‘It felt like a walk of shame’ says axed man Perry
Four Panthers riders were released at the weekend as promoter Ged Rathbone wielded the axe on a side struggling to hold onto a play-off place. spoke to those four riders.
Big crash a big factor in a disappointing season . . .
He said: “The club have to dowhattheyfeel is right to try to win things.
“There have been a few issues here with the track, changes of teammanagerand shifting riders too early.
“MybadcrashatPlymouth really affected me. I felt hungry and quick before that happened in May, but I took a really big bang to the head.
“It took me a while to get over it and it has not been a season I want to remember for too long.” A super start followed by struggles and an unusual exit for the British rider, who is being linked with a move to Berwick . . . He said: “No rider ever wants to get dropped, but I have to admit I wasn’t scoring points.
“I’m proud of the way I boosted my average in the early part of the season, but it wasalsogoingtobetoughtogo into themainbodyoftheteam after being out injured.
“I wanted to move up and keepprogressing, butmyconfidence has dropped. I’ve got no bad feeling towards Peterborough and the club have helped me a lot.
“It was a strange feeling to go out in front of the fans after beingreleased. It felt morelike a walk of shame, but the club were keen for us to do it.” Major investment has not led to big results for the Danish club asset . . . Grondal said: “Peterborough is my first club in the UK and I love it here, but this season has not gone the way I wanted it to. “I’ve spent thousands of poundsonenginesandequip- ment, butitjusthasn’tworked out for me.
“My performances have notbeengoodenoughandI’ve been letting the team down. I just hope I’ll be back one day in thefutureandgettoridefor the club and the fans again. The Midlands man is an unfortunate casualty of the numbers game after impressing during his seven weeks with the club. He is now expected to join Newcastle . . . Morris said: “I’ve gone out and given my all in every race since I joined Peterborough. “I wanted to prove I could ride at this level and I feel I’ve done that. “I’ve learned the hard way over the years that speedway is a numbers game. “I accept that and there are certainly no hard feelings towards Peterborough after they gave me the chance to come in.” It is rare for the interval to be the most memorable part of a speedway meeting, but that was the case at the East of England Showground last Friday night.
Promoter Ged Rathbone chose the break after heat 10 in which to announce the releaseoftworiders(TomPerry and Emil Grondal) and their replacements(AndersThomsen and Danny Halsey) – the first half of a major team rebuild.
The unusual timing was no doubt a ploy to keep on side a set of supporters becoming more and more disil- lusioned with every passing race, as much as the official line of giving the outgoing pair the chance to receive a good send-off from fans.
Bothcertainlydidgetthat, but other outbreaks of applause on another miserable Alwalton night were few and far between. The Panthers faithful had seen their team blown away by a classy Newcastle outfit whoslammedin five 5-1s in the space of seven races.
The visitors’ advantage grew to a maximum of 18 points before Craig Cook completed a successful tactical ride, and the number one was the only home rider to emerge with any sort of credit as Panthers fell to a sixth Showgroundloss of the season in all competitions.
Cook launched his 17-point haul with the fastest time of the season in heat one although his 58.9 effort was soon equalled by visiting rider Steve Worrall a few races later.
Ashley Morris on his way to victory in heat one against Redcar.