Peterborough Panthers' League Cup hopes hanging by a thread after narrow defeat in King's Lynn

Peterborough Panthers’ League Cup hopes are now in the hands of others after a narrow 47-43 defeat at rivals King’s Lynn on Thursday.

By Alan Swann
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 8:26 am
Benjamin Basso top scored for Panthers at King's Lynn
Benjamin Basso top scored for Panthers at King's Lynn

Panthers took the Stars right down to a last-heat decider with the scores all square, but Josh Pickering and Niels-Kristian Iversen were the heroes for the hosts with a 5-1 after a frantic battle.Panthers do take a point from the meeting to finish their group campaign on eight points – but the Stars already have six, and therefore need just one win from their remaining two matches, home and away against Ipswich next week, to progress.Winter signing Benjamin Basso once again sparkled for Rob Lyon’s side, racking up paid-15 from a full seven-ride shift, whilst both Ulrich Ostergaard and Chris Harris won three races as the visitors remained in touch despite the absence of concussion victim Michael Palm Toft.Ostergaard – after an initial collision with Iversen in Heat 1 – took the flag in his first three outings, including Heats 1 and 3, with Panthers twice taking an early lead with 4-2 race advantages.But the partnership between Pickering and Lewis Kerr proved profitable for the Stars, as they secured a 5-1 over Scott Nicholls and Hans Andersen in Heat 5 to put the hosts ahead for the first time.Panthers rallied with a 5-1 from Basso and Harris over Iversen in Heat 6, and Basso headed up a 4-2 with Jordan Palin in Heat 8, only for Pickering and Kerr to restore parity for the hosts in the next.They appeared to take a big step towards victory with maximum points in Heat 12 as Pickering re-passed Ostergaard to join Richie Worrall for a 5-1, but the Stars then hit trouble with Richard Lawson disqualified from Heat 13 and Kerr breaking the tapes in the next.Basso and Andersen took full advantage in the re-run by both getting the better of Worrall to leave the scores locked at 42-42.But in a brilliant final race, Pickering and Iversen both came from the back for the Stars at the expense of Ostergaard and Harris to leave Panthers just short – as Lynn also came away with the inaugural Colin Pratt Memorial Trophy.Boss Rob Lyon said: “Rider replacement for Michael brought us seven paid eight, which is a reasonable return, but he’s our No.1 and I do think we missed him as he’s normally pretty good around there.“I think he would have scored a tad more than that, and it meant our options were somewhat limited – but having said that, we win and lose as a team, and the boys put in 100 per cent, you can’t fault them for effort.“It was unfortunate in Heat 15 because we got into a 4-2 position and I thought we’d nailed it, but fair play to the Lynn boys because they had other ideas and came back at us and pipped us.“All in all I think the supporters were treated to a good match, and it’s just a shame we couldn’t quite pull it off.“Now we have to hope Ipswich can turn King’s Lynn over on Monday, and then do the double at Ipswich. I’m sure there will be a lot of local rivalry. It’s a derby and Ipswich will be up for it even though they can’t get through the group – so we hope they win both, which would put us through.”Panthers now have ten days to regroup as they prepare for the start of their league title defence at Belle Vue on Bank Holiday Monday, May 2 (midday start).

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KING’S LYNN 47: Josh Pickering 12+2, Richie Worrall 10+1, Niels-Kristian Iversen 8+2, Lewis Kerr 5+1, Thomas Jorgensen 5, Richard Lawson 4+2, Jack Thomas 3.PETERBOROUGH 43: Benjamin Basso 14+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 11, Chris Harris 11, Scott Nicholls 3+1, Hans Andersen 3+1, Jordan Palin 1, Michael Palm Toft r/r.