Thursday October 12, 2017
SHEFFIELD boss Simon Stead hailed his side's determination following their 51-39 home win over Ipswich in the first leg of their Knockout Cup Semi-Final.

The Owlerton outfit were pushed hard early doors by the visitors, with just four points separating the two teams with seven races gone.

But the Sheffield Window Centre Tigers battled away to register four further heat advantages in the second half of the meeting compared to Ipswich's one.

But the story could have been different as the visitors twice sat on 5-1 maximums before two of their riders crashed out of the meeting whilst both sitting in second behind their team mates.

Kyle Newman lifted and smashed into the air fence on bend four mid-meeting, while guest Ben Barker clipped the kerb out of bend four before slamming over the handlebars in an incident which saw him taken to hospital with unknown injuries.

And while Stead was quick to send his best wishes to the opposition duo, he admitted fortune was on Sheffield's side a little who were once again without injured duo Josh Grajczonek and Kyle Howarth.

"It's still very difficult without both your No.1 and captain and even more so in our case because Josh and Kyle bring as much to the team off the track as they do on it," Stead said.

"But credit to the boys, they dug deep and it was the kind of response we wanted after losing so heavily to Leicester on Monday.

"Kyle Newman having to withdraw for them made Ipswich weaker and we had to capitalise on that.

"We did that, particularly in Heat 14 when we got a 5-1 and perhaps a little bit of fortune was on our side.

"But we did our job, we're pretty satisfied with a 12 point lead but Friday is a new day and anything can happen.

"I'd like to send best wishes to Kyle and Ben, whose crash in Heat 15 was horrible, and it wasn't a nice way to end what I felt was a really good race meeting."

Lasse Bjerre stormed to double figures for the 11th time in 12 meetings at Owlerton while reserve Jan Graversen and guest No.1 Scott Nicholls chipped in with ten points apiece.

Josh Bates and Todd Kurtz both produced solid performances while Georgie Wood contributed two third places, one of which brought a roar from the crowd after a lovely blast around former Tiger Nathan Greaves on the final lap of Heat 12.

The Tigers head to Ipswich for the second leg on Friday (October 13) and more build-up will be issued in the morning.

SHEFFIELD 51: Lasse Bjerre 15+1, Jan Graversen 10+3, Scott Nicholls 10+1, Todd Kurtz 7+2, Josh Bates 7, Georgie Wood 2+1, Kyle Howarth R/R.

IPSWICH 39: Danny King 13+1, Ben Barker 11, Cameron Heeps 8+1, Nathan Greaves 4, Connor Mountain 3+1, Kyle Newman 0, Justin Sedgmen R/R.

Share This:   Facebook Twitter