Boost for Panthers as two riders are fit to race. But Peterborough are still sweating on the fitness of Lewis Blackbird ahead of big KO Cup clash

Lewis Blackbird

Lewis Blackbird - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Peterborough duo Lasse Bjerre and Ales Dryml have been passed fit to return to when ‘TC Harrison’ Panthers launch their bid for Premier League KO Cup success.

Prolific Danish ace Bjerre and former European champion Dryml both crashed out of the club’s league derby defeat at Ipswich last Thursday.

Dryml also pulled out of a European Championship semi-final qualifier in Slovenia at the weekend after taking a blow to the head in his Foxhall spill.

But both men have received the all-clear to line up when Panthers entertain Scunthorpe at the East of England Showground on Tuesday (7.30pm) in a re-arranged first round, first leg clash.

Captain Ulrich Ostergaard also returns to the fold after missing the 55-40 loss at Ipswich due to riding in the opening leg of the Danish Final on the same night, but it is not all good news for Panthers ahead of the visit of the Scorpions.


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Club chiefs are sweating over the fitness of Lewis Blackbird who is being troubled by a shoulder problem sustained in a crash when on duty for his Elite League club, Eastbourne, on Saturday.

Blackbird hit the deck in his first ride and completed the meeting with a double-figures score, but his injury has since worsened.

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Panthers co-boss Trevor Swales said: “Ales and Lasse are thankfully both fine after their crashes at Ipswich.

“Ales suffered a minor concussion and sat out the weekend to ensure he is fit to return for us tomorrow, while Lasse is also none the worse from his crash.

“It will be good to see Ulrich back as we undoubtedly missed him at Ipswich. He actually crashed in a Danish League meeting last Wednesday and hurt his foot, but he has declared himself fit.

“And touch wood Lewis will be okay too. He was involved in what sounds like a nasty crash at Eastbourne on Saturday and his shoulder has really stiffened up since.

“We will have to use rider-replacement if Lewis doesn’t make it, but we certainly hope to be at full-strength for what will hopefully be our first home meeting for some time.

“We need to make sure we are a lot sharper away from the tapes than we were at Ipswich last week because we need to build up a good advantage to take to Scunthorpe for the second leg.”

It is actually three weeks since Panthers last appeared at Alwalton. They haven’t been seen on home shale since powering past Newcastle in a televised league clash on April 29 due to two postponements.

The second leg of the KO Cup tie is at Scunthorpe on Spring Bank Holiday Monday, May 26. The winners advance to a quarter-final clash with Plymouth.

If Panthers prevail they will stage the home leg against Plymouth on Tuesday, June 3 ahead of a return clash in the South-West three days later.

TEAMS:

‘TC HARRISON’ PANTHERS: Ryan Fisher, Lewis Blackbird, Ales Dryml, Ulrich Ostergaard, Lasse Bjerre, Joe Jacobs, Oliver Greenwood.

SCUNTHORPE: Josh Auty, Nicolai Klindt, David Howe, Ashley Birks, Ryan Douglas, Matt Williamson, Thomas Jorgensen.

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