Peterborough Panthers have a great chance of a first Premiership Grand Final victory for 15 years
Peterborough Panthers boss Rob Lyon insists his side have given themselves a great chance of winning the Premiership title tonight (October 14, 7.30pm).
Lyon leads his side into action against Belle Vue at the Showground with a two-point deficit to overcome following a sensational Grand Final first leg in Manchester on Monday.
Ipswich star Craig Cook, a former Belle Vue rider, has been drafted into the Panthers starting line-up, either as a replacement for Hans Andersen, who suffered a concussion in the first leg, or for long-term absentee Ulrich Ostergaard.
Rider replacement will be used if Anderson is ruled out with Panthers set to finalise their line-up today (Thursday). Monday’s guest Lewis Kerr is ineligible tonight.
Rising Star Jordan Palin has been declared fit despite crashing while riding for Leicester on Tuesday, while Michael Palm Toft will again ride through the pain of a broken hand as Panthers chase a first top-flight title success since 2006.
Lyon said: “The boys dug really deep on Monday and they’ve given themselves a great chance going into tonight. We know it will be tough because Belle Vue have done well at our place this season and they are sure to be up for the challenge as much as we are.
“I’d like to welcome Craig into the side and thank him for agreeing to step in. We know what a good rider he can be and I’m confident he can help us get the result we need to become champions.
“Jordan was terrific in the first leg. I know he likes that circuit, but to do what he did early doors was excellent and he rode really well. He really contributed for us, so hopefully there will be more to come tonight.
“The boys are up for this, and we really want to win.”
Lyon has thanked all the guest riders who have helped the club since Ostergaard picked up his injury two months ago.
“It’s never easy picking guests and also the guys who agree to it put pressure on themselves,” Lyon added.
“I want to thank Lewis Kerr for his efforts. He was angry with himself on Monday, but he’s ruled out for the home leg because he rode here seven days ago isn’t allowed to ride again.
“Additionally, we can’t use anyone from the top four clubs so it’s great Craig agreed to help us out.
“Now it’s time to kick on again and win a Grand Final.”
Belle Vue won both regular season meetings at the East of England Arena.
Panthers have not won the top-flight title for 15 years.