Panthers push the league leaders close but suffer injury blow to No.1 Ryan Fisher, as Lewis Blackbird nets a paid 15
Edinburgh 51 Peterborough 42
Peterborough suffered another injury blow after losing number one Ryan Fisher during a battling defeat at Premier League top dogs Edinburgh.
Fisher sustained a separated collarbone in a heat six crash which forced him to withdraw from a 51-42 reverse for the ‘TC Harrison’ Panthers.
Fisher, who had also been excluded for hitting the deck in the opening race, has immediately been ruled out of the club’s next two meetings – a trip to Berwick tomorrow (Saturday) and a home clash against Redcar on Tuesday (July 1).
But Panthers, already without injured Ales Dryml due to a back problem, delivered a hugely creditable display as they came within a whisker of picking up a league point despite only having four scoring riders.
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And that in itself is a moral triumph at a venue where all previous competitive Monarchs meetings this term have ended in home wins by at least 17 points.
Three Panthers men – Lewis Blackbird, Lasse Bjerre and skipper Ulrich Ostergaard – all delivered double-figures hauls while reserve Joe Jacobs saw his demanding seven-ride shift end on a high by following in his captain for a 5-1 in the penultimate race.
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That left Panthers seven points adrift and in need of an advantage in the final heat to grab a valuable away point, but despite the best efforts of Bjerre and Ostergaard, the hosts claimed a 4-2.
Panthers team boss Carl Johnson said: “It looked like it could be a bad night when we conceded 5-1s in the opening two races and the loss of ‘Fish’ was a huge blow.
“But the lads got the heads right and stuck together - and by the end of the night Edinburgh knew they had been in a meeting.
“We came so close to picking up a point with only four scoring riders. The boys were a bit down to just come up short in the end, but they can be proud of their efforts.”
The other Panthers rider to complete the meeting, Nicki Barrett, endured a frustrating night as he failed to score in six outings on a track that did not suit him.
Panthers complete a hectic run of four fixtures in as many days when visiting Barrett’s parent club Berwick tomorrow (Saurday, 7pm).
Johnson has booked Edinburgh man Justin Sedgmen as a guest for Dryml while Panthers will operate the rider replacement facility to cover the absence of Fisher.
EDINBURGH: Craig Cook 13+1, Max Fricke 9, Justin Sedgmen 8+1, Steve Worrall 7+2, Sam Masters 6+2, Aaron Fox 4+2, Derek Sneddon 4+1.
‘TC HARRISON’ PANTHERS: Lewis Blackbird 14+1, Lasse Bjerre 12, Ulrich Ostergaard 11, Joe Jacobs 5+1, Nicki Barrett 0, Ryan Fisher 0 (withdrawn), Rider replacement for Ales Dryml.
1 – re-run Cook (55.3), Sedgmen, Blackbird, Fisher (fell/exc). 5-1, 5-1.
2 – Worrall (56.0), Fox, Jacobs, Barrett. 5-1, 10-2.
3 – re-run Ostergaard (56.7), Blackbird, Sneddon, Fricke (fell/exc). 1-5, 11-7.
4 – re-run Bjerre (56.4), Masters, Worrall, Barrett. 3-3, 14-10.
5 – Fricke (57.5), Blackbird, Sneddon, Fisher (fell). 4-2, 18-12.
6 – Sedgmen (awarded), Cook, Bjerre, Jacobs (fell/exc). 5-1, 23-13.
7 – Ostergaard (56.5), Masters, Jacobs, Fox. 2-4, 25-17.
8 – Blackbird (awarded), Sedgmen, Worrall, Barrett (fell). 3-3, 28-20.
9 – Bjerre (57.3), Fricke, Sneddon, Jacobs. 3-3, 31-23.
10 – Cook (56.0), Ostergaard, Sedgmen, Barrett. 4-2, 35-25.
11 – re-run Blackbird (t/r, 57.0), Worrall, Masters, Jacobs. 3-6, 38-31.
12 – Fricke (57.4), Fox, Jacobs, Ostergaard. 5-1, 43-32.
13 – Bjerre (57.0), Cook, Masters, Barrett. 3-3, 46-35.
14 – Ostergaard (57.8), Jacobs, Sneddon, Fox. 1-5, 47-40.
15 – Cook (56.5), Bjerre, Fricke, Ostergaard. 4-2, 51-42.