It’s Panthers against Lakeside Hammers in the play-offs

Rye House suits Emil Grondal.
Rye House suits Emil Grondal.
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Peterborough Panthers have made their choice for the play-offs - and it will be yet another clash with regular rivals Lakeside.

Panthers have selected the Hammers as their semi-final opponents, leaving Glasgow and Workington to meet in the other last-four encounter.

Dates have already been agreed with Lakeside staging the first leg at their Rye House base on Saturday October 6, while the return takes place at the East of England Arena on Sunday October 7.

Remarkably it means Panthers are set to travel to Hoddesdon on FOUR successive weekends, as following last Saturday’s 50-40 win to secure top spot in the regular league table, the sides also meet this Sunday in the KO Cup and the following weekend in the semi-finals of the Championship Shield!

Promoter Ged Rathbone said: “We had a chat between the team and the management, and we looked at each of the clubs who have qualified.

“In simple terms, with Lakeside moving to Rye House they don’t have as much of a home advantage, and we will probably have raced as much as them on that track when it comes to the semi-final.

“Nothing is guaranteed, it doesn’t mean to say we’re going to win because we’ve already won there, but we have a fair few meetings on that track over the coming weeks, and we feel that our riders are more suited to it than the other two tracks.

“Lakeside are still very strong, and their top three of (Nick) Morris, (Richard) Lawson and (Adam) Ellis is probably one of the best in the league, if not the best.

“But we’ve proved before that we have riders who suit Rye House, people like Emil (Grondal) and Tofty (Michael Palm Toft), and Ulrich (Ostergaard) is not going to have the same bad meeting there as last time.

“If we perform like we know we can perform, we can certainly keep that meeting close if not snatch another victory, and with the KO Cup and Shield matches coming up, we’ll have plenty of track-time there beforehand.

“We did look at the other teams, especially with the injury problems Workington have got with a question mark over Ty Proctor, plus I think Dan Bewley goes to reserve in October so they would need a guest there, so that was an option.

“Against Glasgow this year we actually came out on top over two legs, but we feel that they have just clicked into a bit of form, so we felt it would be better to let Workington and Glasgow fight it out.

“Of course, if we are lucky enough to get into the Final then it’s a totally different ball game. You’re going to a track once, riders know what’s up for grabs and anything can happen on the day.”