TROPHY FIGHT!

Wednesday October 25, 2017
PETERBOROUGH are gearing up for a 15-heat fight for glory tomorrow night.

The 'T Balfe Construction' Panthers travel to Ipswich for the second leg of the SGB Championship KO Cup Final (7.30pm).

Team boss Carl Johnson has refused to dwell on a disappointing first-leg nosedive at the East of England Arena last Sunday when his side saw a 14-point cushion slashed to just four points during the closing five races.

Instead Johnson's sights remain firmly set on Peterborough lifting the crown for the first time in a quarter of a century at this level - and he is convinced that previous form will count for little in the heat of battle.

"I've seen a lot of comments saying we have no chance at Ipswich after losing there by 28 points and 11 points in our previous visits this season," said Johnson. "They are probably the same people who said we didn't have a hope in the second leg of the semi-final at Glasgow as well.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again . . . never count Panthers out. It is all about what happens on the track tomorrow night - results from April and August are irrelevant.

"We would obviously have liked to be heading to Ipswich with a much bigger advantage and we know we let ourselves down in the final third of the first leg.

"But I'd rather be four points up on aggregate than four points down and we'll set out to put Ipswich under pressure early on.

"The longer we can stay ahead, the tougher it becomes for them. They were the team celebrating at our place on Sunday - let's hope we can do the same at Foxhall."

Peterborough have called in Redcar man Ben Barker to guest at number one in place of the ill Jack Holder, while Bradley Wilson-Dean is well enough to return to action in the number two berth.

Jack Parkinson-Blackburn also steps in for another guest booking at reserve after being unavailable for the first leg last weekend.
Peterborough will be facing a rider who was part of their team in the opening leg.

Scott Nicholls, who scored 12+1 for Panthers when operating at number one for them on Sunday, is now called up by the Witches to replace injured Rory Schlein.

"Ben is a hard rider who flies around Ipswich," added Johnson. "He is a very capable guest and he will be a big presence off the track as well as on it.

"We're also delighted to have Bradley available again. He scored a stack of points at Ipswich earlier in the season.

"All the boys are fired up as they know what is at stake. It's not everyday the chance to win a trophy comes around and we're all determined to seize the moment.

"Hopefully there will be plenty of Panthers fans in attendance to get behind us."

TEAMS

IPSWICH: Danny King, Rider replacement for Justin Sedgmen, Cameron Heeps, Kyle Newman, Scott Nicholls (guest), Nathan Greaves, Connor Mountain.

PETERBOROUGH: Ben Barker (guest), Bradley Wilson-Dean, Paul Starke, Ulrich Ostergaard, Chris Harris, Simon Lambert, Jack Parkinson-Blackburn (guest).

Picture: STEVE HONE

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