PANTHERS v WORKINGTON, PREVIEW

Thursday May 10, 2018
PETERBOROUGH face two big Championship home matches in three days this weekend – starting against Workington on Friday (7.30pm).

The T.Balfe Construction Panthers haven’t appeared at the East of England Arena for nearly a month but did pick up three useful Championship points on the road last week to move to the top of the early league table.

Their opponents on Friday have had a relatively quiet start to the season due to the weather, with just three Championship Shield fixtures completed – including home and away draws against Berwick last weekend.

The Comets will also become the final club to start their Championship programme with their trip to Alwalton.

Panthers are at full strength and unchanged from last week’s away matches at Sheffield and Edinburgh, where No.1 Scott Nicholls was in top form.

The former British Champion continued that with a Premiership maximum for Rye House on Monday, and although he withdrew from his last two rides of the Riders’ Championship at Poole 48 hours later, he will be fit to take his place on Friday.

Promoter Ged Rathbone said: “We joked with Scott after he came in from Heat 13 against Redcar in the rain, he said he rode like a novice there… to which I said he’d been doing that all season!

“We have a laugh with him but his ability is not in question, and in the away matches last week he was sensational – not just his own points, but with his team-riding. He’s enjoying his racing, and fingers crossed he will continue that form for the remainder of the season.

“So the team is looking good. We have Ulrich (Ostergaard) and Emil (Grondal) back on Friday, our destiny is in our own hands and if we perform like we know we can, we’ll be there or thereabouts.

“The big thing we keep stressing is that if everyone in the team scores seven points, we get 49 and we win meetings.

“We don’t want riders wiping themselves out doing silly things but it’s about everyone concentrating on the jobs and doing what they’re capable of.”

The Comets include two former Peterborough riders with Bradley Wilson-Dean – a temporary signing for the injured Mason Campton – likely to pose a considerable threat at reserve.

Meanwhile Nicolai Klindt, who had a spell with the Panthers in 2013, lines up at No.5 for the visitors.

Two fellow Danes are absent due to commitments in their homeland, but the Comets have booked the in-form Adam Ellis to guest for Rene Bach, whilst the rider-replacement facility is in operation for Rasmus Jensen.

Rathbone added: “I know it’s two meetings in three days, but after so long without a home match I hope the supporters are looking forward to it as much as we are.

“These boys have really come together as a team, we’re delighted with the start we’ve made to the season, but as I keep saying our feet are on the ground and we take things one match at a time.

“Another victory on Friday would put us in a good position, and that’s something we haven’t done in the league during my time at the club. We’ve always found ourselves playing catch-up and we have a great chance to avoid that this year.”

PETERBOROUGH: Scott Nicholls, Emil Grondal, Nike Lunna, Michael Palm Toft, Ulrich Ostergaard, Tom Bacon, Simon Lambert.
WORKINGTON: Adam Ellis, Rasmus Jensen R/R, Ty Proctor, Dan Bewley, Nicolai Klindt, Kyle Bickley, Bradley Wilson-Dean.



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