Super Rye House Rockets pip Peterborough Panthers in final heat at the East of England Showground. Last-heat heroes Edward Kennett and Steve Boxall race to a 5-1 to grab all the points
- Credit: IAN BURT
Peterborough slipped to an agonising 46-44 defeat in their opening League Cup fixture of the season against Rye House on Tuesday.
The TC Harrison Panthers were pipped at the post by the Rockets in a see-saw Showground encounter despite going into the last race two points ahead.
Panthers had, though, trailed narrowly for much of a meeting in which they suffered a host of first-night problems, and were also frequently unable to match their opponents from the starts.
Rye House established an early lead with a 5-1 in Heat 2, but both Panthers reserves Joe Jacobs and Oliver Greenwood picked up good points later in the meeting.
Panthers responded with a 4-2 in Heat 3 as skipper Ulrich Ostergaard re-passed Mathieu Tresarrieu for the win, but there then followed a succession of seven shared races as the home side were frustrated in their bid to draw level.
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There was a lengthy delay as Lewis Blackbird was collected by the Rockets’ Steve Boxall on the first bend of Heat 6 with the two crashing heavily into fence – and with Boxall surprisingly avoiding disqualification, there was a further blow for Panthers when Blackbird suffered mechanical trouble when well-placed in the re-run.
Points slipped by as Simon Lambert overhauled Blackbird to win Heat 8 and Boxall snatched Heat 9 on the line when Ostergaard lifted off the final turn – and even after levelling the scores in Heat 11, and maintaining that position with a thrilling Lasse Bjerre pass of Tresarrieu in the next, Panthers dropped behind again when Edward Kennett inflicted Ryan Fisher’s first defeat of the night in Heat 13 as Boxall held Ales Dryml at bay.
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A brilliant Heat 14 5-1 from Ostergaard and Jacobs appeared to have saved Panthers’ bacon as it took them into the last race ahead – but Kennett and Boxall proved to be the Rockets’ heroes as they got the better of Fisher and Ostergaard to turn the match dramatically in their team’s favour.
Panthers co-boss Blayne Scroggins said: “We were given a lesson in gating, and the one team you don’t want to come up against when you can’t gate is Rye House.
“I don’t think it was a bad performance, everyone was working hard, but now we’ve got to make up for that at some difficult away tracks.
“The track caught us out a bit but the boys all know what they have to do – it’s disappointing of course, but we’ve got to put it behind us and move on.”
PETERBOROUGH 44: Ryan Fisher 12, Ulrich Ostergaard 9+1, Lasse Bjerre 7+1, Ales Dryml 6+1, Joe Jacobs 4+2, Oliver Greenwood 4+1, Lewis Blackbird 2.
RYE HOUSE 46: Edward Kennett 13, Steve Boxall 11+3, Mathieu Tresarrieu 9, Luke Bowen 7+1, Simon Lambert 5+1, Jason Garrity 1+1, Jason Bunyan r/r.
*PANTHERS will host Elite League newcomers Leicester in an additional fixture at the Showground on Monday April 7. They visit the Jordan Road Surfacing Stadium for the first leg of a Challenge on Saturday.