Peterborough Panthers star relishing a Premiership title defence

Peterborough Panthers star Chris Harris is relishing the club’s Premiership title defence – even with the added pressure it brings.

By David Rowe
Thursday, 28th April 2022, 10:46 am
Chris Harris

The Crendon Panthers kick off their league campaign with a high noon clash at Belle Vue on Bank Holiday Monday, which takes them back to the scene of the first leg of last year’s Grand Final.That was when they found themselves in the trickiest of positions when Hans Andersen crashed out in his first ride, but Harris was integral in the dramatic comeback which left the tie still in a winnable position, which they took advantage of in a thrilling second leg at the Showground.

Six months on, many of their rivals have rebuilt in a bid to knock Panthers off their perch – including the Aces announcing the signing of Matej Zagar this week - but Harris says they are ready for the challenge.

Harris said: “Obviously as defending champions it’s always exciting because you’ve got a target on your backs and everyone wants to beat the champs!“But we’re up for it. We’ve got a good side again, with only Bjarne (Pedersen) not with us from last year because of him retiring, and Benjamin (Basso) has settled in really well, so all the boys are up for it.

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“All season last year we were working in the pits together, making sure that anyone who needed any help got it, and if someone was struggling there was always someone there to back him up.“That’s the key for success, and the whole set-up was great. Rob’s (Lyon) a very good team manager, and everyone worked as a unit.

“It’s no good having one rider go out and score 15 every week when the other six aren’t scoring – you need to all be scoring, and last year we had fun and enjoyed our racing, with a lot of banter along the way.

“The plan is for the same again this year, but we know it’s not going to be easy, there are some good teams out there.”

Peterborough missed out on a place in the League Cup Final with King’s Lynn confirming their progression with a big home win over Ipswich on Monday.

It was the home defeat to the Stars when Michael Palm Toft suffered concussion which proved costly to Panthers’ hopes, before they were narrowly beaten in the return at the Adrian Flux Arena.Palm Toft has now completed his mandatory break, and boss Lyon is hopeful that he will line up at No.1 at Belle Vue – the venue where he defeated a star-studded field to win the Peter Craven Memorial Trophy last month.

The Dane is scheduled to race for his Championship club Plymouth at Scunthorpe tomorrow (Friday), which would be an ideal fitness test and warm-up for Monday.