MEETING PREVIEW: Guests galore in farcical finale
Peterborough Panthers will track just two of their own riders in a farcical 2016 finale tonight (September 23).
The city team travel to Edinburgh for a meaningless Premier League fixture which will not count towards the play-off standings as it is taking place after the September 19 cut-off date.
Panthers bosses did unsuccessfully seek an extension from the British Speedway Promoter’s Association (BSPA) as a victory in Scotland could lift them to fifth place in the table, but it was rejected.
And success at Armadale now looks distinctly unlikely with Panthers only able to track number one Craig Cook and captain Ulrich Ostergaard from their regular seven-man team.
Anders Thomsen saw his season ended by a crash in the Speedway Euro Championship (SEC) last Saturday which left him nursing two broken wrists while Richard Hall has picked up a knee problem.
Kenneth Bjerre and Danny Halsey are both understood to be suffering from illness while Zdenek Holub is with-holding his services.
Panthers bosses have drafted in four guests with ex-Edinburgh men Matt Wethers and Jye Etheridge coming in for Thomsen and Bjerre respectively, while Shelby Rutherford and David Wallinger (both of National League side Buxton) will form a makeshift reserve combination. It’s rider replacement for Hall.
“It is disappointing to be without so many riders,” said team boss Carl Johnson. “And it has not been easy to be able to put a team together.
“But we’re very grateful to the four guys who have stepped in to guest and we will treat the meeting as a shop window for next season.”
Hosts Edinburgh did make the play-offs by finishing fourth, but they were smashed 58-32 at Ipswich in the opening leg of their quarter-final tie last night.
EDINBURGH: Sam Masters, Ryan Fisher, Erik Riss, Mark Riss, Kevin Wolbert, Max Clegg, Ryan Blacklock (guest).
PANTHERS: Craig Cook, rider replacement for Richard Hall, Ulrich Ostergaard, Jye Etheridge (guest), Matt Wethers (guest), Shelby Rutherford (guest), David Wallinger (guest).