Peterborough Panthers boss proud of his riders on a shambolic, deflating night in Sheffield

Hans Andersen dislocated his shoulder in Sheffield.Hans Andersen dislocated his shoulder in Sheffield.
Hans Andersen dislocated his shoulder in Sheffield.
Peterborough Panthers boss Rob Lyon admitted he felt deflated after a testing trip to Sheffield - but was proud of the battling efforts of his riders.

The Crendon Panthers suffered a 51-39 defeat in the Steel City for the second time this season on another challenging night for the reigning Champions.

It all started prior to Heat One when SCB Referee Seth Perkin reported an issue with the switch panel, causing a malfunction with the starting tapes.

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That delayed the action by just over 30 minutes while the replacement procedure was explained to the riders.

Panthers team boss Rob Lyon (centre). Photo: Ian Charles/MI News.Panthers team boss Rob Lyon (centre). Photo: Ian Charles/MI News.
Panthers team boss Rob Lyon (centre). Photo: Ian Charles/MI News.

The racing did eventually get underway and when Ulrich Ostergaard and Scott Nicholls scored a 5-1 in Heat Three, the Panthers were back level at 9-9.

But already operating rider replacement for the injured Michael Palm Toft, they were then reduced to just five riders when Hans Andersen dislocated his shoulder after clipping the air fence in the closing stages of Heat Four.

And while the hosts were never realistically troubled by the depleted Panthers, the remaining riders certainly gave it their all and were just three points short of adding something to their league tally.

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Lyon says it was a frustrating night for his side all round and was disappointed by the length of some of the delays and the confusion that surrounded them.“Everything that could go wrong did go wrong,” he said. “If you’d have said to me before the start of the meeting that we’re going to have no tapes, we’re going to have problems with the green light, we’re going to go completely the opposite, alien to whatever we’ve done before in Speedway and then I lose a rider and am down to five, I probably wouldn’t have even turned up tonight.

“It is deflating to be fair - it was an absolute shambles if I’m honest.

“I felt sorry for the Sheffield promotion because it was pretty much out of their hands with the situation with the start gate not functioning etc.

“The ironic thing about it is that, as I understand it, the procedure used in the end is not in the rule book.

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“The rules were amended tonight to allow an additional start marshal with a flag to allow the green light go to go ahead.

“Yet after a few races that was discarded and we went back to the rule that we were initially told we’d got to run with which isn’t in the rule book - so what does that tell you? What do you make of that?

“The bungee chord scenario was mentioned by the riders, but apparently that’s been taken out of the rule book for some reason.

“I don’t think we’ve seen this before; we’ve all seen tapes malfunction and then green lights and go, but not the other way around where the green light comes on to go which is totally alien to what the boys are used to.

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“It’s not a good look for the sport - but it is what it is I suppose. The boys put on a decent show with the problems we had I guess.“We’re running out of riders and we’re running out of options and it’s tough. That’s the luck you get sometimes but it is what it is.“The boys put up a good fight; we sort of hung on to Sheffield to try and get a point but it wasn’t quite enough.”Round Four of the Premiership Pairs takes place at Wolverhampton on Monday (July 18, 8pm) with the Crendon Panthers next in team action at Belle Vue on Monday, July 25 (7.30).SHEFFIELD 51: Jack Holder 12, Adam Ellis 12, Kyle Howarth 8+3, Tobiasz Musielak 6+3, Justin Sedgmen 5, Connor Mountain 5, Craig Cook 3+1.PETERBOROUGH 39: Ulrich Ostergaard 10+1, Chris Harris 10, Benjamin Basso 9+2, Scott Nicholls 6+1, Hans Andersen 2, Jordan Jenkins 2, Michael Palm Toft R/R.