SAFETY FIRST

Wednesday August 30, 2017
TEAM boss Carl Johnson insisted it was a case of safety first after Peterborough’s home fixture with Newcastle was brought to an early halt on Wednesday night.

The ‘T Balfe Construction’ Panthers drew 30-30 with the Diamonds in an SGB Championship clash which was abandoned after 10 heats.

Referee Barbara Horley called off the contest – with the result standing – due to what were described as 'unsafe track conditions'.
It was a disappointing end to Peterborough's first home league outing for five-and-a-half weeks, but Johnson stressed that rider safety had to be the top priority.

He said: “It didn’t go the way we wanted or expected it to. We can only apologise to the fans as we know how frustrating it is for a meeting to be abandoned like that.

“But no-one wants to see riders getting injured and we probably arrived at the correct decision in the end as conditions weren't good for them.

“The surface of the track broke up a little too much. We worked as hard as we could on it, but it just wasn’t to be in the end.

“We’ll work hard to get it right for our next home meeting against Glasgow on Sunday.”

The deadlock was a fair reflection of a meeting in which the two teams were never split by more than four points.

Newcastle roared into an early lead as two former Panthers man – Ash Morris and Danny King – banked a 5-1 in the opener.

That was cancelled out in heat three when stand-in skipper Paul Starke blasted from third to first to lead in guest Rory Schlein, but Peterborough were soon behind again after having two riders excluded in the fourth contest.

Reserve Tom Bacon received his marching orders following a second-lap tumble in the initial staging before Schlein failed to make it to the tapes inside the two minutes ahead of the re-run.

His place went to Simon Lambert who gave chase to winner Steve Worrall, while Diamonds reserve Alfie Bowtell just about managed to complete all four laps to secure his side a 4-2.

Extensive track work was carried out before the action resumed and Panthers drew level in heat six when Chris Harris got the better of Steve Worrall in a battle of the Great Britain team-mates.

Busy Peterborough guest Ryan Douglas, who completed five rides before the abandonment, took third place to earn a 4-2.

The Australian ace, borrowed from Scunthorpe, then took the flag in heat eight when another 4-2 edged Peterborough ahead for the first time.
Their advantage proved to be short-lived as Newcastle took advantage of a Starke retirement to reply in the next contest.

Diamonds guest Kyle Newman delivered the classiest ride of the night when blasting round the boards to triumph in heat 10, but that proved to be the final action as referee Horley called a halt to the meeting following discussions with both teams and officials in the pits.

SCORES

PETERBOROUGH: Ryan Douglas (guest) 8+1, Simon Lambert 7, Rory Schlein (guest) 5+1, Paul Starke 5, Chris Harris 4+1, Tom Bacon 1, Rider replacement for Ulrich Ostergaard.

NEWCASTLE: Steve Worrall 8, Kyle Newman 6 (guest), Danny King (guest) 5+1, Ash Morris 5, Ben Hopwood 3, Alfie Bowtell 2+1.

HEATS
1 - Morris (60.3), King, Douglas, Harris. 1-5, 1-5.
2 - Lambert (60.8), Hopwood, Bowtell, Bacon. 3-3, 4-8.
3 - Starke (59.9), Schlein, Newman, Lindgren. 5-1, 9-9.
4 - re-run Worrall (60.4), Lambert (Schlein exc 2 mins), Bowtell, Bacon (fell/exc). 2-4, 11-13.
5 - King (61.0), Starke, Douglas, Morris. 3-3, 14-16.
6 - Harris (60.4), Worrall, Douglas, Hopwood. 4-2, 18-18.
7 - Schlein (60.2), Newman, Lindgren, Lambert. 3-3, 21-21.
8 - Douglas (60.8), Morris, Bacon, Bowtell. 4-2, 25-23.
9 - Worrall (60.8), Lambert, Hopwood, Starke (ret). 2-4, 27-27.
10 - Newman (61.6), Douglas, Harris, Lindgren. 3-3, 30-30.

PICTURE: The riders enter the first turn in the first race last night (by CHLOE MAY COLES).

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