Peterborough Panthers suffer a sobering home defeat at the hands of the Aces

Peterborough Panthers suffered a sobering 54-36 home defeat to Belle Vue as the Aces completed a quickfire early-season double at the East of England Arena.

By Alan Swann
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 7:07 am
Michael Palm Toft leads Panthers teammate Scott Nicholls in the meeting against Belle Vue at the Showground. Photo: David Lowndes.

Brady Kurtz scored paid maximum for a visiting side who were every bit as impressive as they had been when they hammered the Crendon Panthers in Manchester last Monday.Panthers were limited to just four race wins on their own circuit, and were made to pay the price for a disastrous first half of the meeting where they conceded three 5-1s in the first five races.Michael Palm Toft did his best to stem the tide with three race wins as he hit double figures, whilst Benjamin Basso provided plenty of entertainment and Hans Andersen picked up his best home score of the season – but overall it was a meeting dominated by the Aces.Rising Star reserve Tom Brennan again showed his liking for the Alwalton circuit as he shared in two early 5-1s and then defeated Panthers skipper Scott Nicholls in Heat 8, and German newcomer Norick Blodorn also showed up well on his first appearance at the venue.When Kurtz and Blodorn secured a maximum over Andersen and Ulrich Ostergaard in Heat 9, Panthers trailed 17-37 and were looking down the barrel of a massive home defeat.They did regroup in the final third of the meeting with two wins for Palm Toft and one for Harris in successive races, and Basso charged under Max Fricke on the last bend of Heat 11 before overcoming Blodorn and Matej Zagar for a consolation 5-1 in Heat 12.But Kurtz had the final say, taking Heat 13 in a Belle Vue 5-1 as Fricke re-passed Palm Toft for second, and the Aces skipper secured his maximum in the last race as he fended off the challenge of Andersen and Palm Toft.Panthers boss Rob Lyon said: “We had a chat in the changing room with the boys afterwards. It’s tough to take obviously, but as the saying goes we’ve got to sit down, regroup and get it right for the next match.“This team is good enough to do that, we know that, but it’s hard to know what you can point your finger on.“It’s pretty obvious that starts were an issue, but if you look at the first eight races we lost by 16 points, and the last seven we lost by two.“I don’t think the track had anything to do with it. Maybe it caught us out a bit early on, but it’s the same for both teams, Belle Vue attacked it and were sharper from the tapes, and that was the difference.”Panthers now have a break in order to collect their thoughts, with their next league match not until May 30 when they visit King’s Lynn – but before that, they host the opening round of the new Premiership Pairs competition on Monday May 23.

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PETERBOROUGH 36: Michael Palm Toft 11+1, Hans Andersen 8+1, Benjamin Basso 6+1, Chris Harris 6, Scott Nicholls 5, Ulrich Ostergaard 0, Jordan Palin 0.BELLE VUE 54: Brady Kurtz 14+1, Norick Blodorn 8, Tom Brennan 7+2, Charles Wright 7+1, Max Fricke 6+2, Matej Zagar 6+1, Jye Etheridge 6.

Panthers man Hans Andersen leads the way in heat 3 against Belle Vue. Photo: David Lowndes.