Speedway - Tigers pose the toughest test yet for city side

Brady Kurtz will guest for the Panthers again.
Brady Kurtz will guest for the Panthers again.
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Team boss Carl Johnson reckons Panthers can continue their perfect start to the Premier League season in the heat of top-of-the-table battle.

The city racers have reeled off four flawless victories to collect the maximum available league points and zoom into pole position.

They take their proud record to Owlerton Stadium tonight (Thursday) to take on the second-placed Sheffield Tigers – a team just a point behind them in the early-season standings, but who have already ridden three more meetings.

Johnson said: “It is bound to be a tough meeting – you wouldn’t expect anything else from a top-of-the-table clash – but our boys can’t wait.

“They are loving their speedway at the moment and everyone is so determined to keep the great start to the league season going.

“The riders are performing on the track and the team spirit off it is phenomenal. That counts for so much in this sport and is undoubtedly a big factor in the results we’ve been having.

“We won’t treat this meeting any differently to any other. We are going to Sheffield with the aim of winning and at the very least we want to come away with a point.”

Panthers’ latest success was a 20-point drubbing of a highly-rated Workington side at the East of England Showground on Sunday.

They have also brushed aside Rye House at Alwalton with emphatic victories arriving on the road at Redcar and Plymouth.

Johnson has again drafted in Australian whizzkid Brady Kurtz to guest at number one. The 18 year-old makes his third appearance for Panthers after also being borrowed for both home victories in the league.

He is one of several members of the city side expected to shine on the super-fast Sheffield track.

Johnson added: “Brady was delighted to get another guest booking for us.

“He tells me Sheffield is his favourite track in this country and he absolutely loves racing there.

“He certainly isn’t the only one of our guys who should be suited by the track up there. Simon Lambert used to ride for Sheffield and likes the place while Lewis Blackbird came through a British semi-final there just last week.

“Ulrich Ostergaard finished on the podium there in the Premier League Riders’ Championship as well last season so I’m hopeful we will have enough experience and knowledge of the track to get a good result.”

Panthers’ scheduled home clash against Glasgow tomorrow (Friday) was postponed earlier this week due to unavailability of the Showground track ahead of a major weekend event at the site.

The club insist it is a situation completely out of their hands, and they are working hard with their landlords to secure a new date for the fixture.

They are not now scheduled to race again after tonight until Bank Holiday Monday, May 25 when entertaining Plymouth in the first leg of a Premier League KO Cup clash.