Pan­thers are look­ing to end a sad sea­son on a cheer­ful note

Speed­way - Ed­in­burgh trip will count for noth­ing

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport - By Mark Plum­mer SPEED­WAY CORRESPONDENT

Team boss Carl John­son in­sists Pan­thers will be gun­ning for vic­tory in a mean­ing­less con­clu­sion to a dif­fi­cult Premier League sea­son to­mor­row night (Fri­day). The city side make the long trek to Ed­in­burgh Mon­archs’ Ar­madale Sta­dium (7.30pm) for a re-ar­ranged fi­nale to a cam­paign that has failed to live up to ex­pec­ta­tions.

Even though a vic­tory in Scot­land could lift them to fifth spot in the stand­ings, the Bri­tish Speed­way Pro­mot­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (BSPA) have re­fused to al­low the meet­ing to count to­wards the play-offs as it is be­ing staged after the Septem­ber 19 cut-off date. So Pan­thers miss out.

John­son said: “The cut-off date wa­sex­tende­donce- from Septem­ber 12 to Septem­ber 19 - and I’m dis­ap­pointed the BSPA man­age­ment com­mit­tee weren’t pre­pared to do it again to al­low us to get our fi­nal meet­ing in.

“All league meet­ings should count to­wards the play-offs and it is even more frus­trat­ing that one of ours will not count through no fault of our own.

“We can’t help the fact the meet­ing at Ed­in­burgh was post­poned in Au­gust and we’re also an­noyed that we weren’t of­fered three al­ter­na­tive dates.

“I’m not for one minute claim­ing that we were guar­an­teed to win at Ed­in­burgh, but we cer­tainly de­served the op­por­tu­nity to try.

“Our rid­ers are all aware of the sit­u­a­tion and feel very dis­ap­pointed. Mo­ti­vat­ing them will not be easy, but the aim is to pick up a re­sult and show every­one that we should have been in the play-offs.”

Pan­thers pro­moter Ged Rath­bone, who is al­ready con­sid­er­ing his fu­ture in the sport after two years at the helm of the city club, re­cently de­scribed the play-off sit­u­a­tion as ‘highly un­sat­is­fac­tory’.

The B SPA de­clined to com­ment on the Pan­thers’ sit­u­a­tion after be­ing ap­proached by the Peter­bor­ough Tele­graph.

Pan­thers will op­er­ate the rider re­place­ment fa­cil­ity for in­jured An­ders Thom­sen, but they are other­wise ex­pected to be a full strength.

Tonight Ed­in­burgh be­gin their play-off chal­lenge with a quar­ter-fi­nal first leg at Ip­swich tonight (Thurs­day).

Craig Cook in ac­tion against Ed­in­burgh Mon­archs at Al­wal­ton last month.

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