Thursday June 06, 2013
SHEFFIELD’S revised riding order came up trumps as they secured a much-needed 52-43 win over Berwick in Thursday’s Premier League clash at Owlerton.

Joe Haines and Damien Koppe were the individual stars of the night for the Window Centre Tigers, who did their hard work in the first ten heats of the meeting to virtually ensure all three points.

Haines’ confidence came flooding back in the No.2 position, partnered with returning skipper Simon Stead, and both riders picked up paid maximums from four unbeaten rides apiece – combining for 5-1s on three occasions.

And Koppe built on a Heat 2 win to hit an impressive double-figure score, offering real hope that he is now adapting to the demands of British Speedway.

Haines and Stead got Tigers off to a perfect start with maximum points over the Bandits’ recent big-name signing Edward Kennett in Heat 1, and the visiting No.1 then conceded a 4-2 in Heat 5 after a frantic battle with Richard Hall.

Kozza Smith’s crash in Heat 6 opened the way for another Stead/Haines 5-1, and Koppe then sensationally beat Robin Aspegren when the Berwick man was on a tactical ride in Heat 7.

Sheffield were lifted by that success and picked up advantages in the next three races with Stead going from last to second to link up with Haines again in Heat 10 as the Tigers opened their lead to an imposing 16-points.

Kennett trimmed three back by winning Heat 11 for double-points, but his partner David Bellego was left at the back and Sheffield were almost home and dry.

Facundo Albin fell in Heat 13 when battling with Smith, and Hall came to grief in each of the last two races as the Bandits staged a late rally, but Tigers already had plenty in hand as they gave their season a welcome lift.

SHEFFIELD 52: Joe Haines 11+1, Damien Koppe 11+1, Simon Stead 10+2, Ricky Wells 10+1, Richard Hall 6, Facundo Albin 3+1, Jake Knight 1.

BERWICK 43: Edward Kennett 14, Robin Aspegren 11, Nicki Barrett 5+1, Matthew Wethers 4+1, Paul Starke 4+1, Kozza Smith 3+1, David Bellego 2.

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