Tale of woe continues for Peterborough Panthers who suffer their heaviest defeat of the season

Niels Kristian Iversen top scored for Panthers at Leicester.Niels Kristian Iversen top scored for Panthers at Leicester.
Niels Kristian Iversen top scored for Panthers at Leicester.
Peterborough Panthers suffered their heaviest league defeat of the season with a 53-37 reverse at in-form Leicester on Thursday.

Very little went right for the Crendon Panthers in the East Midlands, as they were limited to just three race wins, and they also found the majority of decisions going against them.

Niels-Kristian Iversen reached double figures, winning back-to-back races in Heats 11 and 12, but he was on the wrong end of a controversial disqualification in Heat 15 for delaying the start.

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And that wasn’t the first time a Panthers rider’s disqualification light came on as Richie Worrall was ruled out of Heat 5 for what was deemed to be a second offence of movement at the start.

Worrall had briefly led Heat 1 until Max Fricke surged through on the inside, and Panthers had little answer to either Fricke or Richard Lawson throughout the meeting.

More damaging, though, was the concession of 5-1s in Heats 2 and 4, both involving home reserve Drew Kemp, whilst Heat 5 was a disaster after Worrall’s disqualification as Lawson gated for the Lions and Chris Harris blasted between Iversen and Hans Andersen at the end of the first lap.

Home rider Justin Sedgmen came down on the exit of turn two in Heat 6 but was somewhat generously allowed back for an all-four re-run, although Panthers did share that race behind Fricke.

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And Benjamin Basso put a win on the board with a terrific ride in Heat 7 as he caught and passed Jake Allen, making his move on the last bend and winning the race to the line.

But Sedgmen and Kemp held on for a 5-1 over Worrall in Heat 8 making it 31-17, and from then on it was damage limitation at best.

Leicester added two 4-2s with Vadim Tarasenko working hard for second place ahead of Harris in Heat 9, before Panthers responded with identical results in Heats 11 and 12, both won by Iversen who inflicted Lawson’s only defeat when riding as a tactical substitute in the latter.

But the Lions pulled clear in the closing stages, with Harris storming past Andersen and Ben Cook in Heat 14 after Allen had held things up on the inside.

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Iversen’s disqualification from Heat 15 was certainly a talking point, as he was given little leeway after admittedly being close to the maximum time allowance on entering the track, although the irony was that it caused a further, more significant, delay to the meeting and ruled out a race between the top riders on both teams with the overall result already determined.

As it was, Fricke quickly moved through on the first bend to complete his maximum, backed up by Lawson in second place to leave the final margin at 24 points.

Manager Rob Lyon said: “It’s the same old, same old – three heat winners. We know the score and we know the team is not consistently good enough.

“I’m sure the boys are putting the effort in, I can’t question that, but the bottom line is that it’s just not good enough.

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“Things went against us and that didn’t help us – the tyre situation at the start of the meeting, the track was very slick, and the referee made some strange calls and it’s not the first time, that’s all I’m going to say!

“It adds salt to the wound really, and when you’re not riding well enough as a team you don’t need that type of bad luck to go against you.”

Panthers are back in action on Monday when they travel to King’s Lynn – who themselves suffered a heavy home defeat at the hands of Sheffield on Thursday.

LEICESTER 57: Max Fricke 15, Richard Lawson 13+1, Chris Harris 8+1, Drew Kemp 8+1, Jake Allen 7+2, Justin Sedgmen 6+1, Nick Morris r/r.

PETERBOROUGH 33: Niels-Kristian Iversen 10, Benjamin Basso 7, Ben Cook 4+1, Vadim Tarasenko 4+1, Hans Andersen 4, Richie Worrall 3+1, Jordan Jenkins 1.