Moral victory for threadbare Peterborough Panthers at King's Lynn

Scott Nicholls picked up 15 points for Panthers at King's Lynn.Scott Nicholls picked up 15 points for Panthers at King's Lynn.
Scott Nicholls picked up 15 points for Panthers at King's Lynn.
Team boss Rob Lyon hailed a ‘moral victory’ as threadbare Peterborough Panthers battled back from two 12-point deficits to bag a Premiership point from a 46-44 defeat at King’s Lynn on Thursday.

The Crendon Panthers headed into the derby with just three of their own riders after Hans Andersen joined Michael Palm Toft, Urich Ostergaard and Jordan Jenkins on the sidelines.

And it looked like it would be a long night after shipping three 5-1s in the opening four heats and another home maximum in the seventh left Lyon’s charges behind by a dozen once more.

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But Chris Harris – who got a point despite going off 15 metres having broken the tapes in heat six – Scott Nicholls and Ben Basso rallied to take eight chequered flags between them, including a Basso-Harris maximum in heat 15 that closed the gap to a mere two points.

“It was a terrific result for us, a moral victory in lots of ways,” said Lyon. “With all due respect to the team we had to put out due to injuries, it was up there with the best results I have had – we had three of our own riders and I was so proud of the team.

“When you have rider replacement and you are relatively weakened on paper, again with respect to the boys that rode for us, you run out of options. I was looking to square off heats and then get something in heats 14 and 15. We got what we wanted from 15 but just fell short.

“In some ways I was not worried about getting the draw or the win, I was just pleased with the boys because that was the best we have ridden as a team for as long as I can remember.

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“Hopefully we can carry this into Monday’s meeting with Ipswich, get ourselves a win and kick on.”

Harris and Basso both passed Richie Worrall to reduce the arrears with a maximum in heat 5 with tactical substitute Harris partnering Nicholls to another 5-1 in the ninth.

Another Harris-Basso 5-1 in the 11th brought Peterborough within range of a point before a series of shared heats in which guests Alex Spooner and James Wright could not land a blow, meaning a point was all that was on offer going into the final race.

KING’S LYNN 46: Frederik Jakobsen 10+1, Nicolai Klindt 9+2, Richard Lawson 9+1, Josh Pickering 8, Jason Edwards 5+2, Richie Worrall 4, Jack Thomas (no.8) 1+1, Thomas Jorgensen r/r.

PETERBOROUGH 44: Chris Harris 15+2, Scott Nicholls 15+1, Benjamin Basso 11+2, Simon Lambert 3+1, James Wright 0, Alex Spooner 0, Michael Palm Toft r/r.