Palm Toft is awesome, but Peterborough Panthers pair exit at the semi-final stage

Michael Palm Toft.
Michael Palm Toft.
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Peterborough Panthers suffered a semi-final exit in their pursuit of more silverware last night.

The city side’s duo Michael Palm Toft and Scott Nicholls came up just short in the SGB Championship Pairs at Somerset after topping their qualifying group.

Scott Nicholls

Scott Nicholls

They were eliminated by eventual runners-up Workington in their last-four clash when never able to recover from slow starts and being on the receiving end of a 7-2 (the winner earns four points, runners-up gain three points and third place is worth two points in this format).

Workington were then beaten in the final by Sheffield even though Proctor took victory. Sheffield pair Kyle Howarth and Charles Wright packed the minor places to triumph 5-4 and ensure the South Yorkshire club retained a trophy they also won in 2017.

Panthers team boss Carl Johnson said: “Unfortunately we left our gating gloves in the toolbox for the semi-final – and the Workington pair probably made the best starts of the night at the same time!

“It was a shame to go out at that stage, but we gave it our all.

“Michael was absolutely awesome and produced some fantastic passing moves that had the crowd on their feet.

“Scott lacked a bit of speed and that’s something we need to look at. He is riding the wheels off his bike but just doesn’t seem to be getting the results his efforts deserve at the moment.”

Panthers began their Group A challenge with back-to-back 6-3s against Edinburgh and Berwick – both of which were inspired by successes from the excellent Palm Toft with Nicholls bagging third places.

Palm Toft suffered his only defeat of the group stage at the hands of Lakeside man Richard Lawson in their third heat, but he and Nicholls still earned a 5-4 success,

Panthers needed only two points from their final group outing against Scunthorpe, but Palm Toft’s success meant they gained double that number while losing 5-4 to Scorpions duo Jake Allen and Josh Auty.

That earned top spot in the group with Panthers finishing above Lakeside, who also recorded 21 points, after beating them in their head-to-head battle.

But their bid to follow up the club’s SGB Championship Fours triumph at the beginning of the month – of which Palm Toft and Nicholls were both a part - was then halted by Group B runners-up Workington in the semi-final.

SGB CHAMPIONSHIP PAIRS

Results

GROUP A

PANTHERS 21: Michael Palm Toft 15, Scott Nicholls 6

LAKESIDE 21: Richard Lawson 13, Nick Morris 8

EDINBURGH 20: Ricky Wells 12, Erik Riss 8

SCUNTHORPE 14: Jake Allen 9, Josh Auty 5

BERWICK 14: Aaron Summers 9, Kevin Doolan 5

GROUP B

SHEFFIELD 22: Charles Wright 12, Kyle Howarth 10

WORKINGTON 20: Nicolai Klindt 12, Ty Proctor 8

REDCAR 20: Ben Barker 10, Thomas Jorgensen 10

IPSWICH 19: Rory Schlein 15, Nico Covatti 4

GLASGOW 9: Chris Harris 5, Paul Starke 4

SEMI-FINALS

1: Workington beat Peterborough 7-2

2: Sheffield beat Lakeside 7-2

FINAL

Sheffield beat Workington 5-4