Thursday October 07, 2021
WOLVERHAMPTON crashed out of the Premiership Play-Offs at the Semi-Final stages with a disappointing display at Peterborough.

The Parrys International Wolves were beaten 52-38 at the East of England Arena - their heaviest defeat of the season.

It resulted in a 98-82 aggregate scoreline and ensured the Monmore men's wait for another top flight title goes on.

It was a night which started with such promise for the Black Country outfit before the hosts switched on the style and once again demonstrated their strength in depth.

Peter Adams' side arrived in determined mood and turned up the heat on the regular league leaders by winning the opening three races.

Wolves drew level on aggregate in the opener when Sam Masters made a quick getaway to lead a 4-2 with Luke Becker.

That was before home reserve Bjarne Pedersen felt the nerves as he gambled at the start and received a 15-metre handicap for touching the tapes.

Wolves' reserve pairing Leon Flint and Broc Nicol capitalised in the restating to move in front on aggregate.

Ryan Douglas, a well-known admirer of the Alwalton circuit, got his night off to the perfect start by taking the chequered flag in Heat Three before the hosts moved back to within two.

Pedersen claimed victory while Wolves captain Rory Schlein had to eventually repass Chris Harris on the final lap after temporarily surrendering second.

Peterborough found their rhythm after the first track grading break and five race winners in a row, including a hat-trick of 5-1s gave the Panthers a sizeable ten-point advantage overall.

Skipper Schlein stopped that run of maximums in Heat Nine, but had to settle for splitting the home duo of Hans Andersen and Scott Nicholls with a strong defensive ride to kept the former Wolf at bay.

The Monmore men ended their drought in Heat Ten when Douglas picked up his second race win of the night.

He was involved in a breathtaking battle with Peterborough's battered and bruised No.1 Michael Palm Toft - but with Nick Morris running a third straight last place, they were unable to close the gap.

Wolves were again outgated by their opponents in Heat 11, and as Peterborough added another maximum to the board it put them on the verge of victory.

It left the Wolves needing four 5-1s of their own to tie on aggregate and take it to Golden Heats - but when Nicol's bike spluttered on the opening lap of Heat 12, Peterborough's place in the Grand Final was secured.

Masters and Douglas did go on to add further race wins to their chart, but it was a case of too little too late for the Parrys International Wolves.

Team manager Peter Adams said: "As you saw from the first four or five races we were well up for this.

"But once Peterborough discovered their gating gloves it was game over.

"For four or five races on the bounce they were electric from the starts and we just had no answer to that.

"They were superior from the starts and on a track like this, where passing was at a premium, it's very difficult to cope with that.

"It's very disappointing but we've lost to a very good team who are going to take some beating in the Final."

Speedway returns to Monmore Green on Monday, October 18 with a star-studded field set to turn out for skipper Rory Schlein's Farewell event.

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.

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