Sunday October 01, 2017
STILL drying out from Champagne, Sheffield team boss Simon Stead has once again hailed his league winning heroes.

Despite being without No.1 Josh Grajcoznek, who was ruled out with a jarred leg, the Sheffield Window Centre Tigers produced a stunning performance at Foxhall on Saturday to win 46-44 on the night and beat Ipswich 99-81 overall in the Grand Final.

It rounded off a memorable SGB Championship campaign for the Owlerton outfit who ended their 15 year league trophy drought.

Said Stead: "The boys were fantastic in both legs and that's how they've been all season in reality.

"Kyle (Howarth) has been a super captain both on and off track this year and he fully deserved to be the first rider to get his hands on the trophy because he's been inspirational.

"Josh (Grajczonek) will have been disappointed to have missed out on the main occasion, but he has been outstanding all season at No.1 and he has been instrumental at the top end of the team all year long.

"The pairing of Josh (Bates) and Lasse (Bjerre) at No.3 and No.4 has been vital to us. They've been eventful, they've been entertaining, they've been exciting to watch, but most importantly they've come up with some big, big scores throughout the season.

"They've worked well together in the main and they've pulled out some big 5-1s at crucial times.

"They've both improved individually as well and they've provided the top two with some solid support.

"Todd (Kurtz) has been great too. You can always rely on him to do his job when he's fully fit and he scraps for everything. He's another one who's had a solid year at Sheffield and he deserves some success.

"The contributions of Jan (Graversen) at reserve have been key for me. He gave us something we'd been missing down at reserve and I don't think it's any coincidence that we performed at our best from the moment we signed him for one of the reserve berths.

"Georgie (Wood) has been excellent too. This was his first real taste of racing at this level and he's come in, always given it 100 per cent and I believe he's done the job that we brought him in to do.

"We shouldn't forget the other reserves from earlier in the year either I guess.

"It was a shame Rob (Branford) struggled for speed at times and then of course he got that injury which saw his season come to an early finish, but he certainly played his part at the front end of the year.

"Nathan (Stoneman) came and went in the blink of an eye after picking up a nasty injury early on too and for one reason or another things just didn't work out with Jack (Parkinson-Blackburn) even though we had high hopes for what he could do.

"But Damien (Bates) and the rest of the management and promotion came up with some great signings before the season, and along the way, and we should thank all of our guests this year too.

"We've used a few along the way. Some helped us win meetings here and there and some played a part in us going on that outstanding 13 meeting unbeaten run too which put us in the driving seat.

"A special mention though of course for Scotty (Nicholls); he came in for the Grand Final second leg against his old club and while he took a bit of stick for that and while he didn't have things his own way in his first couple of rides, he showed his true class and professionalism to turn things around and win his last three rides, one of which ironically confirmed the league title for Sheffield.

"It's been an unbelievable first season as team manager - but it's not over yet.

"We've still got Promotion to aim for and we've still got the Knockout Cup too and we want to carry this momentum into those meetings."

A reminder that Owlerton play host to the SGB Championship Pairs Major Event next Sunday (October 8) with a start time of 3pm.


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