Hall hoping to win another title with Panthers
Richard Hall hopes to become a Panthers title hero all over again. The popular racer has been handed a return to the city club a decade after starring in their unforgettable Elite League Grand Final triumph of 2006.
Now, Hall has his sights firmly set on scooping Premier League honours as part of a ruthlessly revamped Panthers side.
But the first task for the new-look city outfit is nailing down their place in the play-offs following a summer slump in form which prompted promoter Ged Rathbone’s recent shake-up.
To do that, Panthers must triumph in two crucial home meetings either side of the weekend as they entertain Workington tomorrow night (Friday, 7.30pm) andthenhost Rye House on Monday (also 7.30pm).
Both meetings have been hastily re-arranged after a double-header last Sunday was postponed with the Alwalton track left waterlogged by heavy rain.
Hall said: “I’m really happy to be a Peterborough rider again and I’m delighted Ged has given me the chance to come back to the club.
“There is no doubt in my mind that we should make theplay-offsandbepushingto reach the final with the team that has been put together.
“I would love to win another title with the club 10 years onfromthehighlightofmycareer in speedway.
“Thewholeseason in 2006 was the best I’ve ever had in speedway and playing a big part in the final few races of the Grand Final just made it even better.”
AndifPanthersdosucceed in nailing downatop-six spot, Hall has no doubt about who he would love to face in the shoot-out for honours.
The 32 year-old, who will operate at second string for Panthers onabargain 3.29 average, is gunning for former club Sheffield, who axed him earlier this season.
Hall added: “It would be so nice to meet Sheffield in the play-offs. I’ve got a point to prove after being dropped by them.”
Hall and major signing KennethBjerrewillnowmake their Peterborough returns against Workingtonwhenthe team is at full strength.
But number one Craig Cook misses the new Rye House date on Monday due to an Elite League clash. Lasse Bjerre, younger brother of returning star Kenneth, has been called in to guest.
Returning Panthers star Kenneth Bjerre suffered heartbreak in his bid to win a World Championship place last Saturday.
Bjerre wasbeatenbySwedish racer Freddie Lindgren in a run-off for third spot in the Grand Prix Challenge in Vetlanda, Sweden.
The top-three finishers secured places on the sport’s biggest stage for 2017 with Lindgren joining meeting winner Patryk Dudek and runner-up Martin Vaculik in advancing.
PanthersnumberoneCraig Cook is the city club’s representative in the Premier LeagueRiders’Championship at Sheffield (5.30pm) on Sunday. He won it in 2012.
Zdenek Holub of Panthers rides in the European Under 21 Final on Saturday. Cambridgeshire’s BDOInterCounties League Premier Division campaign got off to an exiciting start at the GER Club in March at the weekend.
Cambs, who were well beaten in the corresponding fixture last season, fought back from 11-7 down on the first day after the B team clashes to snatch a18-18 draw as Craig Venman ( March GER) kept his cool to win the final game in the men’s A team match-up.
For the Cambs men’s B team there was an outstanding debut by Ashley Coleman (Peterborough Ploughman Elders). He fought back from 2-0 down to win 4-3 after checking out on 100 in one leg and 91 in the decider. He hit 10 tons plus a 140, 139, 125 and 121 and collected the men’sBteammatchawardfor Cambs .
Paul Wenn, Gary Robertson and Tony Holland all scored 180s for Cambs B while on the finishing front Wenn had a 105 out, Alex Topper had a 114, Pete Fuller a 120, Phil Johnson-Hale a 104, SimonCassidy a 116, Kelly Corcoran a 106 and best of all Chris Sands Pearce a 161.
The Cambs women’s B match award winner was Amanda Abbott (Flyers) who won on her return to county darts after the birth of her daughter.
Juliet Findley ( March GER) took the ladies A match award after beating former England international TammyMontgomery, while men’s A team match award winner was Martin Adams.
The three- times world championandworldnumber twowon4-2against Karl Forrington and finished with a superb 30.56 average. He hit three 180s, a 135, 128, 125, 121 and eight tons. City of Peterborough tackle National League opposition at the National Hockey Centre in Lea Valley in their final warm-up weekend ahead of the East League season.
City take on Bristol University and Fareham on Saturday and Chichester on Sundayintheannualtourna-
StuardWardhadtwo180s andIanWithershadone. The best finishesbothcamefrom DennisHarbour, whohad118 and 116 shots out. ment organised by Premier League umpiries.
City won 5- 0 at West Bridgeford in last weekend’s friendly thanks to goals from Joe Finding, Ben Newman, Danny Sisson, Ben Read and Ross Ambler. Sisson was makinghisdebutaftertransferring from Long Sutton.
“We’re still adjusting to the new systems introduced by new coach Mike Yeoman,” City skipper Ross Boothsaid.
“This weekend’s games against top-class opposition will give us an idea of where we are.”
The East League season starts on September 17.
Richard Hall (third from left) celebrates Panthers’ Elite League Grand Final triumph in 2006.