It’s another tough KO Cup assignment for the Panthers as they go to Plymouth defending just a two-point lead. But they’ve done it before

Thursday, June 5, 2014
5:10 PM

Peterborough are aiming to deliver another brilliant backs-to-the-wall display to clinch a place in the semi-finals of the Premier League KO Cup on Friday night.

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The ‘TC Harrison’ Panthers make the long trip to Plymouth for a quarter-final second leg clash (7.15pm start) in possession of just a two-point aggregate advantage following a 46-44 triumph at the East of England Showground in the opening leg on Tuesday (June 3).

And they will be hoping this tie follows a similar script to their first round success over Scunthorpe when they successfully defended a three-point lead when hitting the road for the second leg.

And, just as in that tie, they will have to make progress without the services of number one Ryan Fisher. Panthers will operate the rider-replacement facility for the American ace who is required to make a farewell appearance for Elite League club Coventry.

Fisher is one of three regulars missing for the trip to Devon. Reserve pair Joe Jacobs (who rides for Wolverhampton against Coventry in the top-flight) and Ollie Greenwood (broken collarbone) are also out.

Club bosses have drafted in a new-look bottom-end combination of guests Dan Halsey and Ben Hopwood for the trip to the tiny St Boniface Arena.

Operations manager Neil Watson takes charge of Panthers tomorrow night and said: “In an ideal world we would be heading to Plymouth in possession of a bigger lead, but we successfully defended a narrow advantage at Scunthorpe in the last round and will aim to do the same again.

“We do already boast a victory at Plymouth this season in a League Cup meeting, but it would be unwise to read too much into that as we will track a very different team on this occasion.

“We will of course approach the meeting with a positive outlook and hope to reach our second semi-final of the season.”

Danish duo Ulrich Ostergaard and Lasse Bjerre missed Panthers’ 47-42 success at Plymouth at the beginning of May due to their involvement in Danish Championship semi-finals.

Guest Steve Boxall of Rye House was a star performer on that occasion as Panthers collected three points which clinched top spot in the Southern Group of that competition.

Co-boss Blayne Scroggins has been forced to reduce his involvement with both Panthers and Coventry due to work commitments for the foreseeable future.

It is hoped he can return at a later date. Watson added: “Blayne will be a big loss to both clubs and the door will certainly remain open for him to return.”

PLYMOUTH: Ben Barker, rider replacement for Adam Roynon, Kalle Katajisto, Kyle Newman, Rasmus Jensen, Sam Simota, James Shanes (guest).

‘TC HARRISON’ PANTHERS: Rider replacement for Ryan Fisher, Lewis Blackbird, Ales Dryml, Ulrich Ostergaard, Lasse Bjerre, Dan Halsey (guest), Ben Hopwood (guest).