Battling Scorpions out of luck in opener

Mar 25th, 2017
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05. Palm toft

PETERBOROUGH PANTHERS 51 SCUNTHORPE SCORPIONS 42 (SGB CHAMPIONSHIP)

HENDERSON INSURANCE Scunthorpe Scorpions just missed out on taking a point from their opening meeting of the season at Peterborough last night (Friday), slipping to a 42-51 defeat on a bitterly cold evening, despite a battling performance.

Scorpions went one man down, after Lewis Kerr crashed out of the meeting in spectacular style in Heat 7. Initial fears were that Kerr had suffered a broken wrist, but it’s now hoped that he has escaped with bruising.

No-one could question the commit or effort of Scorpions, on a track with a fast outside line that favoured the brave. They suffered five falls between during the night, as they raced their hearts out.

New skipper Michael Palm Toft (pictured) led by example. He won his tactical ride in Heat 10, and totted up a total of 15 points.

Meanwhile, Austrian Fritz Wallner put in a spectacular debut performance at the East Of England Showground, including a brilliant charge around the outside in Heat 6, which took him from last to first. Josh Auty also came through in that race, passing Jack Holder and Simon Lambert as a 5-1 from the gate to Panthers changed to a 5-1 to Scorpions.

Wallner won his opening two rides, but with team manager Dave Peet forced into giving him several rides in succession, he later suffered two falls, but never stopped putting in anything less than 100% effort.

The same applied to the whole team, with Carl Wilkinson and Ryan Douglas also contributing race wins, while Scott Campos took a deserved point from Heat 12 after riding a perfect four laps to block out Tom Bacon.

Team manager Dave Peet said: “At first, we were concerned that Lewis Kerr had broken his wrist. But it just seems to be swelling up. He’s going to go home and take it easy and he’s got a full week to recover. We don’t think it was broken, but he jarred it pretty bad.

“It was our first meeting of the season, while it was Peterborough’s second meeting and I think that showed. Ryan Douglas is on new bikes this year, and he had a few teething problems and it took him a couple of rides to set it up.

“But when you look down the race-card, every rider chipped in. They all had their moments, with skipper Michael Palm Toft leading by example. But we did have quite a few falls and lost a few points.

“This meeting was what Fritz is all about – he’s entertainment. He had the one fantastic ride where he showed exactly what he could do.

“Last time he rode for us, he broke his ankle, so he’s not been doing too much over the winter. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have given him seven rides, but Lewis’ injury forced us into that.

“The team were trying their hearts out, but it was one of those things. We weren’t making the starts and we need to work on that.”

PETERBOROUGH PANTHERS 51
1. Jack Holder 3 0 2 3 (8)
2. Simon Lambert 1 1 2 0 (4)
3. Paul Starke 1* 3 3 3 0 (10+1)
4. Ulrich Ostergaard 2 2* 2* 3 3 (12+2)
5. Kenneth Hansen 3 3 2 1 (9)
6. Bradley Wilson-Dean 1* 1 1* 1* 1 (5+3)
7. Tom Bacon 2 1 0 (3)

HENDERSON INSURANCE SCUNTHORPE SCORPIONS 42
1. Ryan Douglas 0 1 3 2 1* (7+1)
2. Carl Wilkinson 2 F 3 FX (5)
3. Lewis Kerr 0 FX (0)
4. Michael Palm Toft 3 2 6# 2 2 (15)
5. Josh Auty 2 2* 1 0 (5+1)
6. Fritz Wallner 3 3 F R 1 2 F (9)
7. Scott Campos (Guest) FX 0 1*(1+1)

# = tactical ride

1: Holder, Wilkinson, Lambert, Douglas, 59.7 (4-2) (4-2).
2: (Re-run) Wallner, Bacon, Wilson-Dean (15m penalty for exceeding two minutes), Campos (fell, excluded), 62.4 (3-3) (7-5).
3: (Re-run) Palm Toft, Ostergaard, Starke, Kerr, 61.2 (3-3) (10-8).
4: (Re-run) Hansen, Auty, Bacon, Campos(15m), 62.0 (4-2) (14-10).
5: Starke, Ostergaard, Douglas, Wilkinson(Fell), 61.0 (5-1) (19-11).
6: Wallner, Auty, Lambert, Holder, 62.8 (1-5) (20-16).
7: (Re-run) Hansen, Palm Toft, Wilson-Dean, Kerr (fell, excluded), 62.4 (4-2) (24-18).
8: Wilkinson, Lambert, Wilson-Dean, Wallner (fell), 62.7 (3-3) (27-21).
9: Starke, Ostergaard, Auty, Wallner (ret), 62.4 (5-1 ( 32-22).
10: (Re-Run) PALM TOFT (TR), Holder, Wallner, Lambert, 62.3 (2-7) (34-29).
11: Douglas, Hansen, Wilson-Dean, Wilkinson (fell, excluded), awarded – no time (3-3) (37-32).
12: Starke, Wallner, Campos, Bacon, 63.7 (3-3) (40-35).
13: Holder, Douglas, Hansen, Auty, 62.1 (4-2) (44-37).
14: Ostergaard, Palm Toft, Wilson-Dean, Wallner (fell), 63.3 (4-2) (48-39).
15: Ostergaard, Palm Toft, Douglas, Starke, 63.1 (3-3) (51-42).

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