Peterborough Panthers seek a swift response in Sheffield after their Belle Vue nightmare

Peterborough Panthers know a swift response is needed when they face another tough Premiership away test at Sheffield tonight (Thursday).

By David Rowe
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 6:00 am
Panthers team boss Rob Lyon with Scott Nicholls (left) and Chris Harris (right). Photo: Ian Charles.
Panthers team boss Rob Lyon with Scott Nicholls (left) and Chris Harris (right). Photo: Ian Charles.

To say their opener at Belle Vue on Monday did not go according to plan would be a masterpiece of understatement, as the Crendon Panthers were hammered 64-26 on a track where they performed well last season.

Boss Rob Lyon was clearly frustrated by a series of mechanical problems, but even when Panthers completed four laps, they were invariably outpaced by the Aces.

And it gets no easier at Owlerton as the Tigers are very much title favourites, with a powerhouse side including GP newcomer Jack Holder, British Champion Adam Ellis, and established stars Tobiasz Musielak and Craig Cook.

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But Lyon says first and foremost his side need to get their own house in order, after a performance in Manchester which came as an enormous shock.

He said: “The issues we had on Monday were a combination of a few things really.

"“It was the worst nightmare in some ways. Everything went wrong, We were out-ridden, out-gated, and we weren’t quick enough.“Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say we were beaten by a better side, and that was clearly the case today.“We had a combination of things go wrong, a bit of bad luck as well, and it started from Heat 1 and continued all the way through.“It was a tough day at the office as they say, but we’ve got to move on and hopefully that’s the bad luck out of the way.

“We have to congratulate Belle Vue, they were the better team on the day, and there’s no doubt they’ve been strengthened by the signing of Matej Zagar.

“But we’ll see what happens. It’s a long season, and we’ve got to concentrate on what we do, and make sure we bounce back.”

All the Panthers struggled including in-form newcomer Ben Basso and ‘rising star’ Jordan Palin who picked up just one point apiece.

Teams: SHEFFIELD: Jack Holder, Craig Cook, Tobiasz Musielak, Kyle Howarth, Adam Ellis, Stefan Nielsen, Connor Mountain.PETERBOROUGH: Michael Palm Toft, Scott Nicholls, Ulrich Ostergaard, Hans Andersen, Chris Harris, Benjamin Basso, Jordan Palin.

Panthers get a quick chance of revenge over Belle Vue as they are the visitors for the first Premiership match of the season at the Showground on Monday (May 9, 7.30pm).

There is then a three-week break from league action before Panthers travel to King’s Lynn on Monday, May 30. Before then the Premiership Pairs competitoon takes place at the Showground on Monday, May 23.

Meanwhile, Panthers’ official No.8 Dan Gilkes is facing a lengthy period on the sidelines after crashing out at Scunthorpe last Friday.

Gilkes suffered a collapsed lung, five broken ribs and several fractures to his right arm whilst racing for his Championship club Plymouth, and the injuries could well end his season.

His Plymouth boss Garry May said: “The air fence is quite good at Scunny so we were hopeful it might not be too bad, but you could hear he was in pain as soon as we got across to him. I could tell it was bad.

“I am gutted for him. We will wait for him to get out of hospital before we find out more but if he is out for the rest of the season it will be a real shame because he has been going really well this year.”