SPEEDWAY: It was glum in Glasgow for Panthers
Peterborough Panthers supremo Ged Rathbone will resist the temptation to reach for the panic button '“ despite another dreadful display from his team yesterday (May 1).
But promoter Rathbone, who also stood in as team boss for a 62-30 drubbing at Glasgow in the Premier League, has warned his riders need to take a ‘serious look’ at themselves.
For the second successive meeting, Panthers were only able to provide two race wins – both of those came courtesy of captain Ulrich Ostergaard in the final third of a contest which was already beyond them.
They didn’t register a single heat advantage in Scotland while two riders – Emil Grondal and Simon Lambert – both failed to score a point.
Rathbone said: “This sort of performance is not acceptable from professional sportsmen and I can only apologise to the supporters.
“We were awful from start to finish and we have got to get our form turned around.
“The riders need to have a serious look at themselves. Two race wins out of 15 is a terrible return and it has now happened two meetings running.
“We had one man with more than 10 years experience and another with a background on the world stage not even manage to score a point.
“There is no way I’m going to travel the country to be on the receiving end of a result like this.
“I give up a lot of my time and money and expect to see my team compete home and away.
“Glasgow are clearly a very good team who will be right up there in the table at the end of the season, but we believe we’re capable of challenging ourselves.
“This is the team we wanted to build and it is the team we want to keep. We’re not going to press the panic button, but we have got to get the problems sorted.”
To make matters worse for Panthers, the drubbing north of the border was compounded by an injury concern after Nicklas Porsing retired from heat 13 with a jarred knee.
The Dane is due to seek specialist advice in his homeland today over possible ligament damage.
That was one of six races in which Panthers were only able to provide one finisher – a record which included the first three instalments of the afternoon.
Ostergaard and Lambert were excluded following tumbles in the opening two races before Grondal suffered a mechanical failure in the third as Glasgow eased into a 10-point advantage.
Porsing and reserve Tom Perry, who again battled well for his paid seven points, bucked that trend by packing the minor places in heat four.
But Michael Palm Toft suffered the first of his two retirements in heat five as the hosts launched another run of three successive advantages which put them 18 points clear.
Rathbone deployed Palm Toft on a tactical ride in heat eight, but he could only manage a second place to earn a 4-4 outcome which all but ended Panthers’ hopes of a fightback.
In fact they were 26 points adrift by the time Ostergaard provided some cheer with victory in heat 11 (when Palm Toft packed up again) and the skipper again took the flag a couple of races later when Porsing pulled out.
But that wasn’t the end of their torment as Glasgow banged in two more advantages in the final two races to complete a 32-point margin of victory.
Panthers are back in action on Friday (May 6) when they face a trip to the other end of the Premier League landscape at Plymouth.
GLASGOW: Richard Lawson 14, Richie Worrall 12 (max), Ben Barker 10+3, Aaron Summers 9+1, Nike Lunna 8+2, Fernando Garcia 6+1, Danny Ayres 3+1.
PANTHERS: Ulrich Ostergaard 8, Nikolaj B Jakobsen 7, Tom Perry 5+2, Michael Palm Toft 5, Nicklas Porsing 5, Emil Grondal 0, Simon Lambert 0.