Peterborough Panthers pair deliver plenty of entertainment, but ran out of luck in Wolverhampton

Peterborough Panthers contributed bags of entertainment, but eventually finished fifth in Monday’s Premiership Pairs round at Wolverhampton.

By Alan Swann
Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 7:05 am
Chris Harris in action for Panthers. Photo: David Lowndes.
Chris Harris in action for Panthers. Photo: David Lowndes.

Crendon Panthers duo Chris Harris and Scott Nicholls were in the thick of the action all night and deserved more for their efforts, as Ipswich took a grip on the series with a third successive victory.

Panthers conceded a 6-3 to King’s Lynn in their opener as Nicholls split Richard Lawson and Josh Pickering, but Harris fell at the start of the second lap.

Next time out it was Harris in the points as he made a strong move to go inside Belle Vue’s Brady Kurtz on the last lap for second place.

Chris Harris in action for Panthers. Photo: David Lowndes.

Harris was second again in Heat 7, this time to the home side’s Sam Masters as Rising Star Jordan Jenkins took his compulsory outing.

But there was a tremendous Heat 10 to enjoy as Panthers faced Sheffield, and with Harris out in front, Nicholls produced a strong move on Jack Holder off turn four, and he and Harris then team-rode superbly for a 7-2.

However, Nicholls’ night ended in controversy when he was twice left with no room in the early stages of Heat 13, and after being invited back for the re-run when he came down on the way into turn one, the second occasion saw him squeezed to the inside off turn two by the Ipswich duo, and he was disqualified by referee Wayne Jarvis, much to Panthers’ displeasure.

When the race finally got underway, Harris produced one of his typical magic moments to cut tight for the inside off bend four and surge inside both Jason Doyle and Troy Batchelor in a brilliant passing move.

That left Panthers with 20 points on the night, which looked like it might be enough for fourth place until King’s Lynn took a 7-2 over the unhappy Sheffield duo in Heat 14 to move on to 21.

Ipswich went on to win the meeting, defeating Belle Vue in the Final, and the Witches are now strongly odds-on to take the series as they are 12 points clear overall with two rounds remaining.

BELLE VUE 31: Max Fricke 20, Brady Kurtz 9, Tom Brennan 2.

IPSWICH 27: Jason Doyle 18, Troy Batchelor 9, Danyon Hume 0.

WOLVERHAMPTON 24: Sam Masters 16, Nick Morris 8, Joe Thompson 0.

KING’S LYNN 21: Josh Pickering 14, Richard Lawson 7, Jason Edwards 0.

PETERBOROUGH 20: Chris Harris 13, Scott Nicholls 7, Jordan Jenkins 0.

SHEFFIELD 12: Adam Ellis 8, Jack Holder 2, Connor Mountain 2.

Semi-final: Ipswich beat Wolverhampton 6-3

Final: Ipswich beat Belle Vue 7-2

ROUND 4 RESULT

Ipswich 12, Belle Vue 8, Wolverhampton 6, King’s Lynn 4, Peterborough 2, Sheffield 0.

STANDINGS AFTER ROUND 4

Ipswich 38, King’s Lynn 26, Sheffield 24, Belle Vue 22, Wolverhampton 10, Peterborough 8.