a tough place to come nowadays.

“Fair play to Belle Vue, they were the better team again and I’m sure they will be in the play-offs and be a threat to win the title.”Panthers now have a fortnight off before visiting Wolverhampton on Monday August 8, but prior to that Harris and Nicholls are back at Belle Vue on August 1 for the British Final Championship.

BELLE VUE 63: Tom Brennan 13+1, Max Fricke 11+1, Matej Zagar 10+4, Charles Wright 10+1, Norick Blodorn 9+1, Matej Zagar 7+3, Brady Kurtz 7+1, Jye Etheridge 3+1.PETERBOROUGH 27: Chris Harris 10+1, Benjamin Basso 7+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 5, Scott Nicholls 3+1, Justin Sedgmen 2, Jake Mulford 0, Michael Palm Toft r/r.