Panthers make one last push at Eastbourne

PETERBOROUGH bid to keep their play-off dream on course when they race their final away fixture of the Elite League campaign at Eastbourne on Saturday.

PETERBOROUGH bid to keep their play-off dream on course when they race their final away fixture of the Elite League campaign at Eastbourne on Saturday.

The Readypower Panthers have secured impressive wins at Swindon, Poole and Coventry recently, and more points at Arlington would be a further boost with two home matches to come.

Defeat in Sussex would not necessarily spell the end of their ambitions, as it is possible for Panthers to make the play-offs by defeating Wolverhampton and Belle Vue at home, depending on results elsewhere.

Fourth-placed Lakeside snatched a point at King’s Lynn on Wednesday to move onto 43 points with three away matches to come. Panthers have 38 and can reach 44 with two maximum-points home wins, and they have a better points-difference than the Hammers.


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Poole, in fifth place, missed out at Swindon on Thursday leaving them on 39 with two matches remaining. Despite the fact that Panthers need to overhaul the Pirates, the ideal combination of results would be for Poole to defeat Lakeside on Monday before losing out at Belle Vue on September 9.

As far as the trip to Eastbourne is concerned, Panthers go into the fixture at full-strength with Patrick Hougaard at reserve for the final time before he moves back into the top five in September after a stunning run of form.

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Lukas Dryml is on the sidelines for the Eagles who remain a strong team to get the better of at home, having lost just once at Arlington this season despite sitting second bottom of the table – and young Dane Mikkel Michelsen has proved to be a successful signing in recent weeks.

The meeting is the second half of a double-header which also features Eastbourne v Birmingham, starting at 7pm. That means Panthers are likely to be on-track at around 8.30-8.45pm.

Panthers co-boss Ryan Sullivan said: “The boys’ attitude has to be the same as it has been recently - our fate is not fully in our own hands, and all we can do is continue racking up the points.

“Winning our two remaining home meetings and getting something at Eastbourne would more than likely take us very close to the play-offs.”

EASTBOURNE: Bjarne Pedersen, Mikkel Michelsen, Simon Gustafsson, Lukas Dryml R/R, Cameron Woodward, Kim Nilsson, Timo Lahti.

PANTHERS: Kenneth Bjerre, Ryan Fisher, Norbert Kosciuch, Krzysztof Buczkowski, Joonas Kylmakorpi, Dakota North, Patrick Hougaard.

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