WOLVES 42 PETERBOROUGH 48

Monday September 13, 2021
WOLVERHAMPTON’S table-topping hopes hang in the balance after they were beaten 48-42 by closest rivals Peterborough.

It was a disappointing end to the Parrys International Wolves’ regular Premiership season as their unbeaten home record was brought to an end in their final meeting before the play-offs.

The Monmore men now sit just six points ahead of the Panthers in the table – but the Alwalton outfit have three fixtures remaining.

Wolves, who were without skipper Rory Schlein after testing positive for Covid-19, managed just five race wins on home shale - and their night got off to a slow start by their own high standards as the visitors opened with successive 4-2s.

Youngster Leon Flint’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by the Wolves supporters since joining the club – and they were again demonstrated superbly in Heat Two.

He was involved in an enthralling tussle with fellow talented teenager Drew Kemp.

Flint worked his way around the outside to hit the front on lap three, only to be repassed by Peterborough’s guest reserve on the last lap.

Wolves drew level in Heat Three though with Nick Morris securing a comfortable race win while Ryan Douglas held off some late pressure from Nicholls for a first maximum of the evening.

Luke Becker took the fourth with a lovely swoop around his opponents on the opening couple of bends - a move which was replicated by Peterborough’s Michael Palm Toft in the fifth just as Douglas and Morris looked like they could add another 5-1 from their quick reactions away from the tapes.

The Monmore men would earn a second maximum of the night in Heat Six though through Sam Masters and Becker as the hosts took the lead for the first time.

The visitors were all set to respond instantly as they sat on a 5-1 for the opening lap of the seventh, but Nicholls slid off uncharacteristically after being passed by Morris.

Things remained tight in the mid-part of the fixture and the scores were tied 33-33 with four to go.

Heat 12 produced one of the races of the season at Monmore – unfortunately it was a race that saw the visitors edge back in front.

Morris and Flint had worked their way into a 4-2 situation, but Palm Toft and Kemp charged past their relevant counterparts on the final lap to turn the heat score on its head.

There was more drama in Heat 13 when stand-in skipper Masters was disqualified, after having his nose chopped off on bend three by Andersen – the rerun resulted in another 5-1 to Peterborough.

But a fired-up Masters was placed in Heat 14 as a tactical substitute and got the better of Andersen this time around before the visitors wrapped up the victory in Heat 15 as Harris took a fifth race win of the night.

Stand-in skipper Sam Masters insists there’s no need to panic though - and admits the absence of captain Rory Schlein did play its part.

“He’s just such a big help,” Masters said.

“His points obviously help on the track but his knowledge in the pits is incredible too, we missed that a little bit.

“He’ll have been watching on the tele and he can tell us where we went wrong.

“We’re not too worried really though - we’ll regroup and we’ll use this as a kick up the backside to keep on top of things.”

The play-off schedule is set to be put in place following Peterborough’s final fixture against King’s Lynn on Thursday, September 23.

WOLVERHAMPTON 42: Sam Masters 12, Nick Morris 11+1, Ryan Douglas 8+1, Luke Becker 6+2, Leon Flint 4, Broc Nicol 1+1, Rory Schlein R/R.

PETERBOROUGH 48: Chris Harris 15, Hans Andersen 12+2, Michael Palm Toft 10, Scott Nicholls 5, Drew Kemp 4, Bjarne Pedersen 2+1, Ulrich Ostergaard R/R.

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