Darcy and co offer tough Panthers start

PUBLISHED: 12:50 21 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:37 04 March 2010

PETERBOROUGH face a tough start to their Elite League campaign.

The Panthers take on title favourites Poole - who have boosted their squad with the signing of World Under 21 Champion Darcy Ward - in the opening weeks of the new season.

PETERBOROUGH face a tough start to their Elite League campaign.

The Panthers take on title favourites Poole - who have boosted their squad with the signing of World Under 21 Champion Darcy Ward - in the opening weeks of the new season.

They travel to Wimborne Road in only their third league match of the year and then entertain the powerful looking Pirates at the East of England Showground on Friday, April 9 - two nights after their trip to the South Coast.

The new-look side will be in action for the first time on Monday, March 15 in a special 40th Anniversary Challenge and then have another warm-up at Eastbourne five days later.

And then the Panthers get down to the serious business of points-piling in their bid to clinch the top four spot that will put them into the end-of-season championship play-offs.

They take on local rivals Coventry in a hectic Good Friday (April 2) double header.

The first leg is at the Showground with an early 11 am start and the two teams will then do it all again at Coventry in the evening.

The Good Friday clash is the first of at least seven Friday night home matches that will provide fans with an ideal start to their weekend.

There are also seven Thursday nights in the race calendar and the Panthers are also in action on three Bank Holiday Mondays.

The first sees them travel to Ipswich on May Bank Holiday Monday (May 3) and the other two - Spring Bank Holiday (May 31) and Summer Bank Holiday Monday (August 30) are home matches against Ipswich and Eastbourne respectively.

And a big date in the diary is a special 40th Anniversary weekend with Swindon visiting the Showground on Friday, June 11 and a spectacular Festival event over the following 48 hours.

It is to celebrate Peterborough's first home meeting on Friday, June 12, 1970.

May is the busiest month with nine Elite League matches - four at home and five away - and July the quietest, with just three meetings currently scheduled, all of them at the Showground.

Team boss Trevor Swales said: “We look to have a fairly well balanced fixture list although we have a lot of away meetings crammed into the final five or six weeks of the season.

“We have made every effort to fit the meetings around the other international commitments of our squad although there will be a few meetings when one or maybe two of our riders are missing through World Championship and domestic title meetings.

“It's certainly a tough start with Poole so early but that gives us a great opportunity to dent their record!”

2010 FIXTURE LIST

MARCH

Monday 15 ANNIVERSARY CHALLENGE (H)

Saturday 20 Eastbourne (A), Challenge

APRIL

Friday 2 COVENTRY (H) 11 am

Friday 2 Coventry (A) 8 pm

Wednesday 7 Poole (A)

Friday 9 POOLE (H)

Monday 26 Eastbourne (A)

Friday 30 IPSWICH (H)

MAY

Monday 3 Ipswich (A)

Thursday 6 Swindon (A)

Monday 10 Belle Vue (A)

Thursday 13 EASTBOURNE (H)

Monday 17 Wolverhampton (A)

Thursday 20 BELLE VUE (H)

Thursday 27 WOLVERHAMPTON (H)

Friday 28 Lakeside (A)

Monday 31 IPSWICH (H)

JUNE

Thursday 3 LAKESIDE (H)

Monday 7 Wolverhampton (A)

Thursday 10 Swindon (A), Knock Out Cup

Friday 11 SWINDON (H), Knock Out Cup

Sunday 13 40th ANNIVERSARY FESTIVAL (H), start t.b.c.

Friday 25 BELLE VUE (H)

JULY

Thursday 8 POOLE (H)

Friday 16 SWINDON (H)

Thursday 22 WOLVERHAMPTON (H)

AUGUST

Thursday 5 Swindon (A)

Friday 6 Lakeside (A)

Monday 9 Belle Vue (A)

Thursday 12 LAKESIDE (H)

Monday 16 COVENTRY (H)

Friday 20 Coventry (A)

Thursday 26 Ipswich (A)

Friday 27 SWINDON (H)

Monday 30 EASTBOURNE (H)

SEPTEMBER

Wednesday 1 Poole (A)

Thursday 2 Eastbourne (A)

Monday 13 RESERVED PLAY OFF SF (H/A)

Friday 17 RESERVED KO CUP SF (H)

Monday 20 RESERVED PLAY OFF SF (H/A)

Monday 27 RESERVED PLAY OFF FINAL (H/A)

Thursday 30 RESERVE KO CUP FINAL (H)

OCTOBER

Monday 4 RESERVED PLAY OFF FINAL (H/A)

All meetings are Elite League unless stated. All meetings start at 7.30pm unless stated.

Fixtures subject to alteration.

www.peterboroughspeedway.co.uk for updated fixtures.

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