Duo make return for Panthers against Belle Vue Aces

KRZYSZTOF Buczkowski and Norbert Kosciuch make their Elite League return on Thursday night when Peterborough host Belle Vue at the Showground (7.30pm).

KRZYSZTOF Buczkowski and Norbert Kosciuch make their Elite League return on Thursday night when Peterborough host Belle Vue at the Showground (7.30pm).

The Polish duo were re-declared back into the Readypower Panthers team last week having ridden for the club during the previous two seasons, but have had to wait to get back into British action after the scheduled Lakeside home meeting last Monday was rained-off.

Both have been recalled to bolster the team’s bid to qualify for the end-of-season play-off championship shoot-out.

Panthers are currently in sixth place in the Elite League table having seen their long unbeaten home record come to end last time out against high-flyers Poole, but will be looking to start another winning run when the basement Aces come to town.

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The Manchester club have suffered a torrid time so far this year with injuries and retirements hindering their own season ambitions.

They did, however, register their first win of the campaign on Monday night when thumping Wolverhampton in front of the live Sky Sports cameras, with recent Russian recruit Renat Gafurov playing a major part in the victory scoring 12+1.

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The Aces have also signed Mark Lemon in the last few days as a doubling-up rider and now look a more competitive outfit than they have at any time this season.

Unfortunately, they have suffered another injury to Patrick Hougaard who again broke his collarbone last week in Sweden. It is the same injury he sustained in March. Rider-replacement will be in operation for the absent Dane.

They also have their other doubling-up duo unavailable (Craig Cook and Josh Grajczonek), so Mateusz Szczepaniak is called in as a guest for the night.

Panthers co-boss Jan Staechmann is not taking the Aces lightly despite their current league position. He said: “Thursday’s meeting will be approached no differently than any other meeting - we are going to try and win.

“Belle Vue may be at the foot of the table, but that doesn’t alter our game plan, if anything, on the contrary.

“We all saw how they sent Wolves packing on Monday. They have strengthened up recently and have a World Cup rider at reserve - so we need to make sure we are ready from Heat 1.

“It will be Krzysztof and Norbert’s first meeting back for us, and I am sure the fans will give them a great welcome on parade. We are looking to kick-start what is in effect the second part of our season, with a win on Thursday.”

After the main event the Peterborough Thundercats will take on the Mildenhall Fen Tiger Cubs in an Anglian Junior League meeting. The two teams will contest a four-man six-heat second-half match.

PETERBOROUGH: Kenneth Bjerre, Krzysztof Buczkowski, Michael Jepsen Jensen, Linus Sundstrom, Olly Allen, Richard Lawson, Norbert Kosciuch.

BELLE VUE: Rory Schlein, Patrick Hougaard R/R, Artur Mroczka, Mark Lemon, Ales Dryml, Mateusz Szczepaniak, Renat Gafurov.

THUNDERCATS: Adam Portwood, Simon Pearce, Adam Kirby, Ben Holloway.

MILDENHALL: Joe Graver, Tyler Govier, Niall Strudwick, Martin Knuckey.

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