Crendon FASTRACK Peterborough race into the Speedway Grand Final
PETERBOROUGH booked their place in the Premiership Grand Final with a commanding 52-38 second-leg victory over Wolves.
After a tricky start, Crendon Panthers rallied mid-meeting to inflict a heaviest defeat of the season on the visitors – booking their spot in a first top-flight Grand Final since 2006.
The night started with a minute’s applause for former Panthers promoter Colin Pratt amongst a number of touching tributes following his sad passing last weekend.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for Rob Lyon’s men as Wolverhampton flew out the traps with back-to-back advantages to lead by six early on after Bjarne Pedersen rolled into the tapes in a nervy second heat.
A tide-turning 5-1 courtesy of guest Lewis Kerr and number one Michael Palm Toft in Heat Six sparked a run of three consecutive maximums to immediately switch the momentum back into the home side’s favour – and they never looked back from there to record a 16-point aggregate victory.
Trump card reserve Pedersen contributed a match-winning 14+1 from six outings with the in-form Chris Harris carding 11+1.
Visiting Aussie Ryan Douglas demonstrated his liking for the Showground circuit as he picked up three race wins – exactly half of Peter Adams’ side’s heat victories all night.
“Tonight was banana skin,” said boss Lyon. “We did a great job at Wolves to get a two-point lead but we knew how good they could be.
“We’ve obviously had injuries problems during the week and it was touch and go whether Michael (Palm Toft) would make it but he came back tonight and did a great job.
“It was a terrific comeback from the lads after a slow start, it’s play-off speedway so you come to expect ups and downs – including an early tapes exclusion which came via Bjarne in Heat Two.
“It was typical of a Peterborough performance, we’ve had plenty of those this year and they’ve come up trumps again tonight.”
Peterborough now face a mouth-watering two-legged finale with Belle Vue – starting in Manchester on Monday (October 11, 7.30) before returning home to the East of England Arena on Thursday (October 14, 7.30) for the highly-anticipated decider.
PREMIERSHIP PLAY-OFF SEMI-FINAL, 2nd leg
PETERBOROUGH 52: Bjarne Pedersen 14+1, Chris Harris 11+1, Lewis Kerr 9+1, Scott Nicholls 7+1, Hans Andersen 5+1, Michael Palm Toft 4+1, Jordan Palin 2+1.
WOLVERHAMPTON 38: Ryan Douglas 11+1, Sam Masters 9+1, Rory Schlein 6, Luke Becker 5, Leon Flint 3, Broc Nicol 2+1, Nick Morris 2.
Peterborough win 98-82 on aggregate