Thursday May 30, 2013
A LATE comeback wasn’t enough for the Sheffield Window Centre Tigers as they slipped to a narrow defeat to Leicester at Owlerton on Thursday.

Winless in six meetings, the Tigers went in to the Premier League clash looking to stop the rot against a strong Leicester side, but the visitors came out on top in a pulsating meeting.

The scores were neck-and-neck early on, with both sides swapping 4-2’s, but it was Sheffield who nicked a lead, albeit a slight one.

After seven heats the home side were four points ahead, with five Sheffield riders winning races, and it looked as if the Tigers were set to break their rotten run of form.

Two Leicester heat advantages in succession suddenly notched them ahead though and another two in three heats put them eight points up and they looked to be in firm control of the meeting.

A stunned Sheffield side rallied, guest Oliver Allen leading from the front, and wins from he and Ricky Wells and Richard Hall put the Tigers four behind with one race to go, meaning a home 5-1 would see the Owlerton men grab an unlikely draw.

It wasn’t to be though as Kauko Nieminen split Allen and Wells in a re-run after Lasse Bjerre crashed while Sheffield were on a 5-1, meaning the Midlands men took home three vital league points.

Allen was an excellent replacement for the injured Simon Stead and scored 12, Wells’ good form continued with 10 but beyond those two there was little back-up.

Richard Hall can be excused an unusually low score of six as he was in his first meeting since coming back from injury, and Facundo Albin showed glimpses of exactly what he can do with the same score.

Joe Haines scored five and Damien Koppe looked much improved to notch four, but it was a tough night for Jake Knight who scored just one.

The Tigers have an immediate chance to forget Thursday’s result as Richard Hall and Ricky Wells represent the club in the Premier League Pairs Championship on Friday evening as Simon Stead continues his recovery from a hand injury.

Sheffield: (Allen 12, Wells 10, Hall 6, Albin 6, Haines 5, Koppe 4, Knight 1)

Leicester: (Bjerre 11, Nieminen 9+1, Doolan 7+1, Edberg 7+1, Graversen 5+1, Sarjeant 5, Branford 2)

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